pet cancer specialist“Cancer” is not a word that any pet owner wants to hear coming out of his or her veterinarian’s mouth. Unfortunately, a pet cancer diagnosis is a reality faced by many families often resulting in feelings of guilt, bewilderment and confusion.

Among the many questions that race through a pet owner’s mind (Is the cancer treatable? What will my pet’s quality of life be like? How much longer does he or she have to live?), deciding whether or not to use the services of a board certified pet cancer specialist versus your family veterinarian may not be at the top of the list… But it should be.

What Is A Pet Cancer Specialist?

A board-certified pet cancer specialist, also known as a veterinary oncologist has undergone extensive training after veterinary school in the field of oncology (cancer development and treatment).

Most pet cancer specialists have completed 3-5 years of veterinary oncology training and are required to pass comprehensive examinations as well as complete various publication requirements, in order to become certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology).

The Choice Is Clear

Your pet’s general veterinarian is qualified to oversee your pet’s health, leading many pet owners to wonder if a veterinary oncologist is really necessary. The short answer is yes, and here’s why:

  • A pet cancer specialist’s career is built around caring for cancer patients, providing chemo and other treatment, and managing side effects. Pet cancer specialists spend their days reviewing pathology reports and lab results and providing chemotherapy, surgery, and other procedures aimed at treating cancer.
  • Pet cancer specialists are up-to-date on the latest in veterinary cancer science and are the first to learn about any new developments or changes to treatment protocols.
  • The extra training required to become a veterinary oncologist allows him or her to provide the most current and comprehensive treatment options.
  • Having your pet under the care of a pet cancer specialist can actually save you money in the long run because tailored testing and treatment protocols reflect your pet’s personal, nuanced diagnosis, thus eliminating unnecessary procedures.

Primary care veterinarians are absolutely essential when it comes to the overall health and wellness of a pet. Your family veterinarian helps your pet in the areas of nutrition, vaccines, general surgery and emergency care.  Primary care veterinary staff can also help you manage a wide variety of ongoing health conditions.

When it comes to the heavily nuanced issue of cancer, however, a specialist can be of immense value in treating your pet’s cancer, prolonging life, and restoring overall quality of life.

The team at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center is more than happy to answer any of your questions regarding pet cancer and board certified pet cancer specialists. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.