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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. Kathy Chang on May 26, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    When is the best time of the day to give this medication (morning or evening)? So that if my dog has any side effects it would be during the times that I am with him.
    Thank you

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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 :

      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:

      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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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,

  10. 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….

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