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

Keep Yourself and Your Dogs Safe with Palladia

Updated: October 10th, 2018

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

Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment

  1. Jacqui on September 17, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Hi, I am looking to get pregnant but my dog is taking Palladia twice a week. I use gloves when administrating the tablet and when cleaning up after his waste. I am his sole carer and do not have anyone else to look after him. Do you think I can still safely have a baby?

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on September 18, 2019 at 8:02 am

      Hello Jacqui,

      Thanks for writing! Unfortunately, we’re not vets or medical professionals, so it would definitely be a good idea to talk to your GP and your vet about giving your dog Palladia while trying to get pregnant.

  2. Diana on June 25, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    If I am on chemo..should I wear gloves when I want to feed my dogs to protect them?

  3. Mocca on October 30, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    My dog had a tumour come up very quickly on her mouth, it was a grade 3 MCT. It was removed and we had the test done to see if it had spread and it came back count C11. In the meantime another lump has formed inches away from the last one in her lymph node. The Vet has given her 2 months but said on Palladia she could have another year to eighteenth months but given the severity of the side effects I am not sure whether to put her on the medication given she only has months and I don’t want those last months to be awful for her. Do you think it is worth trying her on the medication?

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 2, 2018 at 7:59 am


      Thanks for writing and we are sorry to hear about your girl. We’re not veterinarians here in customer support so we can’t offer medical advice. However, we can provide you with information based on Dr. Dressler’s writing 🙂

      Deciding on a treatment plan for your dog is a hard decision to make as there are so many things to take into consideration (finances, your dog’s personality, your personality, treatment options, age, etc), and there really is no one right fit because each dog, and their health situation is different– This is where Treatment Plan Analysis can be really beneficial. Here’s an article on how to end treatment plan analysis paralysis that you may find useful : https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/make-decisions-dog-cancer-treatments/

      You also have to factor in your guardian type– do you want your dog to be as comfortable as possible? Are you okay with handling the side effects of particular treatments? How important is quality of life? Here’s a link to an article on this topic that you may find beneficial: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/why-your-personality-is-so-important-to-your-dog-with-cancer/

      You know yourself, and your girl the best, so once you figure out what is most important to you, and you know what type of guardian you are, and take all of those factors into considerations, you can then decide on a treatment plan for your girl. If the most important factor for you is your girl’s life quality, consult with your vet, and see what they recommend. You may also find these articles on Life Quality beneficial:

      We hope this helps!

  4. Kelly McAlpine on September 7, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I have a Golden Retriever who’s recently been diagnosed and with a mast cell cancer. He’s just started taking Palladia. I was told by his doctor about how I need to be very careful washing my hands after handling the chemo medication as well as anytime he licks me or I come in contact with any of his fluids. I also have 3 smaller dogs and had asked about them and was told it’s not been proven to be toxic to other dogs, just humans. I’m just super concerned because they all drink from the same water bowl and I have a toy breed Yorkie who likes to lick the Golden Retrievers hot spots and cleans his eyes etc. I’ve been incredibly stressed today since this was his first dose of the medication and I don’t want anything to happen to my other 3 dogs. I did see the early post about someone being concerned with her two dogs using the yard that her landlords dog who’s on Palladia is using and your response was that it’s safe and would only be a little toxic if her dogs happened to eat that dogs fecal matter on a regular basis. With that said this is what’s prompting my question regarding the water bowl especially since my dogs are all smaller. I don’t know if the mg dosage would be different for the size of dog or if it’s the same no matter the size but this is something that’s really stressing me out right now.
    Thank you,
    Kelly M.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on September 10, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for writing, and we are sorry to hear about your boy. We can’t offer you medical advice, however, we can provide information based on Dr. D’s writing 🙂

      If your veterinarian believes it to be okay for your healthy dogs to interact with your dog with cancer, then follow their advice as they know your dog, his treatment plan, and Palladia dosage.

      That being said, it’s completely understandable if you still have concerns– any pet guardian would! 🙂 Keeping your other dogs away from your boys restroom while he is on Palladia is a good idea. Dogs really benefit from having playdates with others– they are social butterflies. In Chapter 15 of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, Dr. D writes that playing with other dogs, or humans, can boost their life quality, and help in decreasing loneliness and depression!

