General Surgery
Specialist Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Postoperative Care

Cancer Care
Surgical Oncology

Medical Imaging
Computed Tomography
MRI Access


Complete Cancer Care by Southpaws

Hearing your pet has cancer can be very distressing to your family. But today much can be done and a cure can be achieved for many patients. Many others can have their life expectancy prolonged with marked improvement in quality of life. The Complete Cancer Care approach at Southpaws brings together our technology, expertise, facilities, surgery and internal medicine to offer your pet world class outcomes in the treatment of cancer.

Complete Cancer Care

Complete Cancer Care by Southpaws brings together all of our capabilities to address cancer in cats and dogs. By combining advanced Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy and Surgical Oncology – Southpaws delivers some of the most advanced cancer treatments available in Australia today. Southpaws is the only Australian private veterinary hospital to offer all these services in one location, greatly streamlining case management and ensuring continuity of care.

Complete Cancer Care by Southpaws is centered on world class oncology case management which takes into account diagnosis of cancer type and classification of the cancer stage through physical examination and a variety of imaging techniques. A prognosis is developed and a management goal is formulated – either curative or palliative treatment approaches are proposed. Surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, pain relief and hormonal therapy are then considered.


Chemotherapy is effective in improving survival for many tumours for which surgery or radiation therapy are not appropriate. For dogs and cats these include lymphoma, haemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, mast cell tumours, multiple myeloma and some cases of melanoma and transitional cell carcinoma.

Your vet can refer you for chemotherapy either as an integrated treatment with surgery and radiation therapy, or as a standalone treatment, depending on anticipated outcomes. Modern chemotherapy alone provides increasingly improved outcomes in both dogs and cats. Options include:

  • Conventional high dose agents and protocols
  • Newer molecularly targetted agents such as Palladia - a tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Chemotherary For Dogs at Southpaws
  • Metronomic (continuous low-dose) agents and protocols
  • Primary, adjuvant, neoadjuvant or palliative administration settings
  • Combination or sequential treatment protocols


Southpaws' in-house laboratory haematology capabilities are comprehensive and accurate and are used to monitor patients under treatment. Our Idexx LaserCyte® haematology unit provides full five part differential results within minutes. This not only provides accurate results critical to safe administration of chemotherapy, but also significantly shortens hospitalisation times and treatment sessions for your pet. In the unlikely event of a chemotherapy complication, this technology allows close monitoring of patients during recovery.

Diagnosis and Specialized Imaging

Complete Cancer Care at Southpaws is founded on the most up to date diagnostic and imaging technology including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Digital radiography
Xray Fluoroscope for Dogs and Cats at Southpaws
  • Endoscopy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Computed tomography
  • Access to external Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mobile 40 kHz, 2.2 kW Xray Fluoroscopy
  • 3D Printing for surgical modelling
  • Image guided diagnostic sample collection (ultrasound and fluoroscopy)

Southpaws in-house laboratory provides the comprehensive and accurate haematology capability required to monitor patients under treatment. Southpaws conducts on-site In-house hematologic and biochemical screening and in-house collection and interpretation of cytology samples while patient histology samples are submitted to an external laboratory for interpretation by an anatomic pathologist. More specific blood and serum tests are submitted to an external clinical pathology laboratory and cytology can be corroborated by external clinical pathologists as required.

Surgical Oncology

Surgery is the most effective method for treatment of cancer in animals and humans. The success of cancer surgery is highly dependent on the skills and experience of our specialist surgeons - Dr Charles Kuntz and Dr James Simcock. Charles and James have personally operated on more than 7,000 veterinary patients with cancer. The key to success with surgical oncology is to minimise the chances of local recurrence. Our specialist surgeons achieve complete surgical margins in over 95% of tumours and we will discuss the statistical likelihood of recurrence with during your free surgical consultation.

In the unlikely event that complete surgical excision is not possible, Southpaws has one of only two radiation therapy units for animals in Australia. Radiation therapy is very effective for preventing tumour recurrence following incomplete cancer surgery. Our surgeons have published widely on soft tissue sarcomas in dogs and in cats and our work has been key references for others studying veterinary cancer treatment. Our oncology service is supported by the newest and fastest CT scanner for animals in use in Australia.

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Southpaws is proud to house the only radiation therapy unit for animals in Victoria and was the first deep-therapy radiation unit for animals in Australia. The radiation therapy equipment delivers a concentrated radiation beam driven by up to three hundred thousand volts. This allows deep penetration of the beam to treat a wide range of tumours in all parts of the body. Many tumours not appropriate for either surgery or chemotherapy can be treated either curatively or with palliative doses to improve quality of life.

Radiotherapy is a perfect partner to both surgery and chemotherapeutic treatment of many tumours and can be used in concert with these techniques to meaningfully improve case outcomes.

Curative treatments typically take somewhere between two to three weeks with daily treatments. A number of small doses are delivered to minimise side effects while maximising the destruction of cancerous cells, which recover more slowly from the radiation insult.

During this time pets visit the Centre each week day to receive treatment. All pets undergo light anaethesia during treatment and can be picked up later the same day. Boarding is available for pets whose owners have traveled long distances.

Palliative treatments are delivered over fewer treatment sessions and are very effective at improving quality of life by reducing growth or size of the primary tumour site.

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