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Animal Specialty & Emergency Center of Brevard

Cancer Care Options

If your pet has cancer, we can recommend the treatment that will provide optimal results based on his or her medical history and help you make a decision that is best for your family.

There are two equally important goals to keep in mind when treating cancer in pets:

  1. We want to control the tumor for as long as possible. Ideally, we want to cure your pet, although that is not always possible.

  2. We want to maintain a good to excellent quality of life for your pet throughout the duration of their treatment. This is the most important goal of therapy at all times.

Animal Specialty and Emergency Center of Brevard is pleased to offer two treatment options for pets with cancer. These treatments may be used alone or in combination depending on your pet’s type and stage of cancer.


Surgery is often the best single method of treatment if your pet’s tumor is benign, or if the cancer is the type that is slow to metastasize. If your pet has a type of cancer that progresses quickly, surgery is usually combined with chemotherapy. Our specialty care team includes a board certified veterinary surgeon with more than seventeen years of veterinary experience, a surgical resident and dedicated surgical technicians. Rest assured that your pet will be in experienced and capable hands during their cancer surgery and treatment.


Chemotherapy is a word that creates an instant emotional response in everyone. Chances are that you or someone you know has experienced chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Initially, many clients are opposed to chemotherapy, believing it will adversely impact their pet’s quality of life; however, chemotherapy for animals is much different than chemotherapy for humans. Doses of drugs and treatment schedules are specially designed to minimize discomfort and adverse effects, while maximizing the potential benefits of treatment. As a result, most people are pleasantly surprised at how well their pets feel while undergoing chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy drugs are recommended when a tumor has spread beyond the initial growth site, when the tumor affects multiple areas of the body or for a tumor that has a high chance of metastasizing to other areas of the body. Chemotherapy drugs that are used on pets are the same chemotherapy drugs used for people. The specially designed chemotherapy protocols used in pets rarely result in the severe side effects seen in humans. The side effects are usually quite mild and self limiting though severe nausea, diarrhea and lethargy do occur in a very small percent of patients. It is very uncommon for pets receiving chemotherapy to experience hair loss though it may occur in certain breeds that require regular grooming (Poodles, Terriers, Schnauzers and Maltese).

Things to keep in mind about chemotherapy:

  • In most cases, you can stop treatment even after it’s started, if it is not working as you expected or if you change your mind.

  • Chemotherapy can be costly, but payments are made at the time of each treatment, not in one lump sum. Animal Specialty and Emergency Center of Brevard offers Care Credit, which allows you to finance treatment for twelve months with no interest. Other major credit cards and cash are also accepted. Pet insurance may reimburse you for some or all of the costs of treatment. We can help you make an informed decision by providing a free estimate of treatment costs during your consultation with a specialist.

  • Pets receive a much lower dose of chemotherapy drugs, so they tolerate it much better than humans and often have few side effects.

  • Earlier treatment often results in better outcomes.