Chemotherapy Safety Measures for You and Your Pets
Maggie has had two chemotherapy treatments and we’re happy to report she seems to be doing great, no side effects other than a little tiredness. In the course of my research into her cancer treatment, I came upon some materials regarding safety for your self and your other animals if one of your pets is undergoing chemotherapy. I admit I hadn’t really thought about any potential hazards to Jack or to myself, so I was glad I found them.
Here’s some of the important points I learned:
- The drugs stay in your pets system for 48-72 hours. The drug will be eliminated through urine and feces so any handling of these materials during that 72 hours period should be done with rubber gloves and disposed of safely. If your dog gets sick, the vomit may also contain traces of the drug and the same precautions should be used.
- Keep your other pets away from the places the patient may urinate or defecate, and obviously keep children away as well. If the patient is a cat, the litter box should be cleaned immediately after use and thoroughly decontaminated after the 72 hour time frame.
- Any accidents in the house should be thoroughly decontaminated with a mixture of bleach and water.
- If you are giving oral medications at home, handle the medication careful – wearing rubber gloves is recommended. I shouldn’t have to say this, but store the medication out of reach of children and pets. Never break or crush the oral medications.
- Since the chemotherapy drugs are affecting your pet’s immune system, it is important to keep them as strong as possible. Vaccinations should not be given while in treatment unless discussed with and approved by your vet.
- It is okay for your other pet’s to be around the cancer patient, just use caution to prevent them from coming in contact with urine, stools or vomit.
- If you are pregnant, another family member should manage your pet’s medication and clean-up – be sure and tell your doctor your pet is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Here’s a great resource with a long list of questions from the Veterinary Cancer Center regarding chemotherapy and how it impacts your dog and family, Frequently Asked Questions…all those questions you want to ask your vet. The more informed you are the better prepared you will be to handle whatever comes up.
— SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) September 28, 2015