      Urine, feces, and vomit are usually the most discussed issues when it comes to other dogs in a guardians home. We were unable to find anything on whether dogs should have separate water bowls. The next time that you visit your veterinarian, ask about your current concerns, and ask if it’s a good plan to avoid that, just to be sure 🙂

      We hope that helps.

  5. Mary Luck on August 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    We have an Australian Cattle Dog with a stage 3 MST. We just started her on Paladia. We have grandkids who love this dog. Is it safe for her to lick them?

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on September 6, 2018 at 8:56 am

      Hello Marry, thanks for writing! In general, it’s best to not allow your dog to lick your grandkids. Check with your veterinarian or oncologist for the best medical advice, because they will know your dog’s treatment plan, and if your dog can give your grandkids some kisses 🙂

  6. Susan Kazara Harper on June 16, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Dear Sita, Our hearts go out to you as you miss Spencer. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps others in ways you cannot imagine. I know that Spencer will be with you always.

  7. Sita Ahumada on May 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Today I lost my beloved Beagle Spencer 8 months after being diagnosed with metastatic mast cell cance. He was put on paladia after leg amputation. The oncologist stated that he was poster dog for palladia as he didn’t have any side effects. The spots in his liver and spleen never went away but remained stable. Despite ant histamine therapy he died of a stomach bleed. I had to put him down. What I’ve learned is don’t fool around with cancer whether it be your dog or yourself.

    • Mark H Saunders on May 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      I had a Beagle named Buster. So sweet. Tonight I lost my French bulldog Valerie to a stomach bleed. So sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing.

  8. Susan Kazara Harper on December 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Maryann,
    You’re wise to be cautious. Based on what you’ve told us Dr Dressler feels the odds of any toxicity related to palladia exposure are very very low for your dog. If there were a situation where there was feces consumption going on, regularly, perhaps a slight toxicity issue could occur, but otherwise the odds are quite low.
    So I hope this helps. Please let oyur landlord know about this blog and Dr Dressler’s work. You may be instrumental in helping that dog a great deal.
    All the best,

  9. Maryann Torrelli on December 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    i live in a two family house…my landlord lives upstairs…her dog has cancer and she is going to start the dog on palladia….I have two dogs…..I read that it is harmful to other dogs in the house…..we both use the yard for out dogs to go to the bathroom….I read that it is very dangerous to other dogs and if my dogs come in contact with her dogs feces or urine they can become sick and that she should walk her dog outside and pick up the feces and also carry water with her to rinse the area where her dog urinates……she tells me that’s not true and her vet said it’s not harmful to my dogs…..I really need an unbiased answer……as you can imagine this is driving me crazy…..her dog is not on the medicine yet and I need an answer….

  10. Susan Kazara Harper on October 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Hi, Please check with your vet about whether Palladia is available in liquid. But keep in mind, this is a chemotherapy drug. Very potent, and protective measures must be taken with tablets, so even if you can get a liquid version, it must be prescribed by your vet and you must take extreme caution. Dosage could be very tricky as well. To ensure an exact dose in liquid is a big responsibility. Again, please go back to work with your vet on this. Palladia is not a supplement or a benign tonic. Do be careful. Good luck.

  11. G. Wonder on October 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Does Palladia come in liquid form? or some way I can give it not in pill form?

  12. Roie on September 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Hi – I have a 7 yo Boston Terrier named Riley that was diagnosed with stage 3 MCT on his right rear leg and stage 1 MCT on his lower abdomen in May 2012. He had surgery to remove both and they were able to get clean margins. His scans were all good, but his bone marrow showed evidence of MCT. He has had 8 rounds of Vinblastin chemo and has done well. He had an abdominal scan on 9/4/12 which showed everything looks good. The oncologist would like to put him on Palladia now, but we have heard about all the bad side effects and are having some doubts. We want to do the right thing for Riley – any suggestions?
    P.S. Since May we have had him on Artemisinin in evenings, Benedryl 3 Xs day, 200 mg of vit C 2xday and 200 iu’s of vit E 2 x day.

