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Central Toronto Veterinary Referral Clinic


At Central Toronto Veterinary Referral Clinic, we treat your pets as we would our own. We strive to provide a comprehensive approach to each patient's care. This means that our oncologist, Dr. Kostas Rigas, and our team will ensure that all medical needs are being met, and your pet's comfort and quality of life are at the forefront of all decisions.

About Cancer in Pets

Pets are living longer, healthier lives thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, preventive care, and nutrition. As the lifespan of pets increases, however, so does their risk for developing cancer. Unfortunately, cancer is becoming more common in dogs and cats, and the number of cases continues to rise. The good news is, many cancers can be successfully treated, and the outcomes are often positive. Seeking treatment from a veterinary cancer specialist as soon as a pet is diagnosed with cancer has been shown to lead to an improved outcome—much like with humans. In fact, advances in veterinary oncology parallel those in human medicine, and today there are many options available for treatment. It is important to remember that while cancer generally affects older animals, they are often able to tolerate many of the same treatments as younger animals, bringing new hope to pet owners for a positive experience.

If your pet is diagnosed with or suspected of having cancer, we recommend that you schedule a visit with our veterinary medical oncologist who will create a tailored program of expert care to achieve the best possible outcome.

A Diagnosis of Cancer Doesn’t Always Mean Goodbye

Early detection and consultation with a veterinary oncologist leads to positive outcomes in most cases. Remember that cancer is not just one disease; there are hundreds of different tumor types, and they all respond uniquely to treatment. Even with the most aggressive cancers, we can help to provide comfort, pain control, and support for you and your pet.

Cancer Care Options Offered by Our Oncology Service at CTVRC:

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often used to treat cancers that have spread, or have a high likelihood of spreading, to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy drugs are most commonly administered intravenously or orally. Chemotherapy treatment is given on an outpatient basis, and our team will schedule appointments based on the protocol determined by our Oncology specialist. For most pets, chemotherapy is very well tolerated with much fewer side effects in animals than in humans. Pets generally see good results with chemotherapy treatment. The number and frequency of treatments will depend on the type of cancer diagnosis and overall treatment goals.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is another commonly used form of cancer treatment in veterinary medicine. Immunotherapy is a treatment that stimulates the pet’s immune system to fight off particular cancer cells.

Surgery: Surgical intervention is often used to control or eliminate local cancer mass to improve the pet's quality of life. The best chance to achieve complete removal of cancer during surgery is during the first procedure.

Palliative Care: Palliative care is a therapy that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and discomfort associated with cancer. Since our main goal is to improve the quality of life for your pet, palliative care may be a good treatment option to consider. Palliative care may include pain management, medications to stimulate appetite, and medications to help with nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

Additional Options: Radiation therapy is another common treatment option for pets with cancer. Our oncologist may discuss radiation therapy and other options during your consultation and can refer you and your pet to a veterinary radiation oncologist.

Request an Appointment

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with our oncologist, Dr. Kostas Rigas, please fill out our 'contact us' form linked below so we can coordinate a referral from your primary care veterinarian.

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