Cost of Chemotherapy for Dogs

Chemotherapy is a long-term treatment given over the course of months or years.
Chemotherapy is a long-term treatment given over the course of months or years. (Image: Tashi-Delek/iStock/Getty Images)

A cancer diagnosis for your dog is a frightening and overwhelming experience, but it is not always a hopeless one. Chemotherapy is a risky treatment, but it has proven effective at fighting some malignant diseases into remission. Unfortunately, the costs can be prohibitive for owners who can't readily afford them.

Cost Factors

There's no standard or normal cost for chemotherapy. The price ranges depending on the size of your dog and the type of drugs requires to treat his specific form of cancer. A course of prednisone alone is much cheaper than a "cocktail" that includes various drugs, and Great Danes require several times the dose that a Pomeranian would. Talk to a veterinary cancer specialist after receiving your dog's diagnosis to discuss treatment options and associated costs.

Weighing the Risk

Few pet owners can put a price tag on their dog's life. Unfortunately, many treatments cost hundreds to thousands of dollars over the course of several months, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. There is never a guarantee that the treatment will be successful for any form of cancer. For an owner, this means you must consider your own needs and the well-being of your family before making a decision.

Experimental Treatment

Owners that are not able to meet the financial demands of chemotherapy at a specialist may be able to find a cheaper or free alternative at a local university. Some college veterinary programs periodically offer clinical trials on unproven treatments to volunteer patients. These opportunities are limited, but dog owners can consider this option if standard chemo is not viable.

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