This unique and interesting study described pet owners’ perception of carboplatin chemotherapy. Carboplatin is frequently used in palliative chemotherapy and has mild clinical side effects. Owners were asked to assess the quality of life of their pets undergoing palliative carboplatin chemotherapy. Of the 47 patients from New Zealand veterinary clinics identified from 2004 to 2009, 23 dogs and 5 cats were eventually included in the study. Pet owners completed detailed questionnaires assessing the pets’ quality of life. Most owners (89%) did not regret pursuing carboplatin chemotherapy, and an equal number (89%) supported its use after treatment (43% of owners did not consider pretreatment chemotherapy). Although owners felt that postcarboplatin quality of life was not superior to that before the cancer diagnosis, owners did feel that it was significantly improved over pretreatment quality of life. These results supported the use of carboplatin as a palliative chemotherapeutic agent in veterinary patients.

Commentary: The primary goal of chemotherapy in veterinary oncology is to manage the patient’s cancer while maintaining and often improving their quality of life during and after treatment. Most mild to moderate side effects, such as anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and myelosuppression, are self-limiting and typically resolve within 2 to 3 days. Adjuvant medications such as maropitant citrate, metoclopramide, and metronidazole can be used to prevent side effects. This article demonstrates that most owners were satisfied with their pet’s carboplatin therapy, and I believe this holds true with all the chemotherapeutics used in veterinary oncology.

Owner’s perception of carboplatin in conjunction with other palliative treatments for cancer therapy. Bowles DB, Robson RC, Galloway PE, Walker L. J SMALL ANIM PRACT 51:104-112, 2010.