With some cancers, oral strategies of chemotherapy are great choices and make more sense. There are a variety of chemotherapy agents that can be compounded into an oral capsule and taken at home. Drugs are being developed called small molecule inhibitors that directly target specific receptors on the surface of cancer cells, the blood supply to tumors and the microenvironment that cancer tries to survive in.
Oral chemotherapy is well tolerated by the patient and offers a convenient for many clients. Chemotherapy breakdown products are eliminated from the body through the urine and/or feces for 24 to 48 hours after administration. We recommend using good hygiene when cleaning up after your pet’s waste – wear latex gloves and wash your hands after cleaning urine, feces and vomit immediately following treatment. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should limit exposure to chemotherapy and waste products. The excreted compounds are not airborne, so there is no harm in being around an animal who is panting, and there is miniscule risk with coming in contact with saliva.
Wear medical latex gloves when handling any chemotherapy pills. Never open the capsules or crush tablets as they have a protective coating. You may place pills in a small ball of food, peanut butter, or cream cheese to tempt your pet to take them.