Pet Wellness Guides > Dog Chemotherapy Costs for 2024 (And How to Save) - Pet Insurance Review

Dog Chemotherapy Costs for 2024 (And How to Save)

Posted: 01/22/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

One of the worst things any pup parent can experience is being told their fur baby has cancer. Beyond the sadness of the “what ifs” that enter your mind, you’re also left feeling major stress at the cost of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy was once only used to treat cancer in humans, but now veterinary medicine is successfully using it to extend our pets’ lives as well. Keep reading to learn about dog chemotherapy costs, factors that impact price, and how you can save.

Key Points

  • Nearly 10% of dogs in this country will develop cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Once a death sentence, cancer in many dogs can now be treated with chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy can cost $10,000 or more, based on a variety of factors.
  • Pet insurance can help you cover as much as 90% of the cost of chemotherapy.

dog chemotherapy costs

How Much is Chemotherapy for Dogs?

According to the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, nearly 10% of dogs in the United States will develop cancer at some point in their lives. And, that risk increases with age, with more than 50% of dogs over the age of 10 developing some type of cancer

But cancer no longer needs to be a death sentence. This is particularly true with the help of chemotherapy. But how much does this potential lifesaving treatment actually cost?

Are you sitting down?

Dog chemotherapy costs range between $10,000 and $30,000. This price range refers to the actual treatment alone. There are other costs associated with a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment. For instance, diagnosing cancer can require diagnostic testing, which can include things like X-rays, bloodwork, surgical biopsies, CT scan, ultrasound and more. Diagnosis alone and cost hundreds of dollars.

Once your pup has been diagnosed, your regular vet will most likely refer you to a veterinary oncologist for an additional consultation. Like human oncologists, vet oncologists have specialized knowledge in canine cancer and can help to develop the best treatment plan.

According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, oncologist consultations can cost between $125 and $250.

Factors That Can Affect Dog Chemotherapy Costs

The above are general costs and what you end up paying will be determined by a variety of factors.

Location of Cancer

Where the cancer is located can cause the treatment to be more challenging and, therefore, more expensive. Cancer on the leg is easier to reach and less expensive to treat than, say, cancer that is located deep within the abdomen or chest.

Size of Mass

Similarly, size of mass matters when it comes to cost. A larger mass will take longer to treat, requiring more chemotherapy.

Stage of the Cancer

Dog chemotherapy costs heavily depend on the number of treatments a pup requires, and that often depends on how advanced the disease is and how well the dog responds to treatment. Some dogs respond better and sooner to chemotherapy than others and certain types of cancers respond better to the drugs as well.

Facility and Location

And finally, a big factor impacting dog chemotherapy costs is the type of facility you use and its location. Some oncologist offices simply charge more than others. You’ll find those in a big city like Los Angeles will charge more than an office in Youngstown, Ohio.

If you’re thinking of chemotherapy treatments for your pup, it’s a good idea to call several oncologists or vet practices in your area to get quotes. Oftentimes saving money simply means being strategic and thorough when choosing where your fur baby will receive treatments.

dog chemotherapy costs

Can Pet Insurance Cover Dog Chemotherapy Costs? 

In many instances, yes! Just as chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for your pup, pet insurance can be a lifesaver for you and your savings account. With costs totalling in the tens of thousands of dollars, not many regular people can afford that price tag. But with a pet insurance policy reimbursing you for 70%, 80% and even 90% of the bill, you have far more treatment options at your disposal AND peace of mind.

But it’s important to note that your pup must be enrolled in a plan before they have been diagnosed. Otherwise an insurance provider will consider their cancer a pre-existing condition. This is why it is so important to enroll your fur baby when they are young and healthy, before any health issues begin to crop up.

A cancer diagnosis can be scary and sad, but it doesn’t need to be a life sentence. In many cases, dogs do well with chemo and it can help to extend their lives, giving you both more time to spend together.

If you’re considering signing your up for health insurance, here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Embrace14,463
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.9Trupanion60,410
4.9Fetch2,378
4.9Lemonade795
4.8Nationwide21,394
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.7ASPCA11,508
4.7Hartville164
4.7PetPartners111
4.7Spot5,787
4.6MetLife528
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.4AKC889
4.4Figo2,619
4.3Pet Assure12
4.3Pumpkin1,257
3.2ManyPets2,268

 

References:

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/immunotherapy-treatment

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/sprecher-institute-comparative-cancer-research/cancer-care-cuha/cancer-management-frequently-asked-questions

https://www.carecredit.com/well-u/pet-care/cat-and-dog-chemotherapy-cost-and-financing/

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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