The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) supports the use of cytotoxic drugs in the treatment of neoplastic disease in companion animals where there is evidence that such agents have a beneficial effect on quality of life/survival. However, many of these drugs have toxic properties which must be taken into consideration when undertaking chemotherapy.

The following risks should be considered when using cytotoxic drugs:

  • Risk to animal receiving chemotherapy
  • Risk to owner of animal receiving chemotherapy
  • Risk to veterinary staff handling and administering drugs

Background information

Safe handling of cytotoxic drugs HSE

Further information

BSAVA Client information leaflets
BSAVA Medicines Guide - Cytotoxic section
BSAVA Small Animal Formulary – Safety and handling of chemotherapeutic agents
RCVS Guidance – 4.39 - 4.49


Updated 2012

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