We are a Referral centre that offer Orthopaedic, Neurology and soft tissue surgery with in-house MRI & CT.

Veterinary Oncology

Here at Northwest Referrals, we are experienced in veterinary oncology, providing treatment to both dogs and cats that have been referred from other veterinary practices, or directly from their owners. Our team has worked with many small animals with different types of cancer to provide suitable treatment plans to give them the best quality of life. We appreciate that dealing with cancer in a much-loved pet can be a difficult process for all involved, and always treat our clients with kindness and compassion during this tricky time.

Cancer Diagnostic Services for Dogs and Cats

Our advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities give us the ability to diagnose cancer in small animals. If you suspect that an animal under your care has cancer, we can work with you to obtain a swift and conclusive diagnosis. With cancer, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible, and our oncology team will work with you to maximise the chances of a good outcome.

Common Animal Oncology Conditions

In veterinary oncology, we see many dogs and cats with similar types of cancer that are found in humans. Cancer in animals tends to progress quicker than in humans, in part due to their shorter lifespans. Our treatment and care are always aimed to improve and prolong the quality of life, rather than to necessarily cure the cancer. In our small animal oncology department, we see the most common types of cancer that present in small animals, as well as some rarer forms.

The most common cancers in dogs are:



Mast cell tumours



Whilst the most common cancers in cats are:


Squamous cell carcinoma

Mammary tumours

Injection site sarcoma


Diagnostic Techniques

Good diagnostic techniques involve using a combination of methods to reach a final conclusion. Our veterinary oncology team will work with the referring veterinary practice to ensure that they have a full patient history in the first instance. Our oncology team will carry out blood tests, CT or MRI scans, as well as biopsies to determine the type and severity of the cancer. Using a combination of diagnostic techniques will give our veterinary oncology team as much information as possible. The more we know about the type and stage of the cancer, the better informed we are to advise on the best treatment plan for the small animal.

Oncology Treatment Options

Our oncology treatment is always aimed to prolong the life of the pet, whilst maintaining a good quality of life. Oncology treatment in animals is usually less aggressive than in humans and is not usually aimed at curing the cancer, but rather prolonging the life of the pet. We use a combination of treatments depending on the type of cancer, the location of the cancer, and the age of the pet. The main treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Based on the diagnosis, we will consider which treatment or combination of treatments will be the best for the pet.

Prognosis and Follow-up Care

Oncology prognosis and outcomes in pets differ from the expectations in humans. With pets, we do not necessarily aim to cure the pet, be rather to ensure a good quality of life. We can aim to prolong the pet’s life through intervention, where the effects of the treatment do not outweigh any benefits from the treatment. As dogs and cats have shorter lifespans, their cancers tend to progress quicker, so our oncology treatment decisions are always made to ensure a good quality of life. If your pet requires veterinary surgical oncology, then he will need good aftercare whilst he recovers from the operation. Our oncology team will give you detailed instructions regarding his aftercare. If your pet is receiving chemotherapy, then he will need to be closely monitored for changes. Dogs and cats do not tend to lose their hair in the same way that humans do, but they will exhibit changes that will need to be reported to the oncology team. Providing a high standard of ongoing care to your pet will help to keep them happy during their oncology treatment. Our oncology team will be working with you to ensure that your pet is coping with the treatment and recovering from any operation.

Cost of Veterinary Oncology Services

Here at Northwest Referrals, we hold the well-being of the animals that we treat at the heart of all that we do. Veterinary services can be expensive, but we will always work with you, to ensure that we can provide appropriate, affordable treatment. Oncology treatment is often covered by the terms of your insurance, but it is important to check with your insurance company. If your pet is not insured, please speak with us to discuss payment terms. We are always transparent and honest in our pricing, so that you know exactly what is included in the cost of the treatment, and any additional costs that may occur, will be discussed fully with you. Our team is on hand to answer any questions that you may have concerning the cost of our veterinary services.

Next Step

Our highly qualified veterinary team works together to provide the best treatment and services to the animals within our care. Whilst we may be treating your pet under our oncology team, they may work with the soft tissue surgery team to ensure that the best treatment is given to your pet. We pride ourselves on the high level of care that we give to all our patients. We have invested heavily in our resources so that all the animals in our care benefit from the latest technology and state-of-the-art facilities that we can offer. We work with referring veterinary practices to provide additional and complex treatment to their clients, and also with direct referrals from pet owners. If you would like to discuss referring a small animal to our veterinary team here at Northwest Referrals or wish to self-refer your pet, our friendly and experienced team are always on hand to speak with you. Simply call our team on 01942 242001

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