We see patients diagnosed with neoplastic diseases of all kinds
The Oncology team sees patients diagnosed with neoplastic diseases of all kinds for investigation and further management.
Each patient is different, and a lot of care is taken to listen to the owner and involve them closely in all the decisions regarding their pet’s care. We perform diagnostic and staging procedures, such as CT, MRI or ultrasound scans, with ultrasound- guided biopsies and fine needle aspirate samples as required.
Some patients require endoscopy or rhinoscopy to assess them fully. A number of patients will have a diagnosis prior to arrival, and extensive diagnostic tests are not required for every patient.
The beauty of the medical and surgical oncology teams at Pride, is that they work closely as a team to plan the best approach for each patient. Even different patients with the same disease can require a different approach due to disease features, patient health status, owner wishes and finances. A tailor-made approach is formulated for each patient and discussed with the clients in detail to ensure that client wishes are taken into consideration, with costs and any impact on quality of life being considered. Oncology patients commonly require a multimodality approach, which can involve any combination of surgery, interventional radiology procedures such as intraarterial chemotherapy or chemoembolisation, conventional or metronomic chemotherapy, plus or minus organising referral for radiotherapy.
Stents and/or SUB placement is required in some patients, especially those with urinary tract tumours, and can restore quality of life and markedly extend survival in these patients.
Oncology patients have the best chance of a good outcome when a planned approach is taken from the beginning, where full staging and assessment is taken place prior to surgery, and a considered approach is taken to surgical margins. Some patients benefit from neo-adjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgery. Referral of patients prior to surgical intervention taking place for difficult cases has a far higher chance of success than referral following an inadequate surgery, as repeat surgery requires there to be a margin around the entire surgical scar.
The Oncology team at Pride Veterinary Centre is very experienced at managing chemotherapy patients, and has excellent facilities for these patients, including a dedicated kennel room, a chemotherapy suite, a fume hood for preparing chemotherapy drugs, and dedicated oncology staff. Oncology is managed as a discipline in its own right, rather than being simply as an extension of the internal medicine service, and the service is headed by an experienced European and RCVS specialist in this field. Successful treatment of chemotherapy patients involves management of drug toxicity, patient wellbeing and client expectations, as well as treating the disease.
Having a pet that is undergoing chemotherapy is emotionally stressful and requires a sympathetic approach with clients.
Palliative care is used to help to manage and improve quality of life in terminal patients, regardless of the type of treatment that they are receiving. It is used alongside conventional anti-cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, and it can be used alone for patients that are not suitable for conventional anti-cancer therapies. We focus on quality of life of the patient, providing analgesia where needed, and using medical management to improve patient wellbeing.
We also provide owner support and counselling regarding patient management and decisions surrounding euthanasia, if appropriate.
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