Oncology Service

Our Oncology Service diagnoses, treats and cares for dogs and cats with cancer. Following the diagnosis of cancer, it can be a very distressing and confusing time for both pet and carer. We provide clear information, advice and guidance along every step of the patient’s journey. We are passionate about providing the best quality of life for our patients. We do this by using effective treatment and minimising their possible side effects. We also help practices to support their clients and their pets.

Our Oncology service works in particular with our Diagnostic Imaging and Surgery services. This multidisciplinary approach helps us to provide a tailored and comprehensive care plan.

We are happy to discuss and accept referrals for the following aspects of oncology:

  • Investigation of suspected neoplasia
  • Clinical staging of neoplasia
  • Surgical oncology (including biopsies and tumour removal)
  • Therapeutic options and expectations

We provide the following medical therapies:

  • Conventional chemotherapy: uses the same drugs as are used in humans with cancer. But we reduce the dosages, simplify the protocols and extend the treatment intervals. This allows our patients to go through treatment usually with little to no side effects.
  • Metronomic chemotherapy: the administration of a small, usually daily, dose of drugs. This approach works by inhibiting the tumour’s ability to develop its own blood vessels. This limits its growth.
  • Targeted molecular therapies: tyrosine kinase inhibitors differ from conventional chemotherapy. They work by binding to specific receptors on cancerous cells. This prevents the cancer cells from dividing and growing, which slows or stops the growth of the tumour.
  • Immunotherapy: uses the body’s immune system to fight the cancer. We offer melanoma and lymphoma vaccines as treatments for these types of cancer.
  • Electrochemotherapy: A combination of injectable chemotherapy and short electrical pulses directly into the tumour often allows effective palliative tumour control in both dogs and cats. The procedure is usually very well tolerated with minimal side effects and can be repeated as often as necessary.

Common chemotherapy treatments and types of cancer treated include:

  • Measurable tumours sensitive to chemotherapy (e.g. lymphoma).
  • Adjuvant therapy to eradicate occult micrometastases (e.g. following the amputation of a limb due to osteosarcoma).
  • Neoadjuvant therapy to downstage sensitive tumours or those with difficult margins before surgery (e.g. mast cell tumours).
  • Palliative therapy for unresectable or metastasised tumours (e.g. bladder transitional cell carcinoma).

Our Oncologist, Stefano Zago, is supported by our dedicated Oncology Nurse, Enya English. The service is available for consultations for both urgent and less urgent clinical cases, and we are very happy to discuss cases with referring veterinary surgeons by phone or email. Please send emails to [email protected]. We regret we cannot discuss clinical cases with carers until the patient has been referred to us and is formally under our care.

Our Oncology service will be expanding in Summer 2024 with the addition of two more Oncologists.