A diagnosis of cancer is unexpected and upsetting. Your primary care veterinarian may refer you to Animal Emergency and Specialty Center to determine if chemotherapy is a viable option for you and your family member. We are here to help you through this difficult time and prepare a customized treatment plan to address your pet’s needs.
Treating cancer with medication, as opposed to surgery or radiation, is especially helpful when the cancer in question has spread beyond one body area. Using medication allows the body’s blood vessels to carry the medication to remote or otherwise inaccessible areas. This form of treatment is called chemotherapy. Dr. Ashley Stucky has taken a special interest in cancer medicine, specifically chemotherapy, and is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art treatment options for pets with cancer. Recent advances in diagnostic and treatment capabilities have allowed for more individualized approaches to veterinary cancer care, leading to more successful outcomes.
Chemotherapy can be a difficult experience for many people. It is important to know that in our animal companions, the experience is usually very different. Most patients enjoy a very good quality of life while undergoing therapy.
Oncology Services offered:
- Comprehensive consultation and examination – At the time of initial consultation, Dr. Stucky will review records from your regular veterinarian, perform an exam, discuss your pet’s diagnosis, and then make further recommendations regarding diagnostics and treatments as indicated. This initial discussion usually takes about 1 hour, although additional time may be needed if same-day diagnostics and/or treatments are pursued. All veterinary cancer treatment plans are customized to meet the needs and goals of the individual patient and family. A combination of different treatment types often provides the best chance for a good long-term outcome. Your pet should be present for the consultation and should be fasted after 10pm the night before (water and medications can be given as usual). Please let us know if your pet is diabetic when the appointment is scheduled.
- Diagnostic tests for confirmation of diagnosis and cancer staging and/or grading – If cancer is suspected, diagnostic recommendations may include: labwork, x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, fine needle aspirates, biopsies, bone marrow aspirates and/or CT advanced imaging. Some of these tests can be performed and submitted to a diagnostic laboratory the same day, while other advanced imaging diagnostics may require scheduling. If the optimal approach for you and your family member includes surgery, Dr. Stucky will collaborate with our boarded surgeons to collectively determine the best course of treatment.
- After all of the pertinent diagnostics and results are obtained, treatment options and prognosis will be discussed. Every cancer is different; species, location, and diagnosis are very important to consider when determining a plan of action for an individual patient. Rates of growth, metastasis, response rates to various treatments, and prognosis can vary significantly based on these factors.
- If additional visits are recommended following the initial consultation, we will ask that you drop off your pet so that chemotherapy can be administered in a sterile and safe environment. One of our team members will greet you in the front lobby and bring your pet to the treatment area. We will contact you once your pet is ready to go home. The length of time associated with a drop-off appointment may vary and is dependent on the type of treatment or testing being administered.
- Management of treatment and disease-related side effects – Although most veterinary patients maintain a good quality of life throughout the treatment process, sometimes unexpected side effects and symptoms occur. Prescription medications will be administered and sent home to help in these instances. Sick or debilitated cancer patients should always be evaluated immediately through the hospital’s emergency department (open 24/7). IV fluids and other more intensive supportive treatments can then be facilitated when appropriate.
How to schedule an appointment:
Appointments must be made in advance and can be scheduled by calling (775) 851-3600 . Phone consultations are not offered because we need to see your pet in order to advise you.
In addition to your visit(s), we recommend that you maintain your relationship with your primary care veterinarian for medical issues unrelated to cancer. All records will be shared with your veterinarian upon discharge. Please continue to administer monthly heartworm and flea preventatives, although we ask that you avoid giving or applying them within 24 hours of any chemotherapy treatment. Annual vaccines should be discussed with your veterinarian, but avoided within 24 hours of any chemotherapy treatment. Regular vaccination for rabies is required by law.