Cancer is never a pleasant diagnosis for your pet, and it is normally very frightening and stressful for the entire family. Fortunately, AVES has one of only 300 board-certified veterinary oncologists in the country to see you through this tough time.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs and cats, but it does not have to be a death sentence. At AVES we specialize in providing compassionate care to pets diagnosed with cancer to extend lifespan and enhance quality of life.

Veterinary Oncology Specialties

Diagnosis of Cancer

Cancer is not a simple disease and does not always present in one single tumor, but oftentimes it presents as many tumors throughout the body. There are also many different types of cancer that could be present. Our veterinary oncologist performs the appropriate diagnostic tests for each patient and develops a treatment plan best suited to enhancing the pet's quality of life.

During your pet’s initial visit our oncologist will examine your pet, obtain a detailed history of signs and symptoms, review all medical records, laboratory results, and x-rays from your family veterinarian, and evaluate current/recent medications to begin the process.

Staging of Tumors

During your pet’s initial diagnosis, our oncologist will determine the severity of the cancer based on its size and whether or not it has spread to other areas. This is called staging. Staging allows our oncologist to plan the appropriate treatment. Staging is based on knowledge of the way cancer progresses.

Development of Treatment Plans

Almost every pet diagnosed with cancer can receive some sort of treatment that can extend their life and increase their quality of life. Once the diagnosis is made, our oncologist will give you treatment options and provide realistic expectations for the outcome. Treatment plans can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, novel therapeutics, and multimodality therapy.

Administration of Chemotherapy

Treatment of cancer in pets is less aggressive than the same treatment performed in humans. Due to the compressed lifespan of dogs and cats, cancer treatments like chemotherapy are administered in lower doses, so pets tend to handle these treatments better than people do, which allows them to bypass the illness and side effects humans typically encounter.

Our veterinary oncologist also works with you during the treatment process to keep your pet as comfortable as possible. Many things can be done to help your pet stay comfortable during treatment including pain management options and nausea medications.

Radiation Therapy

Although not available at AVES, the goal of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer in your pet is to kill cancer cells and limit damage to normal tissues. Radiation therapy is delivered as a beam of energy that is targeted to a specific part of the body. Using a number of approaches, the normal tissue that surrounds the tumor is “shielded” from this beam so as to limit the side-effects associated with radiation.

The use of radiation therapy is most effective as a follow-up to other treatments like surgery or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy can also be used to shrink a tumor that cannot be removed with surgery.


Immunotherapy is the ability of the immune system to protect against tumor development by attacking malignant cells once they arise. Immunotherapy uses the body's immune system to fight cancer. It works by either stimulating your immune system to attack cancer cells or providing your immune system with what it needs, such as antibodies, to fight cancer.

Novel Therapeutics

Novel therapeutics is an individualized approach to treatment using new or combinations of drugs and treatments.

Multimodality Therapy

At AVES, our oncologist will provide a multimodality approach to therapy combining surgery and medical anticancer therapy.




Department Information

Our Oncology service is open Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm. Please contact our office at 512-343-2837 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our Oncologist.



Oncology AVES questionnaire for ownersDownload the PDF Version

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Basic history:

    Has your pet traveled outside of Texas in the past? If so, where and how recently?

    If you know what kind of food your pet is eating, what brand or flavor is it?

    If you don’t, can you tell us if it is a dry food, a canned food, or a homemade food?

    When was your pet changed to its current diet (estimations are okay such as "many years ago" vs "few weeks ago")?

    Is your pet currently getting monthly flea, tick, and heartworm preventive? If so, what is the product?

    To your knowledge, has your pet had any blood transfusions?

    Other than the pet we are seeing here today, how many other pets do you have and what kind of pets are they? (ex: 1 other dog and 2 cats)

    Current Concerns:

    Write the best description of how long your pet’s current signs have been happening. (some examples of clinical signs: coughing, sneezing, vomiting, not eating, being lethargic, etc)

    Options: my pet is acting normally, few days, few weeks, few months, few years

    On a scale of 1-10, please write how severe your pets clinical signs were when they started
    1 = totally normal for your pet
    10 = most severe signs you’ve ever noted

    On a scale of 1-10, please write how severe your pets clinical signs are at the current time
    1 = totally normal for your pet
    10 = most severe signs you’ve ever noted

    Based on any previous veterinary treatments (special diets, medications, therapies) for the current problems, have you noted any improvement in clinical signs at home?

    If yes, do you remember which treatment or medication you feel helped?

    Based on any previous veterinary treatments (diets, medications, therapies) for the current problems, have you noted any worsening of clinical signs or development of side effects?

    To your knowledge, has your primary veterinarian sent over records for today’s visit?

    Is there any other emergency or veterinary clinic we should contact to get all of your pets information for the current problem?



    Board-certified veterinary oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals. A board-certified veterinary oncologist has completed extensive post-graduate study and training, has demonstrated clinical competency under close supervision, and has passed a comprehensive examination in the specialty. Board-certified oncologists are referred to as “Diplomates” of their specialty college. At the present time there are fewer than 300 board-certified veterinary oncologists in the country.







    Have an emergency? We are open 24/7/365 for pets requiring immediate assistance.