Feline Cancer Care: Chemotherapy in Practice 

- FREE CPD Webinar | Recording available now -

The administration of chemotherapy to cats presents a potentially effective way to provide significant benefits in tumour control with a good quality of life for certain feline cancers. 

There are many positive aspects of being able to do this in practice including shorter travel times for feline patients, convenience for owners, and professional and personal development for those working in this patient-centred field of veterinary medicine. 

There are, however, a number of important considerations when prescribing this treatment modality. These include patient and owner compliance with treatment protocols, the safe administration of drugs, the occurrence and management of treatment-related side effects, and the handling of patients in the hospital and then home environment after treatment, (where there is risk of exposure to patient excreta and saliva, and therefore drug metabolites) 

As the vast majority of chemotherapy agents used in veterinary oncology are human products, appropriate tablet sizes and correct injectable drug concentrations can pose a challenge; often the use of reformulated drugs is required for accurate and safe dosing, and to prevent toxicity.

Some medications are also dosed orally on a continuous basis, and therefore nurse and veterinary staff in practice must be able to educate on the safe handling of chemotherapy agents, demonstrate drug administration, and establish that this can be done safely by the owners at home.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify cancer diagnoses where chemotherapy represents an important and effective treatment modality
  • Understand how to establish safe and effective chemotherapy protocols in practice, or in the home environment if appropriate 
  • Understand how to manage chemotherapy related side effects in feline patients 
  • Understand what is meant by patient quality of life, and how to measure and assess it 
  • Develop skills in communication of information relating to serious or terminal diagnoses, and how to implement effective end of life care for feline cancer patients  

Presented By: Dr Iain Grant

Dr. Iain Grant qualified from the University of Bristol in 1990 and worked for 4 years in mixed practice in Yorkshire, before moving to live in New Zealand where he worked in small animal practice for 7 years. 

With an active interest in science and broadcast communication, he completed a 1-year Diploma in Natural History Filmmaking in 2002. He then moved to Sydney to take up a position as veterinary business development manager for Nestlé Purina Petcare in their pet nutrition business. 

Iain moved to the USA in 2004, completing a residency in medical oncology at the Universities of California Davis and Ohio State. In 2008 he was appointed as a clinician teacher at The University of Liverpool, where he worked for several years before moving to The University of Glasgow in mid-2013. 

In 2016 Iain moved to his current position in private speciality practice. Iain is also co-director of Chemopet LLP, a company providing consultancy advice and safely prepared chemotherapy pharmaceuticals for treatment of small animal cancer patients in practice. 

Iain’s research interests include quality of life considerations in veterinary cancer patients, cancer pain, and proteomics in canine lymphoma. Iain is the vice president of the European Society of Veterinary Oncology and holds the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Diploma in small animal medical oncology. 

He is also an RCVS recognised Specialist in Oncology.

Feline Friends is a registered charity dedicated to relieving the suffering and distress of cats which are in need of care and attention, be it due to sickness, bad treatment, or poor circumstances. They also seek to assist the public in understanding more about the welfare of cats. 

They do not compete with other charities which, in their opinion, are striving towards similar aims; on the contrary, they frequently give them their tangible support.  

Their focus is very much centred upon sponsoring and publishing research into the ailments which afflictt our 'feline companions' and the various treatments available to veterinary surgeons (and therefore cat owners) for relieving the suffering of our furry friends.  

The trustees of Feline Friends believe that we all still have a great deal to learn about our cats and their care, and that far more research needs to be undertaken. 

They hope that collaboration with veterinary surgeons, universities, and colleges will help them in these endeavours, and will strive to provide insight to us all on how to ensure our feline friends lead full and healthy lives. 

Thank you so much to Feline Friends for their kind sponsorship of this webinar!