Collaboration and access to specialists are becoming increasingly critical in veterinary medicine, but virtual consultations with veterinary medical and radiation oncologists can be game-changing for general practice veterinarians facing patients with suspected cancer. VESPECON specialists are available to consult on cancer cases to enhance patient care and treatment outcomes. 

Veterinary radiation oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets. Their training focuses specifically on using ionizing radiation to treat cancer, radiation biology, the biological behavior of tumors, and imaging techniques for planning and implementing cancer treatments. Radiation oncologists are certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR), whereas medical oncologists are certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).

Cancer cases often require a nuanced approach, and the intricacies of different tumor types can be challenging for general practitioners. A veterinary radiation oncologist’s specialized knowledge can provide valuable insights into diagnosis, staging, and treatment planning in cancer cases. Here are the benefits of consulting with our multidisciplinary specialist team, including radiation oncologists, for extra guidance.

#1: Expanded access to specialist care

Access to specialized veterinary oncology services is limited in many areas, as specialists are typically concentrated in urban centers. Virtual consultations allow general practitioners to tap into radiation oncology expertise without geographic barriers. Although our radiation oncology team cannot guide veterinarians through specialized radiation treatments remotely, they can partner with our medical oncologists to guide you and your client through the case.

#2: Helping clients make timely decisions

Cancer cases require quick decisions and actions, but clients can’t make informed choices without all the necessary information. Virtual consultations allow general practice veterinarians to expedite diagnostics and more quickly determine treatment options. Clearly understanding the treatment options and expected success rates for their pets can help clients decide whether to pursue in-person referral for cancer treatment, especially when extensive travel or temporary relocation to reach a suitable facility is involved.

#3: Save clients money

Referrals can be cost-prohibitive for pet owners, but virtual consultations, which limit travel expenses and offer reduced fees, are a cost-effective approach. Consulting virtually with a radiation oncologist can help the veterinarian determine if radiation is a viable treatment option and therefore worth the pet owner’s mental and financial investment. 

#4: Earn client trust

Studies routinely show that referring early and often can increase client trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. Many clients balk at the idea of cancer treatments, because they know that chemotherapy makes people miserable, and they may be reluctant to funnel their pet’s treatment funds toward a potentially futile oncology referral. However, when you offer to consult with a radiation oncologist to get more information about their pet, they will be grateful that their vet goes above and beyond for their beloved furry pal.

#5: Improve cancer case outcomes

For clients not interested in referral, a consultation with our oncology team can help you find and implement the best and most effective treatments or palliative therapies that fit the client’s value system. The primary veterinarian can administer many cancer treatments with the proper guidance, and learning these protocols can help with future cases, especially for veterinarians in rural areas or with financially restricted clientele. Oncologists can offer insight into all possible treatment avenues, which may include lesser-known oral chemo options or immunotherapy.

How VESPECON consultations work

VESPECON consults differ from other services. We offer a face-to-face video chat format that allows you to build lasting and collaborative relationships with our specialists, rather than playing phone tag or waiting for an email reply. We schedule consultations promptly, because we understand that your patients can’t—and shouldn’t—wait for care. 

During your consultation with our radiation oncology team, you’ll form a diagnostic and treatment plan that fits your patient’s needs, your client’s budget, and your in-house capabilities. If you choose radiation therapy, we can coordinate care with a local hospital to alleviate stress on the client and help an often short-handed veterinary team.

Embracing virtual consultations with veterinary radiation oncologists and the rest of the VESPECON team empowers general practitioners to provide advanced cancer care. Our collaborative model enhances diagnostic and treatment capabilities and helps pet owners and their veterinarians make informed decisions about their pet’s care. Contact us to learn more about VESPECON services or sign up to meet our knowledgeable consultants.