Pet Chemotherapy and My Household

Many pet parents are concerned that the chemotherapeutic or immunotherapeutic drugs can affect others in their households.

Pet Parents can take some precautions to assure themselves that everyone is protected in their households. 

First, be sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly.  This is a routinely good practice for all.

Secord, According to researchers at ANIVIVE and VetVine, chemotherapy drugs stay in our pet’s system for 72 hours.  The risk to others is during this time because chemotherapy is eliminated via urine, stool, saliva and vomit.

Here are steps to take during those 72 hours to protect everyone in your household:

  1. Mark off the 72 hours on your calendar as a reminder
  2. Do not take your pet to any pet park or social encounter during these hours
  3. If you have a multi-pet household ask your provider about recommendations regarding separating your pet undergoing treatment from other pets as different points of view exist about this.
  4. If you are told to separate pets or feel more comfortable doing so, good ways to separate them include use of baby gates, crates, or sending well pets on extended playdates if possible.  Try not to make the separation feel like punishment.
  5. Plan ahead to make this time go smoothly as can be
  6. If you are a cat parent, change out the litter box frequently
  7. Wash pet bedding more frequently, too
  8. Pet parents should wear gloves to clean urine, feces, saliva or vomit to avoid exposure
  9. If you are exposed, wash with water and call your physician
  10. Very young children, pregnant women, or people with immune compromise should not risk exposure to pet urine, vomit, feces or saliva. If this is someone in your household, speak with your provider about alternatives
  11. Always dispose of materials properly either flushed in the toilet or bagged and placed in outside, secured garbage.
  12. This is the time to share with your professional provider if you have specific concerns about your household.

Don’t Be Shy!  Ask Your Vet and Find Out Why.