What side effects do I have to expect with chemotherapy treatment?
Generally, chemotherapeutic drugs attack all fast growing cells. The most rapidly growing cells are tumor cells. However, also gastro-intestinal cells are rapidly dividing, therefore mild gastro-intestinal discomfort is possible: usually animals only show a mild decrease in appetite, only rarely vomiting and diarrhea are seen. These mild side effects can easily be treated.
Bone marrow cells (which are the precursors of blood cells) are also fast dividing and are also attacked by chemotherapeutic drugs. As a result, the patient's immune system may be weakened. To avoid spontaneous infections, blood checks have to be made regularly in animals undergoing chemotherapy.