Canines and felines suffer from many of the same cancers as humans, and diagnostic procedures and treatment options are systemically similar. This parallel is further supported by Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital’s oncologists, who are firmly committed to research, education, communication and compassionate care, much like their human oncologist counterparts.

Early detection is the key to successfully treating cancers in dogs and cats. If any of the following warning signs become evident, a primary care veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital such as SCVSH should be contacted as soon as possible:

  • Abnormal swellings or nodules that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any orifice
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

An accurate diagnosis dramatically increases the chances of cancer survival, and its importance must not be compromised before treatment begins. As such, SCVSH provides a range of oncologic diagnostics, including:

  • Lab tests such as TKI, PARR and flow cytometry analysis
  • Bone marrow aspirations, tumor cytologies, incisional and excisional biopsies, and other minimally invasive procedures
  • Diagnostic imaging, including radiographs, ultrasound and MRI
After an accurate diagnosis is determined, oncologists at SCVSH consult with primary care veterinarians and family members to provide treatment options for each pet based on probability of success and quality of life during and after therapy.

Options may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Participation in clinical trials
  • Palliative care


Regardless of what treatment plan is decided, SCVSH’s oncologists are firmly committed to relieving pain and suffering, supporting and strengthening the human-animal bond, and maintaining a pet’s quality of life that is as optimal as possible.