• 1. Green EM, Adams WM, Forrest LJ. Four fraction palliative radiotherapy for osteosarcoma in 24 dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2002;38:445451.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. Ramirez O, Dodge RK, Page RL, et al. Palliative radiotherapy of appendicular osteosarcoma in 95 dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999;40:517522.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Plavec T, Kessler M, Kandel B, et al. Palliative radiotherapy as treatment for nonresectable soft tissue sarcomas in the dog—a report of 15 cases. Vet Comp Oncol 2006;4:98103.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Poirier VJ, Bley CR, Roos M, et al. Efficacy of radiation therapy for the treatment of macroscopic canine oral soft tissue sarcoma. In Vivo 2006;20:415419.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. Tan-Coleman B, Lyons J, Lewis C, et al. Prospective evaluation of a 5 × 4 Gy prescription for palliation of canine nasal tumors. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2013;54:8992.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Gieger T, Rassnick K, Siegel S, et al. Palliation of clinical signs in 48 dogs with nasal carcinomas treated with coarse-fraction radiation therapy. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2008;44:116123.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Cancedda S, Sabattini S, Bettini G, et al. Combination of radiation therapy and firocoxib for the treatment of canine nasal carcinoma. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2015;56:335343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Tollett MA, Duda L, Brown DC, et al. Palliative radiation therapy for solid tumors in dogs: 103 cases (2007–2011). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016;248:7282.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. McDonald C, Looper J & Greene S. Response rate and duration associated with a 4Gy 5 fraction palliative radiation protocol. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2012;53:358364.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10. Thrall DE, LaRue SM. Palliative radiation therapy. Semin Vet Med Surg (Small Anim) 1995;10:205208.

  • 11. Gillette EL, LaRue SM, Gillette SM. Normal tissue tolerance and management of radiation injury. Semin Vet Med Surg (Small Anim) 1995;10:209213.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12. Owen LN, ed. TNM classification of tumours in domestic animals. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1980.

  • 13. Vail DM. Hematopoietic tumors. In: Withrow SJ, Vail DM, Page RL, eds. Withrow and MacEwen's small animal clinical oncology. 5th ed. St Louis: Elsevier, 2013;646.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14. Fowler JF. 21 years of biologically effective dose. Br J Radiol 2010;83:554568.

  • 15. Bowles DB, Robson MC, Galloway PE, et al. Owners' perception of carboplatin in conjunction with other palliative treatments for cancer therapy. J Small Anim Pract 2010;51:104112.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Hill M, Hirschberger J, Zimmermann K, et al. Quality of life in primary and adjuvant veterinary radiation therapy. An owner survey [in German]. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Klientiere Heimtiere 2014;42:157165.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. Tzannes S, Hammond MF, Murphy S, et al. Owners' perception of their cats' quality of life during COP chemotherapy for lymphoma. J Feline Med Surg 2008;10:7381.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. Bateman KE, Catton PA, Pennock PW, et al. Radiation therapy for the palliation of advanced cancer in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 1994;8:394399.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19. Knapp-Hoch HM, Fidel JL, Sellon RK, et al. An expedited palliative radiation protocol for lytic or proliferative lesions of appendicular bone in dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2009;45:2432.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20. Chow E, Andersson L, Wong R, et al. Patients with advanced cancer: a survey of the understanding of their illness and expectations from palliative radiotherapy for symptomatic metastases. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2001;13:204208.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21. Mitera G, Zhang L, Sahgal A, et al. A survey of expectations and understanding of palliative radiotherapy from patients with advanced cancer. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2012;24:134138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22. Gattellari M, Butow PN, Tattersall MH, et al. Misunderstanding in cancer patients: why shoot the messenger? Ann Oncol 1999;10:3946.

  • 23. Carberry CA, Harvey HJ. Owner satisfaction with limb amputation in dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1987;23:227232.

  • 24. Crawford AH, Tivers MS, Adamantos SE. Owner assessment of dogs' quality of life following treatment of neoplastic haemoperitoneum. Vet Rec 2012;170:566.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25. Denneberg NA & Egenvall A. Evaluation of dog owners' perceptions concerning radiation therapy. Acta Vet Scand 2009;51:19.

  • 26. Rubin P, Casarett GW. Radiation histopathology. In: Clinical radiation pathology. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1968.

  • 27. Stoewen DL, Coe JB, MacMartin C, et al. Qualitative study of the information expectations of clients accessing oncology care at a tertiary referral center for dogs with life-limiting cancer. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;245:773783.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28. Stoewen DL, Coe JB, MacMartin C, et al. Qualitative study of the communication expectations of clients accessing oncology care at a tertiary referral center for dogs with life-limiting cancer. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;245:785795.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29. Brown DC, Boston RC, Farrar JT. Comparison of force plate gait analysis and owner assessment of pain using the canine brief pain inventory in dogs with osteoarthritis. J Vet Intern Med 2013;27:2230.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30. Kurtz ME, Kurtz JC, Given CC, et al. Concordance of cancer patient and caregiver symptom reports. Cancer Pract 1996;4:185190.

  • 31. Desbiens NA & Mueller-Rizner N. How well do surrogates assess the pain of seriously ill patients? Crit Care Med 2000;28:13471352.

  • 32. Blome C & Augustin M. Measuring change in quality of life: bias in prospective and retrospective evaluation. Value Health 2015;18:110115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33. Brown DC, Boston R, Coyne JC, et al. A novel approach to the use of animals in studies of pain: validation of the Canine Brief Pain Inventory in canine bone cancer. Pain Med 2009;10:133142.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Retrospective survey of owners' experiences with palliative radiation therapy for pets

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 4 Regional Veterinary Referral Center, 6651 Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22150.
  • | 5 Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre, 1802 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3C 0J8, Canada.
  • | 6 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe animal owners' experiences with palliative radiation therapy (PRT) of pets and identify factors influencing satisfaction with their pets' treatment.

DESIGN Retrospective, cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE 118 owners of dogs, cats, or rabbits.

PROCEDURES Medical records were searched to identify animals that underwent PRT between 2004 and 2013. Signalment, tumor-related data, and outcome information were recorded. Owners completed an electronic survey assessing satisfaction with treatment (ie, satisfaction with the decision for their pet to undergo PRT and indication that they would choose PRT for their pet again), expectations regarding PRT, and perceptions of their pets' quality of life (QOL) and signs of discomfort from acute adverse radiation effects. Additional data regarding practical aspects of treatment, pet death, communications with veterinarians, and owner demographics were collected. Variables were tested for association with measures of owner satisfaction.

RESULTS 92 of 116 (79%) owners were satisfied with the decision to have their pets undergo PRT. Most (92/118 [78%]) owners reported their pet's QOL improved after PRT; these owners were significantly more likely to be satisfied than those who did not report improved QOL. Owners who perceived their pets had discomfort from adverse radiation effects (38/116 [33%]) were significantly less likely to be satisfied than owners who did not report this observation. Measures of satisfaction were not associated with patient survival time. Twenty-one of 118 (18%) owners indicated they expected PRT would cure their pet's tumor.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that short life expectancy should not deter recommendation of PRT for pets. Protocols that minimize risk of acute adverse effects may be advantageous. Veterinarians should attempt to ensure that owners understand the goals of PRT.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 57 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Fan (vivian.fan@usask.ca).

Dr. Gustafson's present address is Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital, 3550 S Jason St, Englewood, CO 80110.

Dr. Mauldin's present address is PetCure Oncology, 8770 W Bryn Mawr Ave #1370, Chicago, IL 60631.