Aside from radiation and surgery, Chlorambucil -- brand name Leukeran -- can be used to treat cancers, such as lymphoma and leukemia. The effect of this immune-suppressing medication is also useful to treat diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and hemolytic anemia, during which the immune system attacks the body. Know the ins and outs of this medication so you can provide your dog with the best care possible.
How Chlorambucil Works
Cancer spreads through your dog's body by cell division. Medication is transported by your dog's blood vessels, which is especially useful if cancer is present in more than just one area of his body. Chlorambucil is an alkylating agent that combats spreading of cancer by binding or breaking DNA strands and biochemicals so cells can't divide and replicate.
Chlorambucil Administration and Side Effects
Chlorambucil is administered orally, ideally on an empty stomach. Your veterinarian might recommend administering it daily, every other day or every two to three weeks. Side effects can include hair loss in some breeds, breathing problems, male infertility, kidney or liver damage, and bone marrow depression, which can result in anemia.
Avoid contact with Chlorambucil. Dog owners must wear gloves during administration and should stay away from their dog's feces, saliva and urine up to 48 hours after administration. Chlorambucil should not be given to dogs with pre-existing bone marrow suppression, or underdeveloped or young dogs. Also, don't give this medicine to lactating or pregnant dogs, since it can trigger birth defects.