Veterinary Cancer Patient Emergencies and What to Do
If you have a pet who has been diagnosed with cancer, you already know that things aren’t always going to be easy. These special patients do need attention and TLC but, in your concern, it is also easy to become jumpy about every little thing and worry needlessly. Veterinary cancer patient emergencies do happen, though, and any pet owner who is caring for one needs to be aware of the signs of a truly urgent problem.
Special Needs of the Cancer Patient
The oncology department at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services understands that having a pet going through cancer treatment is not easy on either of you. We are very educated in the special needs of these delicate patients. Pets undergoing cancer treatment may have:
- Different nutritional needs
- A weakened immune system
- Medication-related side effects
- Disease related side effects
We know how important it is to monitor and manage all of these things closely. That is why, no matter how trivial something may seem, we are here for you should you have questions or concerns about caring for your pet. Never hesitate to call us.
Identifying Veterinary Cancer Patient Emergencies
Veterinary cancer patient emergencies can take many forms. Certain symptoms, while worrisome, may simply be an expected result of your pet’s treatment. For other symptoms, it is important for you to communicate any concerns to us so that we can address problems right away. Please let us know if your pet:
- Is not eating well
- Experiences vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Has coughing or trouble breathing
- Is acting lethargic or depressed
- Experiences any bleeding, sores, or discharges
- Is having trouble walking or seems disoriented
- Has a seizure
- Is running a fever (>102.5 F rectally)
- Appears dehydrated
- Will not/can’t take medications as prescribed
Good communication between us and yourself is paramount to helping identify emergencies and ensure the best possible treatment outcome.
A small percentage of pets will experience a problem in the first few days after a cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, just as human chemotherapy patients do. However, many more have issues as a result of the disease itself. Digestive issues, anemia, or metabolic problems are just as likely to be the source of veterinary cancer patient emergencies.
If you think your furry cancer patient may be having an emergency, please let us know right away. While most of our oncology patients will never need to make a visit to our emergency room, it is important for us to be on top of any issues that your pet may have. We are here to hold your hand through this difficult time and can’t wait to see the results on the other side.