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

Radiation Treatment For Dogs: Advice From Veterinarians

Updated: November 14th, 2018

In Full Spectrum Care, we consider every treatment that might help fight dog cancer. Radiation treatment for dogs is a conventional approach available in some veterinary hospitals, and it might be of use to some patients. Essentially, a radiation treatment is when a large amount of energy is targeted in a very narrow beam at the specific area of the body where your dog’s cancer is located.

The energy disrupts the function of cells in that area and causes them to die as they divide. Since cancer cells generally divide at a much faster rate than normal cells, radiation may help reduce tumor size and proliferation. Radiation is a serious therapy and a board certified radiation oncologist will need to be consulted.

There were many studies, articles and books Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger used when writing The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. Here is a list of the most important references about the use of radiation. Please note that in vivo and clinical use citations were included whenever possible. We also include links to the papers, where available. Most of the papers are found on the National Institute of Health’s online library, PubMed.

  • Radiation therapy. Lattimer JC, Bommarito, et al, in Henry CJ, Higginbotham ML (ed): Cancer Management in Small Animal Practice. Missouri. Saunders Elsevier 2010, p 146-56.
  • Radiation therapy. LaRue SM, Gillette EL, in Withrow SJ, Vail DM (eds): Withrow & MacEwen’s Small Animal Clinical Oncology. Missouri, Saunders Elsevier, 2007, pp 193-210.
  • Four fraction palliative radiotherapy for osteosarcoma in 24 dogs. Green EM, Adams WM, Forrest LJ. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 38(5):445, 2002.
  • Palliative radiotherapy for canine appendicular osteosarcoma. McEntee MC, Page RL, Novotney CA, et al. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 34:367, 1993.
  • Palliative radiotherapy of appendicular osteosarcoma in 95 dogs. Ramirez O 3rd, Dodge RK, Page RL, et al. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 40:517, 1999.

For further information on radiation treatment for dogs, consult Dr Ettinger’s writings on radiation in Chapter 11 of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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