Obviously, the cost of treating a dog with Canine Lymphoma will vary significantly depending on the severity of the cancer and the types of treatment used. And unfortunately, for many of these treatments, the cost of care can be very expensive.
Although prices vary widely from veterinarian to veterinarian, and throughout different regions of the country (and the world), the following general Canine Lymphoma cost guidelines are based on Dr. Freeman’s experience treating patients in Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
It might be worth noting that the cost of care is probably comparable, or even less costly than what it would cost for a human undergoing the same therapy. The primary difference is that most veterinary patients do not have insurance to pay for their treatments. There are veterinary insurance plans that do cover cancer therapy and the clients that have these policies are quite grateful.
Treatment Costs for Preliminary Canine Lymphoma Diagnosis
Even before you can start considering the cost of treating a dog with Canine Lymphoma, you’ll first need to go through the process of diagnosing whether your dog has cancer, and staging the cancer to determine the scope and extent of the cancer you’re dealing with.
As discussed in greater detail on the Canine Lymphoma Diagnostic Process page, this generally involves a laboratory test using either a biopsy or fine needle aspirate, followed by some possible x-rays or blood tests.
Although there can be a wide variation based on the type of tests used, in general you can expect the cost for these preliminary diagnostic tests to cost between:
- $500 to $600 for the biopsy and related lab work
- $200 to $300 for a fine needle aspirate and related lab work (many times a fine needle aspirate is sufficient to make the diagnosis and a biopsy – the more expensive test – is not required).
- A few hundred to $1,200 or more for follow up staging x-rays, blood work etc., and related lab work, depending on the tests you choose to use.
Note: Recall that while staging tests are useful for helping to determine probable outcomes and getting a better sense of what you’re fighting against, in many cases the results of these staging tests will not generally affect the ultimate decisions for treatment. In those cases where finances are an issue, some dog owners together with their vets choose not to do some or all of these additional staging tests. The can allocate the money to pay for the actual treatments instead. Again, while we generally do NOT recommend this choice when finances are available, this decision may be necessary in some cases where finances are limited.
Costs for Treating Canine Lymphoma using Prednisone Only
Although Prednisone is generally used as part of a larger Canine Lymphoma treatment plan (generally including chemotherapy), some vets will prescribe Prednisone to be used alone for Canine Lymphoma care.
Note: Although this Prednisone treatment may have some benefit for Canine Lymphoma care, as we explain on the Canine Lymphoma Prednisone treatment page, the benefits of using Prednisone alone are VERY LIMITED (and will extend your dog’s life by a few short months at most), so we generally don’t recommend using Prednisone alone if you can afford more extensive (and more effective) treatments. However, in some cases, where Prednisone is the only option that dog owners can afford, this can be a worthwhile option to get a few extra months of healthier life.
Although the Canine Lymphoma treatment cost for dogs receiving Prednisone only will vary from vet to vet and from region to region, based on our experience, dog owners can expect to pay between $5 and $20 for a prescription of Prednisone plus the costs for any follow up exams at the vet.
Canine Lymphoma Treatment Costs for conventional treatment protocols
There are many different treatment protocols for dogs suffering with Canine Lymphoma (most involving the use of chemotherapy), so the cost of these treatments will vary significantly from case to case, and from region to region.
These chemotherapy costs can be as little as $1,000 for certain smaller treatments, to as much as $5,000 to $7,000 (depending on the size of the dog being treated) for the full Madison Wisconsin Protocol treatments. These numbers represent the entire cost of care, but when costs are broken down to a monthly basis, they range from $200- 600 per month, depending on the protocol, size of dog, and duration of therapy.
Treatment costs for Holistic Canine Lymphoma Care
As with all of the other categories, there are many different types of holistic Canine Lymphoma treatments available to you dog, so it’s impossible to give a precise estimate of Canine Lymphoma treatment costs for dogs undergoing holistic care (either separately, or combined with conventional Canine Lymphoma care)
Feeding your dog a better food (as you can see in the Canine Lymphoma Diet section of this website) will generally cost more as you journey into “super-premium” foods (and depending on the size of your dog and the amount of food he eats). However, most holistic vets feel that these changes in nutrition, despite the extra cost can be the most cost effective way to help your dog fight back against Canine Lymphoma. In other words, nutrition changes can provide the best “bang for your buck” and should be seriously considered.
Other Canine Lymphoma fighting supplements can cost anywhere from $25 per month for the less expensive supplements, to as much as $100 to $200 per month or more for certain expensive supplements. And generally, when you work with a holistic vet for alternative Canine Lymphoma care, you’ll try to put together a mix of supplements that will work best for your dog.
Also Note: Whereas for conventional Canine Lymphoma treatments, we’re able to give you an estimate about the total cost you may expect to spend on your dog’s care (with payments broken out over the course of the treatment), the total lifetime treatment cost for holistic Canine Lymphoma care is more difficult to estimate. Because instead of paying 1 single treatment, holistic care tends to be much cheaper up front, but then present ongoing month-to-month costs. Therefore we tend to measure holistic Canine Lymphoma treatment costs for Canine Lymphoma care as a “monthly budget” that you can expect to spend month after month to in your efforts to maintain your dog’s health.
And of course, since the idea is to help your dog live as long as possible, there’s no way to know exactly how many months you’ll end up paying this budgeted amount – so while the general effect is that holistic care costs less money up front, it may actually end up costing you more over time, especially if those holistic treatments end up helping your dog live longer than could have otherwise been expected. In those cases you may end up spending more on your dog, but most people find this added expense well worth it, because it means they get more months of life and love for their dog.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who has pet insurance for your dog, the pet insurance companies are generally pretty good at helping you pay for the cost of conventional Canine Lymphoma care (unfortunately, they can provide less coverage for certain “alternative” holistic treatments). Of all the patient’s Dr. Freeman treats, less than 5% come in with pet insurance, and the ones that have it are absolutely THRILLED that they do.
The amount of coverage insured will vary based upon the policy you hold, and whether or not that policy has a “cancer rider” (which generally increases the insurance payments available for the cost of cancer treatments).
Unfortunately, if you don’t already have pet insurance, insurance policies generally have “pre-existing condition” limitations that will prevent you from insuring for Canine Lymphoma treatment costs now.
NOTE: If you have a dog who is healthy and has not been diagnosed with cancer, we strongly recommend that you look into obtaining an insurance policy for those dogs (preferably one with a dog cancer rider) now, before they might get sick. With the high prevalence of dog cancer these days (including estimates that as many as 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will be diagnosed with cancer), having a quality pet health insurance policy with a cancer rider can make a huge difference in your ability to pay for treatment costs if your dog is ever diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma.
These insurance policies can be relatively inexpensive – costing just $20 to $40 per month in most cases. For all of those reasons, we strongly recommend that you get it for your dogs if at all possible.
If you can’t afford the cost of your dog’s Canine Lymphoma care, some veterinary schools and hospitals in some areas may be conducting clinical trials that may provide free or reduced cost care if your dog qualifies to participate in one of these studies
Other Types of Support
If you don’t have pet insurance, or otherwise can’t afford to pay for your dog’s Canine Lymphoma care, there are some charities that may be able to help you pay for the cost of your dog’s canine lymphoma care. These charities are listed on the Canine Lymphoma Charity page.
And finally, if you need some help, there is another company that may be able to help. It’s called “Care Credit” and they provide low cost credit on relatively easy terms for patients trying to pay for Canine Lymphoma care.
For more Canine Lymphoma support – and for answers to questions about your dog’s cancer care – visit our member support forum at www.DogCancerCare.com