How to Manage Side Effects from Dog Lymphoma Treatment

Pet owner getting her dog to eatAlthough TANOVEA™-CA1 (rabacfosadine for injection) is a promising new dog lymphoma treatment, it — like virtually all cancer treatments — can produce side effects. Common side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. While these issues tend to be low grade in most cases, they are nevertheless things you want to manage as effectively as possible to keep your dog comfortable.

Addressing Issues that Arise During Cancer Treatment

The side effects of dog lymphoma treatment might be fairly labeled a “necessary consequence” of the medication. However, you still want to do all you can to minimize them and maximize your dog’s quality of life. Below are some things you can do if side effects occur:

  • Nausea. Decreased appetite, drooling, or repeatedly approaching the food bowl without eating are signs that your dog may be experiencing nausea. What should you do? First, take the food away temporarily. There’s no point in having the dog both attracted to and repelled by the smell of it. Instead, offer your dog ice cubes every few hours. In many cases, your vet will prescribe anti-nausea medication that can be administered when your dog starts avoiding food. After the dog has had the meds onboard for 12 hours, try offering very small but frequent meals. If your dog eats them, you can slowly increase the portion size and decrease the frequency. If the medication is not effective and nausea continues for more than 24 hours, contact your vet. There are many anti-nausea medications. In most cases, you’ll be able to find one that works for your dog.
  • Vomiting. If your dog begins vomiting, you should withhold food and water for 12-24 hours. If the vomiting is infrequent enough that you believe your dog can keep medication down, give the anti-nausea meds your vet has prescribed as directed. Assuming there has been no additional vomiting for 12-24 hours, offer ice cubes. If those are tolerated for 12-24 hours, you can start your dog on a bland diet consisting of things like boiled chicken or cottage cheese with rice. There are also commercially prepared foods for this purpose. If there continues to be no vomiting for a number of hours, you can start returning your dog to their normal diet. Be aware that extensive vomiting can lead to serious dehydration. If at any point the vomiting persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by a fever of greater than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you should contact your vet or take your pet to an emergency clinic if your vet’s office is closed.
  • Diarrhea. If your dog begins experiencing diarrhea, offer them the bland diet along with plenty of fresh water. Pets undergoing dog cancer treatment may be prescribed anti-diarrheal medication. If so, give that as directed. If necessary, human anti-diarrheals can be used in some cases. Talk with your vet before administering them.

Fighting Cancer is a Team Effort

Battling canine lymphoma is no easy task. But with TANOVEA™-CA1 (rabacfosadine for injection) attacking the cancer and you tending to any side effects the dog lymphoma treatment may cause, you are giving your best friend a fighting chance.