FAQ's: Chemotherapy Costs


How much will chemotherapy cost?

Cost will vary according to the size of your dog (the bigger the dog, the more drugs that need to be administered), the type of cancer they have, the number of extra tests that need to be conducted and your particular vet’s fee schedule.  But, generally speaking, you should be prepared to spend several thousand dollars in the course of your dog’s treatment, especially if you go through chemotherapy.  But, as you pay per appointment, not in a lump sum, this amount is spread out over several months.  Also, if you have pet insurance, they will likely reimburse you for some of the costs of treatment.

Keep in mind thought that chemotherapy is just another name for "drug therapy" and there are many different cancer drugs.  If cost is a major factor for your family, discuss with your vet whether or not there is an alternative drug or drug combination that may be less expensive yet still effective.  Although alternative drug treatment protocols may not be "optimal", they can still offer your dog good quality of life for longer than if you choose to do nothing. 

For example, if your dog has lymphoma and a full multi-drug chemotherapy protocol is not possible, ask about using an oral chemotherapy drug such as CCNU, which can be less expensive and require fewer vet visits.  Or, perhaps you can only afford to treat your dog using Predinsone along with dietary changes and/or holistic supplements. The results of using different drugs may not be as good as using the "recommended" protocol, but they might allow you to help you and your dog enjoy some extra time together without compromising quality of life.  So, don't be afraid to ask for alternatives and choose the path that is best for your dog and your whole family.

This website is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinary professional, and is for informational purposes only.   Please seek the advice of your veterinarian or a veterinary specialist before giving your dog any supplements or pursuing any alternative cancer therapies. 

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