  13. Adrienne on January 3, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Hello Lena, my boxer Lola was diagnosed with stage 1 osteosarcoma in her lower jaw back in June of this year. Before we did anything her oncologist recommended that she do a chest x ray to check for spread and also a cat scan of the jaw to see where to direct the surgery. She said the chest x ray showed no spread of the cancer so removal of half of the lower jaw would be the best fit.

    I did that and when Lola got out, she said that they got it all out, the margins were clean and there was no need for chemo. I was very worried about not doing chemo but she said that her and a group of 4 other doctors all felt the same. She got an infection about 2 months later and had to be rushed in where they treated her with a strong dose of antibiotic etc. She recovered and has been fine since, eating well, drinking, full of energy and life.

    The Dr did no follow up with any blood-work, a chest x ray or bone scan as it’s mentioned on so may sites. This has a high incidence of spread and I am shocked by her lack of follow up with such a serious cancer. She said see you in 6 months for a chest x ray just to be sure, so that;s what I did. I took her in last night for her 6 month follow up and had a chest x ray done. The dr said her lymph nodes felt good and were not swollen and the surgery site looked wonderful. She came out from the chest x ray and sai there were 3 concerning spots on her lungs. I immediately froze and said but you told me not to do the chemo. She said I would have made the same decision based on what we knew of the tumor then.
    I confirmed that she now has mets on the lungs there are 5 small spots. Her oncologist yeserday reccomended the use of Palladia. I know Palladia is for mast cell tumnors and I’m not sure if I shoukld try this or not with the Osteosarcoma. All of her bloodwork came back good so they say we can try but I feel as if it prob won’t work. right now she is lively and vibrant and i hate to ruin her spirit and make her sick for no reason Any help would be appreciated. thanks

  14. Karyn Pringle on November 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Do you know of any stats relating to recurrence of palatine fibrosarcoma in a 3 yo Golden Retriever after a hemimaxillectomy, 19 doses of radiation, and 6 courses of adriamycin. So far, chest rads have been negative, though we are doing a CT scan and repeat CXR in 3 weeks to determine the next direction to go. Cytoxan +/- Palladia have been suggested. He has tolerated all of the treatments well, with blood levels returning quickly to normal after adriamycin dosage. Thanks for any suggestions.

  15. SRC on July 27, 2011 at 4:28 am


    I have a 7 year old lab who is going through MCT’s. In Jan he had one mass removed from his throat and that came to be high grade 2 so we started chemo. Chemo went well for 7 out of 10 sessions and then lymph node had to be removed and contained MCT.

    So we started PAlladia. He had 2 visible masses out of which one dissapeared completely and second reduced significantly but we have to stop palladia due to side effects. Now he has Anemia so am giving me sulcrate. They are saying if he does react blood transfussion will be necessary. I am not sure of that is it worth it so I can give him MAstivet?

    • DemianDressler on July 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Dear SRC,
      it seems masivet (Kinavet) would be a logical consideration once the GI issues are dealt with. I would not hesitate to bring this up with your oncologist or vet (and if you have not seen an oncologist, I would do so). Don’t forget about the other things that can help a dog- diet, apoptogens, immune support, and in this case, possibly yunnan baiyao. Make all steps under veterinary supervision. It seems reading the Guide would be a good step if you have not.
      Dr D

  16. cecilia Dogru on October 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Hello!! My name is Cece and my 10 year pomeranian has a MCT stage 2, unfortunatelly at this point surgery or chemotherapy would cost alot and financially cannot afford it, Julliet showed signs of a lump almost 2 years ago on her right elbow (behind her right leg) and the lump has been there all this time, she hasn’t showed any signs of pain or discomfort, she still her happy go lucky self and I’m wondering what can I do to give her the best quality of life possible without the Chemo?? or what kind of medication can I give her so we can manage to keep it under control.. I will appreciate your input regarding this matter, Thanks.


