Canine chemo concerns eased as hospital relaxes end date for treatment

By Jill Sperling
December 10, 2016 - 7:15pm

KAMLOOPS — Staff at Riverside Small Animal Hospital are breathing a huge sigh of relief. 

Royal Inland Hospital has informed the veterinary clinic that chemotherapy drugs will continue to be provided for canine cancer patients past the original Jan 2 cutoff. 

In November, Interior Health have notice to the clinic that the drugs would no longer be provided through the hospital in order to prioritize human cancer patients. 

They are now easing up on their deadline, saying they will continue to provide the service until the clinic can find an alternative solution. 

"In the first phase what it means is that our current patients are safe," said Dr. Matt Nicol, veterinarian at Riverside Small Animal Hospital. 

"We can continue the chemotherapy to the patients we have, and if new patients come forward we are going to be able to help them. In the longer term it means that we have breathing space to look for ways of mixing chemotherapy outside the RIH pharmacy, somewhere else."

Dr. Nicol said there are enough concerned members of the community that the veterinary clinic should be able to find a solution now that they have some extra time. 

"We've had pharmacists, and retired pharmacists, people who have worked in the oncology field saying 'we've got the skills, if you have the facility,'"

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