Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer in Dogs

There are a number of different common types of cancer that develop in dogs, and chemotherapy for bladder cancer is one of the strongest treatment options available. However, simply because you begin to provide your dog with bladder cancer a treatment program based on chemotherapy does not necessarily mean that his prognosis will be entirely positive.

In order to be sure that you protect your pet's well being and overall health as best as possible, you should plan to have him checked regularly and to watch out for any symptoms of bladder cancer that you notice. Only then will you be able to properly treat the disease as early as possible.

Chemotherapy Overview

Chemotherapy for bladder cancer is identical to other types of chemotherapy that are used throughout the rest of the body. In each case, the general premise of the treatment is the same; the body is bombarded with a type of radioactive treatment that causes the mutating cells within the cancer to cease to reproduce and to die off.

Unfortunately, there are oftentimes a great many different types of side effects that are associated with chemotherapy, as it is impossible to target only the cancerous cells and to leave off the other cells from the treatment.

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects associated with chemotherapy that is used to address bladder cancer in dogs include the following:

  • General weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Difficulty with bowel movements and urination
  • Changes in behavior and personality
  • Impaired liver and other organ function

Chemotherapy Effectiveness

When used properly, chemotherapy is one of the most effective ways at combating cancer in general. In particular, chemotherapy that is used to battle liver or bladder cancer is seen as highly competitive against the disease. Bladder cancer is very difficult to excise with surgery, as the growths can be in locations that are very sensitive and delicate.

Chemotherapy is one of the few ways that veterinarians have to deal with the issue without having to resort to surgery. However, if the veterinary surgeon can safely remove any growths from your dog's bladder as well, this will only enhance his chances of surviving.

Other Considerations

Chemotherapy is not an inexpensive treatment. It is generally several hundred dollars per chemotherapy session, and your pet with bladder cancer will require relatively regular sessions for several weeks or even months until the cancer is fully removed from his body. Additionally, due to the stresses that chemotherapy places on the body, it is not suitable for dogs that are not in good health to begin with. If your pet is old, fragile, weak or otherwise affected by some type of adverse health condition that is unrelated, chemotherapy may not be beneficial for him.

For more information about chemotherapy and your pet, consult with your veterinarian. Regular bladder cancer screenings can help you to detect the disease as early as possible, which gives your pet the best chances of survival.