    Cecilia Dogru

  17. Rae on May 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I, too have a dog with osteosarcoma (rib) who was recently prescibed Palladia. Eight weeks ago the tumor, part of her lung, and 2 ribs were removed (at which time there was no evidence of lung metastasis). She had one carboplatin and one adriamycin treatment. Just this week x-rays show a lung nodule and regrowth of the original tumor. We stopped the IV chemotherapy; the revised treatment plan is now cytoxan and palladia alternating every other day, with doxycycline and previcox every day. I also have ordered artemisinin and K-9 immunity and plan to start those. The side effects of Palladia seem pretty common (and wicked!) and given that I can’t find any mention of this drug being useful in osteosarcoma, I’m not sure if I should use it or just use cytoxan every day. Also, not sure if the supplements are safe with chemo drugs?
    Time is running out, what we have already tried has not worked, and I am hoping to make the best treatment decisions possible moving forward. Your input would be greatly appreciated… Thank you.

  18. Marcela on April 8, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Our 13 years, 4 months labrador retriever developed an osteogenic sarcoma, telangiectatic subtype in his left hindlimb, proximal tibia. While wating for the appointment with the oncologyst it fractured and had an amputation. The osteosarcoma developed just beneath the site of a previously irradiated cutaneous mast cell tumor ( about 4.5 years ago)
    X-rays show some nodules in the lungs, ultrasound shows maybe (not sure about this one) some nodules in the spleen. Lab tests are ok.

    After surgery he is doing very good, continues eating, chewing his toys and going out to enjoy the wind, birds, etc (he needs help to standing up and walk but it seems ok to him ( I’ve been feeding him with raw food for years, and supplements, I already bought your book and will start with the supplements you recommend)

    The thing is that the two oncologyst have different opinions, and we, who don’t know about medicine have to take a medical decision.
    One oncologyst suggested to start with Carboplaxin, then doxorubicin. If that doesn’t work Palladia.
    The other one, suggested Palladia, which is for mast cell tumors but she says is showing some succes for osteosarcoma with metastasis. She says that Carboplaxin and Doxorubicin are not so effective if there are already metastasis.
    Now in your book I find something really interesting about IL-2 and Artemisin.

    What is your recommendation?

    Thank you for listening

  19. christina on October 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    thank you Dr D.

    I just received good news on marcey’s latest stain kit 🙂

    I am very very greatful that my veterinarian is also a good personal friend of mine. He is an amazing surgeon and so damn smart!
    I am also very very greatful that I found YOU and bought your book!

  20. christina on October 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    thanks Dr D…i did have an ultrasound done of all his organs and everything is showing clear…I just made an appt with an oncologist for a consult…it is on Nov 3. Marcelino has recovered very well from both his surgeries.
    I was wondering if maybe during the first surgery, cancer cells ‘escaped” into his surrounding tissue area, thus forming another tumor within 2 months(???)
    I am bringing your book with me to the oncologist:)
    I have so many tabs and notes sticking out of it!

    marcelino’s surgery photos are found at

    • Dr. Dressler on October 25, 2009 at 8:27 am

      good news on the surgeries. Most of the current ideas on cancers indicate that the cells either were already there in the first place, or popped up “de novo” (new independent growths). There used to be big hype over potentiating spread during surgery, and although there is some merit there (including considering the drugs used for anesthesia and their influence on spread post-op), current thinking is leaning less in that direction as a generality.
      Dr D

  21. christina on October 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    teri/tess~~~~i am so sorry that your lab is not responding well to the treatment….Having 2 dogs at the current moment with MCT I can fully feel your anger and pain. I hope that she can stay pain free and comfortable and live life as good as possible…………
    [[[hugs]]] for her.

  22. Joan on October 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    My heart goes out to Teri & Tess.

    My 11 year old lab mix was diagnosed with a stage 2 grade 1 MCT on her muzzle in 6/09. She had surgery but of course they were not able to get clean margins. She has significant occlusion to both nasal passages.

    She was started on Benadryl, famotidine, and prednisone (she also takes thyroid medication). After all of her test results were complete, Palladia was added (mid July). After about 4 weeks, she developed a GI bleed (evidenced by vomiting, loss of appetite, and blood work). Palladia was stopped…Carafate and misoprostol were added.

