Chemotherapeutic agents act by destroying or inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. Because chemotherapeutic agents lack selectivity for cancer cells, normal cells may also be affected. Handling of chemotherapeutic agents and animals on chemotherapy requires some precautionary measures for those involved in this type of cancer treatment.
The specific precautions for handling chemotherapeutics depend on the exact agent used. Not all medications require all of these precautions. Please feel free to ask the doctor if you have any questions.
Handling of agents: Latex gloves should be worn when handling or medicating with certain agents. Wash hands after handling.
Handling of waste: Urine and stool should be considered contaminated and measures taken to reduce exposure. Pick up stools promptly for proper disposal by flushing down toilet. Dilute urine with water. Use latex gloves and wash hands after clean up. Continue this procedure for one week after the final treatment.
Food, bedding: Patients on chemotherapy should be fed and watered separately from other pets. Bed linens should be washed separately from other household laundry.
Container disposal: Bottles or containers used for these agents should be returned to the clinic for proper disposal. Any leftover medication should also be returned to the clinic for disposal.
MSDS Information: Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheets are available on the agents. Please request this information if desired.
Pregnant women or immune compromised individuals should avoid contact with chemotherapeutic agents and inform their physicians if the handling of agents cannot be avoided.