Oncology long distance
At the Animal Referral Hospital we understand the difficulties associated with treating a pet with cancer.
It is an extremely emotional and overwhelming time for owners and many pets can require prolonged treatment and regular visits to hospital, which is not always feasible due to distance or lifestyle constraints.
Through ARH’s online oncology service, our oncologists remotely support veterinarians to manage their patient’s cancer treatment. We will assist you to treat your patient in the comfort of your veterinary clinic while providing the added support of an oncologist overseeing their care.
On this site you can read about our oncologists’ experience, our online oncology consultation process and additional cancer resources for veterinarians and pet owners.
ARH is extremely fortunate to have the only combined medical and surgical oncology team in Australia.
Medical oncology specialist, Dr Kathleen O’Connell, and surgical oncology specialist, Dr Maurine Thomson have between them nearly 30 years of experience in the field and together provide Australia’s only truly comprehensive veterinary cancer treatment service.
They are supported by medical oncology registrar, Dr Elizabeth Morgan, who has recently completed a three year specialist training program.
Dr Kathleen O’Connell
Dr Maurine Thomson
Small Animal Surgery and Surgical Oncology Specialist
Dr Elizabeth Morgan
Small Animal Oncology Resident
Our online oncology consultation process is flexible and can be conducted over the phone, via email or through the below consultation form.
If you would like to make a phone consultation appointment please contact us on +617 3172 0593 and our receptionists will be happy to help organise this.
If you would like to email through your patient’s details, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then contact you directly if further information is required.
Alternatively, please fill out the following information to enable us to get started on your case. We will contact you within 24 hours of receiving this information.
Numerous studies have outlined the significant risk associated with exposure to chemotherapy drugs. While some associated health risks are short term with mild symptoms such as skin irritation, others are longer term with severe health concerns such as infertility, birth defects and a higher risk of certain cancer development, including leukaemia.
These risks must be taken seriously which is why at the Animal Referral Hospital we use a closed system device. This provides the highest level of protection to enable us to deliver optimal care without compromising our team members’ safety. We recommend this approach to other veterinarians administering injectable chemotherapy in house.
There are currently multiple closed system devices available on the Australian market. Please contact us if you would like more information about these systems and acquiring equipment.
The following fact sheets provide an overview of some of the key information on chemotherapy drugs, such as their chemical make-up, first aid and safety measures for drug exposure, disposal, transporting and regulatory information.
Many oral medications used in our protocols are compounded to more specific doses. Please contact us if you would like more information about these chemotherapy agents and supply of these drugs.
Drugs often used include:
- Cyclophosphamide (3mg, 5mg, 7mg, 10mg, 12mg, 15mg, 20mg, 50mg)
- CCNU (5mg, 10mg, 40mg)
- Procarbazine (15mg, 50mg)
- Toceranib (10mg, 15mg, 50mg)
For more information please contact us on +617 3172 0593.
There are a range of complementary therapies available to patients with cancer. On this site we focus on palliative care and physiotherapy.
Palliative care can improve the quality of life for your patients diagnosed with terminal cancer, providing relief of any discomfort. This has the added benefit of providing peace of mind for your patients’ families. For some animals, palliative care can be beneficial from the time of diagnosis and our oncologists can provide advice on the best palliative care options for individual patients.
The Australian Veterinary Palliative Advisory Council (AVPAC) was established in 2017 to develop and support the best veterinary palliative care medicine in Australia. It is currently the only group of its type in Australia. AVPAC aims to integrate knowledge across many disciplines within the veterinary and allied health fields to provide advice on improving quality of life for terminal patients.
Sunset Home Veterinary Care is a team of veterinarians who are compassionate about providing quality geriatric and palliative care. They can provide contact information about veterinary oncology specialists, physiotherapists, grief counsellors and alternative therapies.
Animal physiotherapy is an important component in the treatment and management of many conditions in small animal patients. In terms of oncology, physiotherapists aim to provide improved quality of life, reduced pain and to restore function in dogs and cats with cancer. Treatment can be started as soon as a cancer diagnosis is made and to encourage recovery from surgery.
In this section you will find a range of resources for owners regarding the treatment of pets with cancer.
Information for owners
The Australian Canine Cancer organisation is dedicated to canine cancer awareness. It provides relevant information for pet owners regarding types of cancers diagnosed and up to date treatment options in companion animals. There are links available to worldwide cancer studies and trials.
The International Cat Care charity provides information on cancer in cats, including types of cancers, how cancer is diagnosed, clinical signs and treatment options.
Dealing with grief
The loss of a pet to cancer can cause heartbreak for the family. Everyone grieves differently and it’s not uncommon for clients to show sadness, anger, denial or the inability to complete normal daily activities.
Pets and People provide a support network for grieving pet owners following the loss of their pet. Their aim is to connect pet owners with an experienced grief counsellor to help support them through this difficult time.