Carboplatin for Dogs

Carboplatin is a powerful drug that is used to treat various types of cancer in dogs. It is most commonly used as a treatment method for osteosarcomas, though it can also be used for melanomas and various other types of cancerous growths as well. The medicine is highly potent and is typically provided in combination with other types of treatments to provide a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer. Read on for a brief overview of how this drug functions and when it should be used to help treat your pet, as well as some of the risks associated with carboplatin.

Carboplatin Overview

Carboplatin is typically referred to by the brand label drug called Paraplatin. This medicine is devised and tested for human beings only, though it can be used for veterinary medicine in certain specific and controlled situations only. It contains platinum, a metal that helps to alter the DNA of cells that divide and split rapidly. Because cancerous growths of certain types make use of these cells, by targeting them in particular carboplatin can work to eliminate the ability of the cancerous growths to spread and grow.

This drug is highly potent and toxic. It must only be handled by trained technicians and while wearing specialty equipment. Therefore, it is not given via a prescription or over the counter, but is only used for dogs in a hospital setting.

Using Carboplatin for Your Pet

If your pet is suffering from cancer, ask your vet about the potential treatment options and about whether carboplatin may be a good option for you to use to help address his health concern. The medicine is provided in vials and is administered via injection. Most injections occur every three to four weeks, although the exact dosage schedule will depend upon your pet and his condition, as well as his reaction to initial injections of the drug.

The dosage that you'll typically need to provide your pet is around 250 to 300 milligrams. All administration of the drug must be done by trained veterinary professionals in order to avoid risk of human contamination and side effects for you.

Risks and Side Effects of Carboplatin

The potential for carboplatin to bring about serious side effects exists. It is generally considered safe when used in approved settings, but like other cancer drugs, it may cause your pet debilitating and very dangerous risks. It should not be used in pregnant dogs or pets with known infections. Inform your vet of all other medicines and conditions that are affecting your dog before you begin treatment with carboplatin.

The most commonly seen side effects of this drug usually include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Damage to kidney and liver function
  • Bone mass loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Vomiting immediately after administration

It's important that you inform your vet of all side effects and reactions that your pet has to this medicine. You may need to change the dosage or find a new method of treating his condition.