Below are a couple of common questions asked by owners about the process at NEVOG and about cancer itself. If you have any additional questions that are not covered here, please contact us.

Owner FAQs

Answer: Finding out that a beloved companion has cancer is never easy. After hearing this news it is not uncommon for your emotions to take over, and the last thing you need is to be trying to get your pets the care they need only to run afoul of confusion and red tape. To help you through this difficult time we have provided a brief explanation of our referral process.

To ensure that we appropriately schedule your initial visit with us we ask that the referring veterinarian provide us with some information. This information is sent to us on our Referral Form. It provides us with your name and how we can contact you, information about your pet, and some important medical information such as the diagnosis, recent blood work and other lab results that will give us a better understanding of the case. After we receive this information it is reviewed by one of our Oncologist's and the appropriate scheduling for your appointment is determined.

All cancer patients need care and treatment. But not all cases are the same. Some patients, such as ones that have just had surgery, need time to heal before they are seen by us. Other cases are scheduled to be seen in the next available appointment slots. Some cases are much more serious cases and may need to be seen sooner and we need to rework our schedule. And then there are cases where the patient may not be ready to be seen by us, and we may recommend some additional care or treatment be provided before you come see us.

Once we have reviewed the case one of our receptionists will call you to schedule your initial visit to us.
Answer: Unfortunately the answer is no. While we may have developed a brief understanding of your pet's cancer from the referral information provided many times it does not answer all of our questions. And it would be inappropriate of us to discuss the case with you before we have seen you and your pet. If you have concerns about your pet after your veterinarian referred you to us and before your first appointment you should discuss them with your vet, and if necessary they can call us for a consultation.
Answer: Availability for appointments is dependent on the number of new patients that are referred to us. We work with our newly referred clients to try to schedule the first appointment at a time that is convenient for you. We make every effort to see all new referrals as timely as possible. Most new patients can be seen within one to two weeks of the time we receive the completed referral from your veterinarian.
Answer: Yes we do have a registration form. For this reason we require you to be in our lobby at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Your appointment with the doctor cannot begin until you have completed the registration and we have entered the information into our computer.
Answer: Unfortunately we do not know the travel time for every one of our clients. We suggest you check with a website, such as Mapquest, that can provide specific driving instructions and travel time. Keep in mind that at different times of the day the traffic patterns can vary. Please make sure that you give yourself enough time to make your appointment.
Answer: Unfortunately most of our days are fully booked and if you miss your appointment time we cannot guarantee that we will be able to see you. If you are running late, please call our office and let us know. Sometimes we will instruct you to keep coming and we will try to see you. When this happens we do ask that upon your arrival you be patient as our plan will be to try to work you in amongst the other appointments that are scheduled for that day. In some cases, we may have to ask that you reschedule your appointment. There are many factors that will affect this decision, so please call and we will advise you.
Answer: Many times your veterinarian will have taken x-rays or other images (CT, MRI, Ultrasound) that will be needed by the doctor. The most efficient method of getting this information to us is for you to bring them with you. If you cannot get them from your veterinarian you can ask your vet to send them to us. But be sure, whichever method is used, that the information gets to us before your appointment.
Answer: This is a very difficult question to answer because there can be so many ways the appointment can progress. The first appointment begins with us getting more familiar with you and your pet. We go over the information provided by your vet and when necessary get more information from you about your pet. We will observe your pet and do a brief physical examination. We will talk to you about your pet's specific cancer, the survival time information related to the cancer, and what treatment options may be available. We will also discuss the cost. The next step will be based on your goals and decisions.
Answer: Yes. We would like to examine your pet.
Answer: Unfortunately no, that is not acceptable. We know that many of the companions brought to us are extremely well behaved. But you need to remember that at times some of them are not feeling well. And like us, pets can be unpredictable when not feeling well and in an unfamiliar location. So we ask that all canine companions be brought in with a leash, and all feline companions be brought in a carrier.
Answer: We generally schedule our new client visits for one hour. The actual appointment may be longer or shorter depending on decisions made during the appointment.
Answer: There are different factors that will determine the answer to this question. Some cases require additional tests be performed before an appropriate treatment plan can be developed. For some cases the owners want more time to make their decision, and therefore are not ready to begin treatment. And in other cases, after discussing and accepting a treatment plan, the owner is ready to begin treatment and may select to begin treatment immediately. So the answer is that it is dependent on the particulars of the case, and your readiness to begin.
Answer: This again will be dependent on the case. In some cases the information provided by your referring veterinarian is sufficient for us to proceed. In others, we may suggest additional staging such as radiographs (x-rays), a CBC (complete blood count), chemistry panel, or even an ultrasound or CT. Some of the tests can be done during your visit while others may need to be scheduled for a different day depending on availability. During your visit we will discuss any additional staging needed, the costs, and when we would be able to schedule the work.
Answer: The cost for your initial meeting with the doctor will be $180.00. Beyond that, the costs for any staging and treatments will be discussed and approved by you during the consultation. The cost will depend on the tests needed, the drugs used, and the frequency of treatment. All of this will be discussed during the first visit and throughout the course of treatment whenever changes are necessary.
Answer: Payment is due at the time services are provided.
Answer: We accept cash and check (as long as your name and address are pre-printed on the check), American Express, Care Credit, Discover, Master Card, Visa and ATM/Debit Cards.
Answer: No. Pet insurance generally requires that you pay for the services up front, and then submit a claim to the insurance company.
Answer: No. We need you to bring in a claim form each time you come in for a visit.
Answer: Since the pet insurance requires that you pay for the treatment up front we have to adhere to their policies. We cannot complete the claim form unless your balance is paid in full. If you pay with cash or a credit/debit card we will complete the form and return it to you that day. If you pay with a check we need to allow for 7 business days for the check to clear the bank before we can complete the form. If you pay with a check you can leave the form with us and we will mail it to you after 7 business days.
Answer: Pet health care insurance is available through some insurance companies. One of the common carriers is VPI Pet Insurance. For information on VPI or other carriers you should search the internet. New England Veterinary Oncology Group does not endorse or otherwise recommend any pet insurance carrier. This section if for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted otherwise.

