The board-certified veterinary specialists and oncology team at the Gold Coast Center for Veterinary Care offer a new level of veterinary care for pets with cancer. If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, our oncology team is here to offer hope, information, cancer treatments and quality of life for your pet. There are many innovative cancer treatment options offered by our oncology team that are very effective in treating most types of cancers.
Meet our Oncologist Dr. David Hunley, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, hundreds of pets in America are diagnosed with cancer each day.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the body that can present as a localized tumor, multifocal tumors or systemic disease.
Tumors are divided and classified into two categories: benign or malignant. Benign tumors tend to be slower growing, are not invasive into the surrounding tissue and do not spread (metastasize). Malignant tumors tend to have more rapid growth, may invade into surrounding tissue, and may spread distantly.
Tumors are further classified by the tissue from which they originate: carcinomas, sarcomas and round cells.
While surprising to some, cancer in pets is not entirely uncommon, especially among older pets. As your pet ages, it’s important to remain vigilant and bring your pet to your veterinarian for bi-annual exams.
Some of the many cancers we provide hope for include:
- Mammary Gland Tumors
- Mast Cell Tumors
- Soft-tissue sarcoma
- Thyroid Adenomas and Carcinomas
- Transitional Cell Carcinomas
If Your Pet Has Been Diagnosed with Cancer
If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to learn and understand the diagnosis. Please make an appointment with our oncologist as soon as possible. After a full diagnostic exam, our oncologist will explain your pet’s cancer to you. There are many different types of cancers and we will help you understand the type of cancer your pet has. After answering all of your questions, we will discuss the treatment options available to your pet and, together, we will put together a cancer treatment plan especially for your pet.
You may be familiar with two of the treatment options Gold Coast Center for Veterinary Care offers for your pet, chemotherapy and surgical oncology. Our oncology team will explain the process and timing for the treatment(s) recommended for your pet. These treatments are effective to remove, slow down or prevent the spread of cancer. Most pets tolerate cancer treatments well.
Chemotherapy for Pets
The goal of chemotherapy is to inhibit the growth of cancer cells with minimum effect on normal cells. Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer at the tumor site, as well as the cancer that may have spread through the body. Most chemotherapeutic drugs act directly on cancer cells, preventing them from maturing or reproducing. Unlike humans, the side effects of chemotherapy in pets are relatively mild. Doses of drugs and treatment schedules are calculated to minimize discomfort to the pet, while providing the most effective defense against the cancer. As a result, most people are surprised at how well their pets feel while undergoing chemotherapy.
Our oncology team works with our board certified surgeon on cases in which surgery is an option. We may take tissue samples (biopsies to diagnose the tumor before the final surgery. From a biopsy, the tumor type can often be clarified, and in many types of tumors the pathologist can also give a grade, or an estimation of how aggressive the individual tumor is. Both the type and the grade of tumor are important when surgery is planned. After the tumor has been diagnosed, the surgeon will discuss with you the surgical options available for your pet.
The Gold Coast Center for Veterinary Care Can Help
We welcome all questions you may have about the health and quality of life of your pet. If your veterinarian has referred you to us, please give us a call to schedule your pet’s appointment.