Treating Testicular and Lung Cancer in Animals

Etoposide is an anti-cancer agent used by veterinarians to treat a range of different cancers. In veterinary medicine, this chemotherapy drug is most commonly used for the treatment of testicular cancer and lung cancer.

Etoposide Chemotherapy

Etoposide is effective at fighting certain types of cancers. The primary function of this agent is to inhibit the enzyme topoisomerase II, which causes errors in the DNA synthesis of the cancer cells and in turn, apoptosis of the cells. The cancer cells are rendered less likely to be able to repair the damage, leaving them more susceptible. Etoposide is most effective when administered as part of a multi-drug chemotherapy strategy.

Etoposide Precautions

Etoposide should not be administered to patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the medication. Etoposide should also not be given to patients suffering from kidney disease, or those with very weak immune systems.

Possible Side Effects of Etoposide

Etoposide is a very potent cancer-fighting drug, so there is always a risk of certain side effects developing in some animals. The most common possible side effects attributed to this drug include mild nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and temporary hair loss.

Serious potential side effects include severe nausea, fever, easy bruising or bleeding, elevated heart rate, recurring vomiting, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, and clay-colored stools.

If your pet experiences one or more of these adverse effects, contact your veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian should also be contacted right away if the animal experiences an allergic reaction, which can be identified by symptoms such as difficulty breathing, skin rash or swelling of the face, lips or tongue.

How Is Etoposide Administered?

Etoposide can be administered either intravenously or orally, depending on how the veterinarian wishes to provide treatment. Dosage and frequency of administration is determined by the veterinarian in accordance with specific data, including the type of animal, the type of cancer being treated, and additional information.

Author: Giano Panzarella