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Cyclophosphamide for Dogs and Cats

By Evan Ware, DVM

Last reviewed: 7/12/2022

Commonly prescribed for: Certain Types of Cancers and Tumors

Species: Dogs and Cats

Therapeutic Class: Alkylating Agent


Basic Information

Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent that is used in veterinary medicine to treat certain types of cancers and tumors. While both dogs and cats can be treated with this medication, it is used predominantly in dogs.

Cyclophosphamide targets cancer cells and interferes with their DNA and other genetic factors to slow growth. Since they may not grow as intended, it leaves them susceptible and eventually leads to the death of the cell.

Veterinary Medicine Uses for Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide also is used to treat certain immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but only when other treatments have failed to provide successful results. It also can be used as part of a multiple-drug treatment program to treat lymphoma in dogs.

Potential Side-Effects for Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide is generally considered appropriate for use in animals, but since it is a very powerful medication, some animals can experience certain side-effects. Common side-effects are nausea, loss of appetite, bladder irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, bone-marrow suppression.

This medication can interfere or interact with other medications, such as digoxin, allopurinol, and phenobarbital.

Precautions for Using Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide should not be administered to an animal patient with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. It also should be avoided in animals with serious active infections. This medication can be administered in certain cases where the patient has pre-existing kidney or liver problems or bone marrow problems, but extreme caution and careful monitoring should be used.
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