Other Medications and Supplements

Are there vitamins or supplements I can give my pet with cancer?

There are many websites that will give you information as well as misinformation about cancer in pets. Many of these contain helpful information, but unfortunately, some also give “professional” opinions about treatments that have not been studied in pets. Some of these are actually detrimental in dogs and cats. Please ask before giving any medication or supplements to your pet.

Avoid these medications and supplements

  • Grapes or grape seed – Grapes have been shown to cause kidney damage in some pets; however, it is not known which part of the grape causes the damage.
  • Any supplement that claims to boost immunity (i.e. transfer factor, Essiac T, IP6). Some of these are contraindicated in certain cancers or may be counterproductive when given along with chemotherapy
  • Any anti-oxidant supplement
  • Vaccines of any kind unless permitted by your oncologist

Medications to continue

Please inform your pet’s oncologist if your pet is taking any regular medications. The following medications should be continued while your pet is undergoing treatment:

  • Thyroid medications
  • Heart medications
  • Insulin
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Heartworm preventive
  • Flea and tick prevention

Supplements that may be used according to proper dosing:

  • Flax seed
  • Fish oil
  • Daily vitamin tablets
  • Milk thistle
  • SAM-E
  • Glucosamine

Lastly, please remember that your pet is unique and we cannot know how any drug will affect him/her until it is given. The information listed here is based on average reactions to chemotherapy. Your pet could experience vomiting after a drug which rarely causes nausea or have no reaction to another drug which usually does. At the beginning of your pet’s treatment, we will pre-medicate, dose and prescribe medications for you to give to your pet at home based on what normally happens. After a few cycles, we will tailor these things to how your pet is actually responding to treatment.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at (847) 459-7535 ext. 3301 or by email at oncology@vetspecialty.com. The Veterinary Specialty Center Oncology department is open Monday through Friday 8 am – 6 pm and Saturday 8 am – 4 pm. If you leave a voicemail or email after these hours we will not respond until the next business day. However, VSC has a 24-hour emergency department. Our emergency doctors and technicians are well-trained in caring for oncology patients, so please feel free to contact them with questions if we are not here.


Starting Monday, April 8th through the end of September, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin their road resurfacing project along Waukegan Road from Lake Cook Road to Half Day Road (IL 22). Please allow additional travel time to our hospital during the construction. Learn More: Waukegan Road Resurfacing Project