You might still have some questions about chemotherapy for dogs. We’ve got you covered.
Chemotherapy may help prolong your dog’s life after a cancer diagnosis, but it’s no guarantee of a positive outcome.
Several factors must be considered when deciding whether or not to pursue this course of treatment. These include the cost of chemo for dogs and potential side effects that may cause your beloved pet discomfort. Consult with your veterinary specialist to help make the best decision.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee chemotherapy will effectively treat or cure your dog’s cancer. It depends on the type and stage of cancer and your dog’s health.
However, there’s plenty of evidence to indicate chemotherapy is often successful. Canine lymphoma, for example, typically responds well to chemotherapy treatment.7
If your pet is receiving chemotherapy, there are some safety precautions you may want to make to minimize risks involved with potential exposure. These can include:8
- In the first 72 hours following a chemo treatment, pick up any feces your dog excretes, both indoors and out. Be sure to wear latex gloves while doing so, as well as if you need to clean up any other messes, including urine or vomit.
- If you have other pets or children in the home, try to have your dog who’s receiving chemotherapy go to the bathroom in an isolated or lower-traffic area.
- If your dog is receiving oral chemotherapy at home, store the medicine out of reach of children and away from any food or human medicine (so, not in your kitchen or bathroom). Wear appropriate gloves when handling and administering the medicine to your pup.
- Some people should avoid handling chemotherapy at all. This includes children and individuals who are immunocompromised, pregnant, or nursing.
Radiation and surgery are other ways to treat cancer in dogs, and they’re often used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
Also referred to as X-ray therapy, radiation kills cancer cells. This occurs because cancer cells divide more often and more rapidly than healthy cells, and radiation kills cells that divide rapidly.9
Surgery is typically the most effective form of cancer treatment for dogs. It involves removing the cancerous cells or tumor(s).9
Depending on the protocol, radiation can cost between $1,000 and $6,000.2 Surgery costs vary depending on the size and location of a tumor, the type of cancer, size of the dog, and the amount of anesthesia needed.
Many dog owners report being satisfied with their dogs’ quality of life in the aftermath of radiation therapy in the 6 weeks — or longer — following treatment.
In one study, 92% of dog owners indicated they were happy they’d chosen radiation. Nearly the same amount said they’d make the same choice again for another pet with cancer.10
Yes, there are holistic approaches to target a dog’s immune system11 that can be used in addition to clinical treatment like chemotherapy and surgery. However, you should still consult with your vet or a certified specialist before attempting any of these options on your own.
No pet owner wants to be in a situation where their pet is suffering from cancer or another illness. Between consultations, medications, and other treatments, ensuring your furry friend receives the best care possible can be expensive.
A MetLife Pet Insurance policy may help cover some of the costs associated with medications, vet visits, or injuries as a result of your dog’s anxiety. Here’s a real life example.
When Chevy was dealing with bladder cancer, her family was reimbursed nearly $300 of the $325 bill for one of her exams, thanks to their MetLife Pet Insurance policy. The reduced financial stress meant they could focus solely on loving on Chevy during her battle with cancer.12
Get a free quote today to see if a dog insurance policy is the right option for you while you focus on your pup’s well-being.