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Dog Chemotherapy Drug Side Effects

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Dog Chemotherapy Drug Side Effects


Chemotherapy treatments for Dog Cancer, does not have the same degree of side effects in dogs as it does in humans. Dogs are given lower doses than humans. Chemotherapy drug side effects will also vary with the drug used. The decision to use Dog Cancer Chemotherapy to treat cancer in dogs can prove to be a very expensive one. The fees will depend on the size of the dog. The larger the dog, the more medication needed and consequently the higher the fees. Chemotherapy can run into thousands of dollars, but you will pay with each visit and not in one lump sum. If you have dog insurance, you will probably be reimbursed for some of the money you pay.

Typical side effects

Side effects will vary with the drug used, but some are fairly common with all of them in both dogs. Dog Diarrhea is one side effect that is very common and therefore your vet may give you a round of flagyl to help with the diarrhea. Several days after the treatment, you will be happy to have it on hand. Your dog will may have a decrease in appetite, while other dogs will have an increase. The same will apply with thirst. It is always wise to pay attention to your dog’s water consumption. They should be encouraged to drink more and flush the medications out of their bodies.


Prednisone is not specifically a chemotherapy drug. It will however buy some time and may be used as part of the protocol. It is also used to counteract some of the negative side effects. With prednisone you can expect the following.

Dog Increased Thirst

Dog Increased Urination

Dog Appetite Increase

• Panting

• Some mild changes in their behavior

• Less tolerant to exercise.


Dog Diarrhea

Dog Loss of Appetite

• Low white cell count

• Inflammation and possible damage to the injection site

• There can be tremors which may indicate the low white count.


• Low white blood ccells

• Bladder toxicity which can lead to blood in the urine and cystitis

• Lasix or another diuretic may be given along with it to insure that the drug is expelled from their bladder and decrease the possibility of cystitis and infection.


If your dog receives an excessive amount of this drug during their chemo treatment, it can cause heart problems, such as Dog Heart Disease. It has a cumulative effect on the heart. Some veterinarians will do a chest film or ultrasound prior to the treatment to assure that the heart has not been damaged. There are some vets who recommend CoQ10 as a supplement during the administration of this drug.


There are other drugs that can be used as well. A lot will depend on the success of the one that is being used. If it is not affecting the tumors, your veterinary oncologist may opt to change it to another.

Dogs do not have significant hair loss during chemo. Human hair grows continuously but most dogs do not. The Poodle and the Old English Sheepdog will show a more noticeable hair loss than other breeds whose hair does not grow continually.

Suggested Products

Nu-Pet Vitamin & Antioxidant Wafers Cancer Support Kit - Dogs ES Clear - Dog Cancer Support Hearty Heart for Dog Heart Disease

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