Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

Common Chemotherapy Drugs

Almost all chemotherapy drugs have the ability to negatively impact the bone marrow, gastrointestinal system, and ability to regrow hair.  Each drug also has individual characteristics that make it unique.


Other Names: Adriamycin, Rubex

Used For: lymphoma, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma

Toxicity/Side effects: damage to heart muscle; damage to kidneys in cats; colitis; tissue damage if it gets outside a vein


  • Consider echocardiograms (heart ultrasound) in at-risk breeds
  • Listen to the heart prior to each treatment (specifically listening for irregular rhythms)
  • Pre-treat with a cardio protectant (dexrazoxane)
  • Limit lifetime dose to less than 180 – 240 mg/m2
  • Ensure adequate kidney function
  • Use fluid therapy during treatment
  • Use sulfasalazine to treat colitis
  • If extravasated, apply a cold compress after aspiration and instill dexrazoxane.


Other Names: Oncovin

Used For: lymphoma

Toxicity/side effects: nerve damage; tissue damage if it goes outside a vein


  • Monitor for neurologic changes
  • If extravasated, aspirate as much as possible, then infiltrate the area with warm saline and apply a warm compress.


Other Names: Cytoxan, Endoxan, Neosar

Used For: lymphoma, osteosarcoma, immune-mediated disease

Toxicity/Side Effects: sterile hemorrhagic cystitis; nausea


  • We give a diuretic (furosemide) and intravenous fluids along with treatment.


Other Names: Platinol-AQ

Used For: SCC, TCC, other sarcomas and carcinomas

Toxicity/Side Effects: fatal lung damage in cats; nerve damage in dogs


  • Never give to cats
  • Intravenous fluids given before, during, and after treatment for dogs.


Other Names: Paraplatin

Used For: sarcomas and carcinomas

Toxicity/Side Effects: liver damage


  • Baseline and ongoing monitoring of liver values


Other Names: none

Used for: lymphoma

Toxicity/Side Effects: increased thirst and urination; increased appetite; weight gain; suppression of the immune system; muscle loss


  • Dose reduction


Other Names: CCNU, CeeNU

Used For: brain tumors, lymphoma, MCT

Toxicity/Side Effects: bone marrow suppression; liver damage


  • Close monitoring


Other Names: Leukeran

Used For: bone marrow neoplasms, autoimmune diseases, feline intestinal lymphoma

Toxicity/Side Effects: bone marrow suppression


  • Monitoring