Oncology is the study and treatment of cancer; veterinary oncology is the study and treatment of cancer in dogs, cats and other exotic and domestic animals.

The Ontario Veterinary College Oncology service emphasizes a team-based approach to veterinary oncology. Through consultation and collaboration with OVC’s cancer team — including a radiation oncologist, surgical oncologist and medical oncologists as well as our veterinary social work service, referring veterinarians and animal owners are able to explore the full range of options available. Our service also works hand-in-hand with the other specialists within the Health Sciences Centre to ensure the best possible care for our patients.

In most cases, your referring veterinarian will recommend that you be referred to the OVC HSC Oncology Service if your pet has been diagnosed with or is suspected to have cancer. Your pet will be evaluated by the OVC Cancer team to determine the best possible treatment.

Like human medicine, there are a variety of different types of cancer that can affect the bodies of our companion animals. It is important for our clinicians to first diagnose what type of cancer it is before treating because the different types of cancer carry varying prognosis and response to the treatment used. Below is a list of cancers commonly seen in our dogs and cats.

Common Animal Cancer Services conditions

  • Canine Lymphoma
  • Canine Osteosarcoma
  • Canine Mast cell tumour
  • Canine Hemangiosarcoma
  • Canine Histiocytic Sarcoma
  • Anal sac adenocarcinoma
  • Canine Mammary gland tumour
  • Nasal tumour
  • Oral tumour
  • Feline Injection site Sarcoma
  • Feline Lymphoma
  • Feline Mast Cell Tumour
  • Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Treatment Options

Nowadays, more and more treatment options are becoming available as a way to treat cancer in animals. Here, at the Animal Cancer Centre our main goals in cancer treatment are to provide a good quality of life to our patients and to prolong survival. We strive to offer the best recommendations to treat your pet, but the ultimate decision maker is always the client. We recognize that our clients and their pets are unique individuals, so we make every effort to meet their individual needs and circumstances. The Animal Cancer Centre offers the following treatment options:

Local treatment:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy

Systemic treatment:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy

What is a Veterinary Specialist?

In addition to completing undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, Board-certified Veterinary Specialists have completed an internship and residency in a specialized field (an additional 3-5 years training). In addition to this extensive training, a Board-certified Veterinary Specialist must pass rigorous examinations to achieve Board certification.

A veterinary oncologist is specially trained to diagnose and treat animals with cancer. A veterinary oncologist is board-certified as a specialist in the treatment of cancer by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). This advanced training allows specialists to deal with complex and uncommon cases and to potentially provide diagnostic testing or treatments that may not be available at a referring veterinary clinic.

Click here for Clinical Trials in Oncology currently recruiting patients.