The Eldorado Animal Clinic Cancer And Palliative Care Center
- Cancer Services Home
- Palliative Care at Eldorado Animal Clinic
- Have Questions About Cancer in Pets? Ask Dr. Leslie Eisert
Dedicated to the advancement of compassionate cancer treatment and palliative services for your beloved family member.
We recognize that a diagnosis of cancer can be disheartening, even frightening. When you walk through the doors of the Eldorado Animal Clinic Cancer and Palliative Care Center, our first priority will be to empower you with the knowledge you will need to make the best possible medical decisions for your companion. We present as many options as possible so that you and your family can choose and customize the best treatment plan that fits your needs and expectations.
Your veterinarian, Dr. Leslie K. Eisert, D.V.M. will guide you step by step through all the options and alternatives available to you here in Santa Fe, as well as coordinating referrals to board-certified oncologists in Albuquerque, Colorado and Arizona. Dr. Eisert has offered skilled cancer treatment and palliative services in Santa Fe for nearly two decades. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1995, completed a small animal internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey ( the largest small animal specialty hospital in the United States), and received advanced residency training in Medical Oncology at the University of California-Davis. She utilizes her training in cytology and ultrasound to diagnose malignancies in companion animals quickly and inexpensively, often allowing for a treatment plan to be formulated at your very first visit.
“Treating our beloved companions with cancer is so much more than medicine and technology,” according to Dr. Eisert, “It is about ensuring quality of life.. quality of life that extends to the entire family, non-human AND human.” With this guiding philosophy in mind, it has become her moral imperative to travel with you during your pet’s journey through cancer treatment. “Cancer treatment CAN be expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining, but it doesn’t have to be,” Dr. Eisert reminds one of her clients on their first visit with their dog Watson, recently diagnosed with a mast cell tumor on his leg. “We can devise a protocol that will still fit into your financial picture, but will maximize Watson’s chances for a good quality of life, maybe even with the possibility of a cure.” She went on to explain how surgery had left some of the cancer behind, and that the mast cell tumor found was aggressive and would need further treatment to keep it from coming back or spreading internally. After consideration of all of the treatment options presented… including costs, possible side-effects, time and travel needs, etc., the clients were able to choose for themselves the best protocol for Watson and their family.
Most everyone is familiar with chemotherapy. We have either experienced it personally, or know someone else who has. Unfortunately, most people suffer significant debilitating side-effects while undergoing chemotherapy, and if asked, would not want to see their pet suffer the same negative side-effects. In veterinary medicine however, we do things differently. We do not employ the intensive treatment schedules and doses utilized in human oncology, instead weighing the balance in favor of quality of life for your companion while treating the cancer as aggressively as possible. Of course, there are always side-effects to chemotherapy agents, but we strive to minimize and prevent those untoward effects in our patients.
Potential side effects: we generally talk about the “BAG” of side effects in chemotherapy treatment
B- Bone Marrow Suppression: Chemotherapy drugs kill or destroy rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells, but also kills other rapidly dividing normal cells as well such as those in our bone marrow. White blood cells are needed to fight infection, red blood cells allow our bodies carry oxygen efficiently, and platelets are needed for proper blood clotting. A complete blood count will be performed before each treatment is given to insure that your pet has an adequate amount of these cells to remain healthy.
A- Alopecia: Another word for hair loss. Those areas that are shaved may be slow to grow back on your pet, or he or she may shed excessively. Dogs who have continuously growing hair (such as those breeds who must be clipped at the groomer-poodles, etc) may lose larger amounts of fur, but will not “go bald” as people might.
G- Gastrointestinal. Occasionally, some drugs may cause inappetence, diarrhea or nausea. We are very proactive in preventing gi side effects and will send you home with medications to avoid problems whenever possible.
Certain drugs have very specific and individualized potential adverse effects. These possible side-effects will be discussed with you at length prior to utilizing them in your dog or cat’s treatment protocol.