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

The Right Time for Chemotherapy Drugs for Dog Cancer?

Updated: December 19th, 2018

I have been posting on what a huge issue timing can be when it comes to dog cancer treatments.

In conventional cancer care, this area is utterly overlooked, except in Europe (especially France) and only a couple of spots in the US.

Why does it matter?

Well,  dogs (as well as people, other animals, plants, algae, and “lower” life forms) have different things happening at different times in a 24 hour day.

This means that, universally, there are certain processes going on in the morning, afternoon, and night.

These processes influence the handling of drugs in the body very, very significantly.  When you are talking about chemotherapy, this matters enormously.

Chemo drugs can have toxic effects, more so than most other drugs.  If we can use them at certain times of the day when their toxicity is lower, we gain massive treatment ground!!

I spoke with the father of American chronotherapy, who gave me his best wisdom on the topic.  Now, the times he came up with may not be in available publications, at least not yet.  He was giving me the information so I could help dogs at my practice.

So, this information is from me.  I am choosing to share it with you because I think that if these guidelines are followed, like the studies in rats and humans, we see massive side effect reduction, and better effects in dogs with cancer!

For more helpful information and tools, get a copy of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Please understand this whole science is new, and for most Americans, pretty much unheard of.

So don’t be surprised when your vet or oncologist has no clue what you are talking about. But please rest assured, like everything in this blog, chronotherapy is not whoo-hoo mumbo jumbo. It has been demonstrated in good quality scientific studies.

Here they are*:

CCNU (Lomustine) : 4 PM +/- 2hours
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin): early AM
Platinum Drugs (Cisplatin, Carboplatin): 4-6 PM
Corticosteriods (Prednisolone, Prednisone, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone): early AM
5-FU: middle of the night
Cyclophosphamide: early AM
Vinca Alkaloids (Vincristine, Vinblastine): Mid-Day

*based on human and rodent studies.

Use this information and share it with your vet or oncologist!


Dr D


Leave a Comment

  1. Danette simpson on November 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    What happens if my dog cannot eat enough food to survive whi
    E on Palladia
    He is talking cerenia and Remeron and interested in eating but smells food the looks away

    • Molly Jacobson on December 2, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Aloha Danette! Typically when a dog seems hungry but turns away at the last minute it’s because they are nauseous. Think about how you feel when you are ill, and you are sooooo hungry, but then you smell food and it just makes you feel sicker? That MIGHT be what’s happening with your dog. Cerenia is an anti-nausea drug, so if it’s not helping, tell your veterinarian that you’re still having problems. He might need extra support or even a night in the hospital to get IV nutrition to get him through this rough patch. And if Palladia is really the problem, maybe your veterinarian has another dose or method to try.

  2. Della Strong on August 19, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I do not see Palladia on your list of Chemo drugs, and timing of dose. My Boston is receiving it for a large Chemodectoma on his carotid artery as well as a heart base tumor. I administer it M,W,F at 7pm. He has developed the severe cramping, which caused us to take a week and half break. Fingers crossed it does not return.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Molly Jacobson on August 19, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Hi Della, the research hasn’t been done on every single drug. 🙁

  3. Charlene in WI on November 24, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Palladia for MCTs: unknown?

  4. Margaret Sheehy on August 2, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Is there a best time for Palladia?

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