Animal Cancer Clinic
Dr. Frederick Labavitch
Providing Quality Pet Care

Side Effects

The possibility of adverse side effects is a major concern for many clients when seeking therapy.  With radiation therapy the side effects are limited only to the tissue in the irradiated area; pets rarely experience nausea, vomiting, or lethargy.  Most patients will experience side effects from the mild sedation that is given.  The side effects to the irradiated tissue will range and will greatly depend on the location of the area affected

Skin

  • Localized hair loss
  • hypo-or hyper-pigmentation
  • temporary moist or dry dermatitis


It is very important to prevent your pet from scratching, licking, or chewing at the affected area to prevent further damage as this tissue can be easily injured.  You can gently clean the skin with warm water and soft wash cloth, after checking with the doctor.  A topical treatment may be used.  Bathing and swimming are NOT recommended during treatment, after treatment the doctor will let you know when the skin is healed.

Hair loss may be temporary; however some patients may experience permanent hair loss.   Sometimes the hair may grow in with a different texture or color; there is no way for us to predict which your pet will experience.  Your pet will not be bothered by their own appearance; some patients may need a sweater to keep warm during inclement weather.

Mouth

  • Increased salivation
  • Some tenderness in the mouth
  • Reluctance to open mouth
  • Decreased appetite

We will discuss diet and possibly send home an appetite stimulant.  If needed we may have to place a pharyngotomy tube, so that we can ensure adequate nutritional intake.  After treatment it may take up to 3 weeks to heal, and the side effects will subside.

Nose

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge

If your pet is currently having nasal discharge or bloody nasal discharge from an inoperable nasal tumor, the discharge or bleeding should subside after approximately 2 weeks of treatment.

Brain

  • Lethargy
  • Circling
  • Temporary recurrence of neurological abnormalities

Sometimes corticosteroids may be used to help alleviate symptoms.  Most common side effects are noticed within 2 to 3 weeks of treatments.  Please let us know about any strange behavior as this may be related to the treatment.

Bones/Joints

  • Weakened bones
  • Infection
  • Arthritis
  • Fibrosis

It is very important when treating bone that following the Doctors recommendations in regards to what activities are acceptable for your pet.  We want to avoid any trauma to the bone, which could result in a possible fracture or infection.  After treatment is complete the doctor will discuss which activities to avoid preventing any trauma.

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