What to Expect if My Pet Needs Chemotherapy

This service is available at:
Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

During your first visit, our oncologist will discuss your pet’s diagnosis and go over an individualized chemotherapy plan.

You will receive a summary of the visit as well as handouts that provide information on the actions, precautions and possible side effects of chemotherapy drugs.  Never hesitate to call, or ask,  if you have questions. We’re here to help.

Once you make the decision to pursue chemotherapy for your pet:

  • Schedule an appointment and set up subsequent appointments for your pet’s chemotherapy based on the treatment plan and recommendation of the oncologist.
    These appointments typically take between 1-1.5 hours.
    It is also possible to schedule the chemotherapy appointment as a drop-off appointment where you can leave your pet at the hospital in the morning, they will be treated during the day while they are here.  Typically they will be able to go home around lunch time, but they are welcome to stay as long as needed.
  • When you drop your pet off for treatment, a technician will ask about your pet’s health and behavior during the previous week, how medications are going, if refills are needed, etc.  We will need a phone number where you can be reached during the day.
  • We will draw a blood sample for a CBC (Complete Blood Count).  This blood test is required before administration of chemotherapy to ensure that the white blood cells are adequate for treatment.
  • If your pet requires an intravenous drug, an IV catheter will be placed in a leg to administer the treatment.  Occasionally, light sedation may be required in order to keep your pet still during treatment.

If you have additional, more specific questions, please check to see if it has been answered here: frequently asked questions on chemotherapy, or call.

Helpful Links

24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760


Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110


Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801


Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801



Lebanon, NH 03766


General Practice, Emergency & Specialty

Bulger Veterinary Hospital

North Andover, MA 01845
ER: 978.725.5544 GP: 978.682.9905