Price of chemo and radiotherapy for dogs

Price of chemo and radiotherapy for dogs

The love for your dog is priceless, but his health can be very expensive. Cancers and tumors can also affect our four-legged friends and the cost of care can quickly climb. In some cases, it is possible to treat your dog for cancer. Indeed, dogs can sometimes benefit from cancer treatments.

If your dog has cancer, he will certainly need to be treated for it. Veterinarians most often recommend chemotherapy and radiation therapy. How much does cancer treatment cost for your dog? How much does radiation therapy cost for your dog? BlogCanin tells you all about the cost of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for dogs.

1- In what cases should a dog receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy ?

We observe an increase in the appearance of cancer in certain breeds of dogs, which is partly due to the work of man in the development and improvement of breeding breeds. When a dog is unfortunately affected by the appearance of a tumor or a cancer with metastasis, the veterinarian can propose a therapeutic treatment.

The evolution of technology in the field of medical equipment for animals allows today to treat his dog against cancer thanks to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Moreover, these cancer treatments are often similar between dogs and humans.

When a veterinarian diagnoses a dog with cancer, it is a heavy news to announce to their owners. From then on, a dialogue is established to inform them of the nature of the disease, its possible evolution and the care that exists.

It is essential to take into consideration the state of health and age of the animal so as not to inflict unnecessary suffering on it. Indeed, these treatments are very heavy to bear for the doggie and are almost never curative. This means that at best, the life expectancy of your pet with cancer will be extended by a few months or years.

To treat a dog with cancer, owners have two options: chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The choice of treatment depends on the disease.

1-1 Chemotherapy in dogs : for which diseases

There are two types of chemotherapy for dogs: cytotoxic chemotherapy and metronomic chemotherapy.

Cytotoxic chemotherapy for dogs is a treatment aimed at destroying or preventing the proliferation of cancerous cells. It involves the intravenous administration of a substance that will fight the tumor cells.

Chemotherapy in dogs is used to treat :

Bone tumors (osteosarcoma)
Organ tumors: spleen (hemangiosarcoma), lungs, bladder, breast tissue…
Tumors of the head and/or neck
In palliative treatment of metastasized or inoperable tumors

Metronomic chemotherapy is applied in some rare cases to stabilize the disease and prevent its progression and is done by daily administration of anticancer drugs. It is more of a palliative than a curative treatment.

1-2 Radiotherapy in dogs : in which cases and diseases

Radiation therapy in dogs is a method of radiation treatment that allows for the local treatment of many cancers in order to eliminate the cancerous cells. It is usually applied in addition to surgery but can sometimes be used alone when the tumor is located in an area known as radiosensitive.

The veterinarian proposes radiotherapy for dogs suffering from

Aggressive skin tumors such as mastocytoma, melanoma, etc.
Soft tissue tumors (fibrosarcoma, neurifibrosarcoma).
Cavity tumors: nasal, oral, salivary, tonsil, thyroid.
Cerebral and spinal tumors.
Tumors of the bladder, urethra or prostate.
Bone tumors.
Some lymphomas.
It is also a method of palliative treatment when the cancer is inoperable, when the dog is too weak to support other treatments or when its life expectancy is estimated too low.

2- Treating your pet with chemo or radiation therapy

The type of dog cancer treatment offered to owners can be curative or palliative. Depending on the estimated success rate and life expectancy of the dog, as well as the severity of the treatment, one or the other may be proposed by the veterinarian. The final decision rests with the owners.

2-1 Curative and palliative treatments for cancer in dogs

Curative treatment is generally proposed when the cancer is detected as early as possible and has not had time to evolve much, so when the lesion is easily controllable and the veterinarian gives a favorable prognosis, curative treatment has a good chance of success.

Palliative treatments are used for incurable cancers where the cancer cells have spread or metastasized too far or where the dog is too sick to undergo extensive treatment. In some cases, chemotherapy is still offered as palliative care to extend the animal’s life.

2-2 Chemotherapy and radiation treatment success rates and duration

Before embarking on this lengthy and very restrictive medical care for the animal, many owners would like to know the success rate and duration of treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer in dogs. Unfortunately, it is impossible to give precise information to these questions because each dog cancer is unique. However, it is possible to give averages.

The success rate and the duration of the treatment vary according to a large number of criteria: general health of the dog, nature of the disease and possible evolutions, possible complications, etc.

In the case of radiotherapy, it is estimated that the duration of the treatment is from 3 to 20 sessions depending on the case. The treatment is spread over 2 to 8 weeks and each session lasts less than 30 minutes. Prior to the treatment, medication and regular follow-up are performed and can last several months after the end of the sessions.

The success rate of radiotherapy treatments in dogs is quite high, it is estimated to be around 85%. However, this figure varies from case to case.

The duration of chemotherapy treatment in dogs also varies depending on the type of cancer and the condition of the dog. It can last from a few weeks to several months and generally requires a parallel treatment of varying length. Its success rate varies from one disease to another but can reach 80%.

Moreover, the cost of a cancer treatment in dogs will depend essentially on the choice of the treatment, its intensity and its duration. The bill can reach more than 3000€ for examinations and treatments, which represents a high budget for most owners.

3- Price of a chemotherapy session for dogs

A chemotherapy session is inevitably expensive because of the heavy treatment and the conditions of administration. It is a treatment that requires a short hospitalization (24 hours) mandatory, according to the law of 2009, when it is a metronomic chemotherapy by intravenous administration.

The average cost of a chemotherapy session for dogs is 300€. To this price can be added the cost of hospitalization for 24 hours, which is between 50€ and 70€.

In the case of medicated chemotherapy (metronomic), which does not require hospitalization, the price is about 50€ per pill.

In addition to the sessions, one must not forget to consider the cost of palliative treatment and follow-up, which can vary according to the disease.

4- Price of a radiotherapy session for dogs

Radiation therapy for dogs is a more expensive treatment. Depending on the veterinary clinic, the price of radiotherapy for dogs varies, but on average it will cost between 1200 and 1300€ for the complete treatment.

As before, additional fees apply when there are medications to be administered and follow-up to be done.

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