Cat and Dog Cancer Care:
What Do I Do Now?
in Syracuse, NY

My pet has been diagnosed with cancer. What do I do now? First…take a breath. You just received some devastating news. Although cancer is the leading cause of death in older cats and dogs, there are treatment options available. Our Oncology Service is committed to providing state-of-the-art diagnostics and individualized patient care while making your pet’s quality of life our top priority.

Advances in cat and dog cancer treatments are made every day and many types of cancers are treatable. In fact, dogs and cats with cancer are living months or even years longer than they would have with the same types of cancers just a few years ago. Many cancers in animals, while still very serious, can largely be managed as “chronic conditions” with ongoing surveillance and/or treatment, similar to the way veterinarians treat heart disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.

The Oncology Service’s primary goal is to preserve your pet’s quality of life for as long as possible. We do not believe in preserving life at any cost but will customize a protocol specifically for your pet. We also prioritize the needs (emotional and practical) of the human portion of the family, ensuring your entire family is treated honorably and compassionately.

Ask your primary care veterinarian to arrange a referral to the VMC’s Oncology Service today.

Commonly Asked Questions About Our Pet Oncology Service

Here are a few things to know about our Oncology Service in Syracuse, NY.

Veterinary Oncology Syracuse Ny

About Our Cat and Dog Cancer Care Services at VMC

The VMC Oncology Service provides a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic services for cats and dogs with cancer. These services include:

  • Cytology
  • Biopsy
  • Digital radiographs
  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Bone marrow testing

There is also ready access to advanced diagnostics such as flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and immunocytochemistry. These comprehensive services help us develop the best treatment plan for your pet with cancer.

Specialty Services to Support Your Pet’s Cancer Treatment

Your pet’s care under our Oncology Service is further enhanced with our other specialty services, particularly:

24-Hour Emergency and Critical Care

Our 24-hour availability dispels any worry that your pet will have complications after hours or when Dr. Rassnick is not available. These services are available, educated, and have access to your pet's oncology history, should your pet experience complications.

Surgical Services

Patients move fluidly and rapidly between the Oncology and Surgical Services, ensuring that tumors and masses are removed, and appropriate treatment is administered right away.

Pain Management Center

Our Pain Management Center at CARE Pet Therapy combines pharmaceutically based pain control with gentle physical rehabilitation, massage, and acupuncture. This service works closely with all other services to develop individual protocols for your pet.

Along with these services, the Oncology Service will make sure you and your pet have access to a full range of care including Internal Medicine and Nutrition consultations. In addition to your pet’s medical needs, we are also committed to supporting the social and emotional needs of you and your family.

Doctor Holding Brown Dog

Cat and Dog
Cancer Treatment Options

The mission of our Oncology Service is to provide cutting-edge treatments for your pet while focusing on their quality of life. We have numerous, up-to-date chemotherapy protocols to treat a wide range of cancers. The melanoma vaccine (Oncept®) and targeted drugs such as Palladia® and Masitinib® are also available. Radiation therapy is not offered on-site. Dr. Rassnick can provide consults regarding the potential usefulness of radiation in your pet’s treatment program. It may be beneficial in certain cases, and we can assist you in obtaining this treatment for your pet if appropriate.

What to Expect if You Are Referred to Our Pet Oncology Service

The professional staff at the VMC offers pet owners experience and expertise, dedicated customer service, and compassionate individualized care for your pet. The oncology consultation will provide you with information and peace of mind so you can make the best possible choices for your family and your pet.

  • Initial oncology consultations usually take one hour. During that time, we review your pet’s complete medical history and perform a comprehensive physical examination.
  • You will meet with Dr. Rassnick during the consultation, and he will discuss his recommendations for further diagnostics and/or treatments.
  • With the exception of diabetic pets, no food should be given after 10 pm the evening before your pet’s initial oncology appointment, as some diagnostic tests can only be performed and accurately interpreted when pets are fasted. You should continue to allow your pet to have free access to water.