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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Keep Yourself and Your Dogs Safe with Palladia

Updated: April 13th, 2021

Palladia is the first FDA-approved drug for dog cancer.  It is a chemotherapy medication, and as such it is a big gun.

When I say big gun, I mean that there are side effects and issues that you need to be aware of.  And some of you may have not heard this yet.  Since a goal of this blog and the Dog Cancer Survival Guide is to give you important information that you may have not yet heard, let’s look at Palladia.

When you give your dog Palladia, you should wash your hands with soap and water after handling.  Better yet, wear gloves.  This is because a small amount of Palladia could end up inside your body if you handle the medication with bear hands.  Like many chemotherapy drugs, toxicities are possible, and there is no reason to be exposed to these materials if you are not undergoing treatment yourself.

The drug insert suggest that you keep the bottle away from children.  Also remember to keep the bottle away from any other medication.  Sometimes medications can be confused by us grown-ups too, and drugs like these need to be kept in their own secure location.

If you are pregnant, I would not even handle Palladia due to the possible effects on developing babies.  The insert says that birth defects are possible if Palladia were taken during pregnancy.

Remember to never break or crush the tablets.  This is because the drug will aerosolize (become an airborne powder) and may be inhaled.

According to the manufacturer, the “waste” products of a dog taking Palladia should be put in a sealed plastic bag for disposal.  Gloves should be worn. This is fairly strait forward for feces, but I would assume urine is a waste as well.  Thus, I would consider active urinary metabolites of the drug to be possible.  Same with vomited material.

For vomit, bag it wearing gloves.  Urine would be tougher to collect in a bag, and skin contamination is a risk.  Thus I advise irrigating the urinated area well with water.  This implies that dogs on Palladia living in  homes with other dogs should be walked outside, separate from the others, for elimination of waste.  It would be considerate for others in the neighborhood for you to carry a jug of water to irrigate the appropriate areas, in addition to your ziplocks.

Whenever you embark on a treatment for dog cancer, be your dog’s number one health care advocate.  Get the full picture, weigh your options, and create an action plan.

All my best,

Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. Alice Hill Wells on January 15, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    It sounds like you just saved 2 lives. Mine and TONYA MICHELLE ALEXANDAR-KITTY. I just heard the C word last Wednesday. Tonya and I are both fighters. I came home and went straight online. I don’t know if any vets here will order this drug for me to try on Tonya. So I hope you will help.

  2. Allen on October 30, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    My 6 poud 9 year old Yorkie is taking g Palladia she was taking one pill every 3 days, but I picked up the wrong bottle which which instructed me to give “1 full pill a day”
    was that an over dose that could kill her ??

    • Molly Jacobson on November 1, 2021 at 11:24 am

      Hi Allen! Please call your veterinarian and ask them about this. Hopefully it was fine!

  3. Kathy Davis on May 22, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Dr. Dressler, wish you could help my 8 year old male GSD. He was just diagnosed with adenocellcarcenoma….an anal gland gone rogue. It is in lnoperable and being is treated at Cornell University Small Animal Clinic. I know they can’t cure him, but I want to buy him as much time as I can. He is at the end of a 3rd round of palliative radiation and 3 treatment segments of palladia. Dr. D I have had GSDs since I was 17 years old. The current one is my 8 year old RJ. With all the others I was working or getting a degree or both. This is the only one I brought home at 12 weeks and I am retired and spend every minute with him. Losing him is going to kill me. I am too old to start over again and have no family or close friends to fill the hole he will leave.

  4. Bill Swiech on June 20, 2020 at 7:29 am

    My 12 yr old English bulldog has a 4 inch chemodectoma. She had 2 liters of fluid drained from her abdomen yesterday. I have been reading about Palladium. Would that be appropriate treatment in her case.

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