FAQ-Cancer Resource Center-Miscellaneous

If you think it’s a cancer related emergency, call ER phone. If anything else, call RDVM. If there is ever a question about which to call, don’t hesitate to call us.

First, you should alert your physician that your pet is currently on chemotherapy. Second, if possible, have another member of your household clean up any pet related waste products—urine, stool or vomit. If you must handle these waste products, use gloves, pet waste bags, or wash your hands thoroughly. 

Why is this important?

It is possible that toxins the mother is exposed to during pregnancy can adversely affect the developing baby. By knowing what precautions to take, you and your child’s safety are protected.

How will exposure affect my unborn child?

New research has found that children born to mothers treated with chemotherapy during the last two trimesters of pregnancy appear to be normal, completely unaffected by the experience. It is always better to be safe and minimize any exposure to chemotherapy, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.

What are the risks if I have to clean up after my pet if I am alone?

With the appropriate precautions—gloves, pet waste bags, thorough hand washing, and the proper disposal of contaminated materials—the risks are minimal.

When is it alright for me to clean up after my pet?

If it is possible to have someone else clean up the waste for the first 48-72 hours after each treatment, you can minimize your exposure. In addition, if you do not directly handle the medications, you will minimize the exposure to yourself and your child.

Where should I dispose of the waste from my pet?

Feces or flushable litter may be flushed down the toilet or put in a plastic bag and disposed of in the garbage. If your pet urinates or defecates in your yard, hosing the area down on a regular basis is advisable. If your pet’s bedding becomes contaminated with waste—feces, urine or vomit—it should be washed in the laundry separately.

Our first recommendation would be to check a rectal temperature to rule out a fever which could indicate that medical attention is needed. You can go to your local drug store and purchase a rectal thermometer and take your pets temperature. Designate this thermometer for your pets use only – use a small amount of Vaseline on the end of the probe and insert about an inch into the rectum. A normal temperature for dogs and cats is 100-102.5°F. If you pets temperature is elevated, we will likely ask you to bring your pet in for evaluation either with us or your local veterinarian. You can also look at the color of your pets gums you want them to be pink – if the gums appear pale or white we will likely recommend immediate evaluation. Some pets just take a few days to get back to normal after treatments so this may be normal for them. Always call if you are concerned.