Most pets with a high temperature are miserable and refuse to eat. If your pet is depressed, has a fever or blood in the faeces, it may be necessary to start treatment with antibiotics and/or intravenous fluids (i.e. a drip). Once your pet starts antibiotics, the full course prescribed must be completed, even if the situation improves rapidly, as it often will.
Vomiting once or twice (without any other signs or fever) does not usually require treatment. If it continues for more than 24 – 36 hours, or if your pet vomits more than 4 – 6 times in a day, please contact us. Withdrawing food and water for a few hours may be helpful, although water should not be restricted for any longer. Once your pet is able to drink without vomiting, you can offer small amounts of bland food such as fish or chicken for a day or so, before gradually returning to a normal diet. Severe vomiting means your pet might require hospitalisation and further treatment, including intravenous fluid therapy and drugs to control nausea.
Diarrhoea without vomiting or fever can usually be managed by feeding a bland diet (fish or chicken with white rice or potato) and gradually switching back to normal food. Cats can be fed chicken or fish alone without the rice or potato.
Signs of bladder discomfort (straining to urinate, urinating small amounts frequently, and blood seen in the urine) may occur occasionally after cyclophosphamide treatment. Please call us if you see any of these signs. In order to reduce the risk of cystitis developing, please make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water available at all times, and has frequent opportunities to urinate.
Only dogs with continually growing hair coats (e.g. Poodles, Old English Sheepdogs, and some Terriers) tend to lose significant amounts of hair, although other breeds can sometimes be affected. Cats may lose their whiskers. Hair coats will often return when treatment is finished or with a decrease in frequency of chemotherapy administration, however it may take some time for full recovery. A different colour and texture of hair may regrow.
Doxorubicin is a potent anti-cancer drug associated with causing heart disease with long term use in some dogs. This side effect is not a major issue in most dogs that receive a limited amount of doxorubicin in their lifetime. However, in dogs with pre-existing heart disease, it may cause problems more readily. If your dog is identified as having a form of pre-existing heart disease, this will be discussed in detail with you. This is not generally a problem in cats, although cats do need to be monitored for kidney problems.