Division of Radio-Oncology – our mission

Division of Radio-Oncology, Small Animal Hospital, University of Zurich


A tumor-diagnosis in a beloved pet is disturbing news. But with modern treatment methods, many tumors can be cured or kept well under control in the long term. In our view, the treatment of tumors in animals is important and, in many cases, indicated. We want to be able to continue our work treating our patients in the future and thus continue our efforts to search for new methods against cancer.

We want to offer the best possible treatment for the disease of our patients, which is appropriate to their individual situation.

At the Division of Radio-Oncology we are a team of veterinarians who have specialized in various areas of oncology (cancer therapy) or are on the way to specialization. Together with our technicians and nurses, we accompany animal owners and their animals in close and personal care during and after tumor treatment. We guarantee treatments according to the latest scientific and technical standards for our patients.

Clinical studies are an important part of our scientific commitment. Often, we can offer new, promising treatment options and at the same time gain valuable information in the fight against cancer. However, this only happens with the explicit permission of the animal owner.

A good quality of life is paramount during and after treatment, because the quality of life – “the good life” – is probably more important for animals than the duration of life: The animal has no perception about quantity, but very much about quality. It is important for a pet to be able to eat and take care for itself, to be free of pain and fear, and to be able to maintain social contacts. Individual criteria are also important: For a Labrador, for example, it is important to go swimming!

The special field of radiation oncology deals with the therapeutic application of high-energy X-rays.

Radiation therapy is used for many different diseases, especially in antitumor therapy it is one of the most important treatments for benign and malignant diseases. Furthermore, radiation therapy is also used for chronic inflammatory diseases (arthrosis, etc.).

The Division of Radio-Oncology within the Small Animal Hospital Zurich (Vetsuisse Faculty) of the University of Zurich has successfully used a high-precision radiation device (linear accelerator) for cancer treatment to date. In 2023, this device will have reached the end of its service life and must therefore be replaced.


Article by: Carla Rohrer Bley, Head of Department Radio-Oncology, Zurich Animal Hospital