Sue Ettinger's Daily Essentials

Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), Tarrytown, New York

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Sue Ettinger's Daily Essentials

Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology). Photos courtesy of Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

As an oncologist, I could not get through the day without …


I love my tech stuff like my iPhone and MacBook Pro, but last year I went old school with a paper planner when I could not find a calendar or app that satisfied my organizational needs. Each week I list what is due—a conference presentation or proceedings, an article  I am writing, my vlog, or ordering a peanut-free cake for my son’s birthday party. I also love the monthly overviews and the weekly gratitude section that reminds me to take time to be thankful.

My Oncology Team

I could not do what I do without my team—I have the best veterinary nurses, veterinary assistants, and service coordinators. We all work together to make sure the chemotherapy experience is the best possible for the client and patient. Even though about 80% of dogs and cats have no side effects from chemotherapy, teaching clients how to recognize nausea and when to give medication are our biggest challenges. My veterinary nurses educate and coach clients through the chemotherapy journey at the practice, by phone, and via email. My motto is “live longer, live well,” and we all make sure our patients are not only living longer with chemotherapy but also living well. 


I am a huge advocate of early cancer detection and believe veterinarians need to be proactive with lumps. If the patient has a month-old mass the size of a pea (ie, 1-cm diameter), I aspirate so that I know what the mass is before removal and the first surgery is the only surgery. I keep everything (ie, calipers for measurement, needles, 6-cc syringes, slides, pencil for labeling) assembled on a tray in my treatment area so I can easily measure and aspirate masses during an appointment.


I use the Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs app almost every day. I can double check nonchemotherapy medication doses and possible interactions of drugs I am prescribing. I love the client information sheets, which are super useful and easy to send home with clients.

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