Cancer FAQs

Answer: In general, we don't know. Very few cause/effect relationships have been found in veterinary medicine. We do know that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in companion animals. In one study, 45% of dogs that lived to 10 years or older died of cancer.
Answer: Bumps that persist or grow; bleeding or discharge from body openings such as the mouth or nose; difficulty eating; persistent lameness; change in behavior; neurologic signs; difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating; unexplained weight loss; vomiting; diarrhea.
Answer: A routine physical exam can often detect cancer. Many tests such as labwork, radiographs, ultrasound, needle aspiration, and biopsy can aid in the diagnosis of cancer. Your own observations of your pet can also provide valuable information.
Answer: Cancer is treated in many ways. The three main options in veterinary medicine include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. These modalities may be used alone or in combination, depending on the type of cancer.
Answer: An oncologist is a cancer specialist. An oncologist can specialize in radiation or medical oncology by completing a residency (advanced training) and passing certifying exams. The term cancer can be very confusing. That is why it is important to speak with an oncologist regarding your pet's diagnosis. This person can help you understand the disease process, treatment, and goals of treatment.
Answer: For many people the word cancer is terrifying and implies discomfort, pain, and eventual death. In general, pets tolerate cancer treatment better than people do. The treatments used depend on the diagnosis and treatment goals. In order to be therapeutic against cancer, there may be a potential for some toxicity because healthy cells may be affected. For instance, chemotherapy attacks the rapidly dividing cells of the body not just the cancer. Because of this we see side effects involving the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.
Answer: Radiation therapy is an effective way to treat cancer especially in instances in which surgery and/or chemotherapy may not be successful. In situations in which long term tumor control is not possible radiation can help shrink inoperable tumors and may improve the quality of your pet's life by reducing pressure, bleeding or pain.
Answer: Like most human cancer patients, most veterinary oncology patients are geriatric. A detailed evaluation of your pet should be done to determine if he/she is an appropriate candidate for therapy. Age is not a disease.
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