    She’s much better! Palladia has been restarted at a lower dose and frequency. She’s been back on Palladia for about 4 weeks now and she’s doing well…still her old ‘chow hound’ self! The Carafate has been stopped, but the other meds continue.

    I’m not sure what progress is…but…the violent sneezing she was having has stopped…and…she doesn’t snore as much!

    Thanks for listening!

  23. Teri & Tess on October 11, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Dr D,
    My 13 year old lab/??? mix has been on the Palladia for almost 4 weeks, thanks to the great Doctor at the U of WI oncology department.
    I regret to report she is not respondng. She has MCT lump on her muzzle so close to her nose that surgery will not give us the clean margins needed and she also has a lump on her lymph node. I have found you site to be very enlighting and want to thank you for your dedication. Now I can only try and keep her comfortable and pain free for the remaining time I have wth her.
    Teri & Tess

  24. Mish's Mom on October 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Freezing kidney cancer: Hot treatment should be new gold standard for destroying small tumors

    • christina on October 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

      Joan! that is great news! I hope she continues to do well!

  25. Mish's Mom on October 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Why is there so little information out there on cryotherapy (freezing cancer)? Dr. Anthony Horan mentions how the body does not react to freezing as traumatically as it responds to surgical resection.

    Cancer cells may not be as prone to commit suicide (apoptosis) when there is trauma in an area because the body probably thinks it needs every cell it can recruit to deal with the trauma.

    Why no research and experimentation on the “how” and “why” of this?

  26. Carol on October 8, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Do you have any suggestions with a dog with a melanoma of the eye. My collie has a melanoma of the eye on the iris. The vets don’t want to do surgery because the cancer is position at the 1 o’clock that is where the major blood vessel runs under. It is changing on the edges only. He is on Kumpi dog food which is an antioxident and has been on it for about 2 years. He is 4 years old. I’m looking for a drop to use to dissolve the melanoma or something we can do. I’m gradually getting rid of plastics in the environment and changing to no cleaners that would affect him or leave him outside when I clean if they do have harmful fumes. This is a service dog and cancer detection dog as well. Please email on my private line carsun@comcast.net. I’m open for suggestions. Thanks Carol

  27. reyla graber on October 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Palladia was recommended by an oncologist for my (otherwise than cancer)
    healthy 15 yr. old small dog. Instead, I’m trying artemsinin, curcumin and K9 Immunity plus diet change.
    Dr. Dressler, do you know of any successes using artemisin plus DMSO
    for topical therapy. he has a largish right manidibular mass.
    Blood root was suggested by holistic vet.
    I hear can be severe necrosis etc. what have you heard re blood root, dmso etc?
    Reyla Graber

  28. Regina on October 7, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Your commentary always proves helpful. My own dog has grade 2, stage 2 MCT and is currently taking vinblastine. The plan is to initiate palladia soon so your information was particularly helpful. Are you free to comment on how we keep the other dog in the house safe? Obviously they share toys, water, beds, etc. Help if you can.

  29. christina on October 7, 2009 at 2:16 am

    my dog marcelino just had his second mast cell cancer surgery. both were grade 2 with totally clean margins of over 3 cm. As soon as i saw the tiny growth i had him in for surgery, no wait time. Lymphs are clear, muscle tissue that was taken out was clear and the vascular system was clear. The first stain kit 2 months ago came back with great news of 70 months survival…the second kit was just sent out a few days ago. my concern is 2 surgeries within 3 months. He is only 5 years old. he is an Italian greyhound.

    should we be looking into this drug or just wait………..

    • Dr. Dressler on October 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm

      Christina, you shoud get some imaging done of the liver and spleen. Recurring MCT’s sometimes are due to an internal cancer spreading out to the skin. You want to know about this if this is the case in your dog.
      Roughly 90% of Grad 2 MCT are cured with wide excision. Personal opinion, if other sources of the mast cells are ruled out, I would opt against Palladia in a case like this. Consult with your vet though as I cannot know the details of your individual dog.

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