What Pet Insurance Covers Cancer Treatment? – Forbes Advisor – ForbesWhat Pet Insurance Covers Cancer Treatment? – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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During a visit to the vet, no pet parent wants to hear the dreaded “C” word—cancer. About one in four dogs will develop a tumor, which may be benign or malignant, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Half of dogs over age 10 will develop cancer. One in five cats will build up cancer in their lifetime, based on the Colorado State University (CSU) Flint Animal Center.

The average cost of cancer treatment is $4, 100 for dogs and $3, 800 for cats, according to claims data from Pets Best from 2017 to 2021. Pet insurance can be a good way to help offset medical expenses if your pet develops cancer.

Pet Insurance coverage Plans That Cover Malignancy

Accident plus illness dog insurance plans typically cover cancer, including diagnosis and treatment. Here are some pet insurance coverage companies that cover cancer-related medical costs.

Related: What does pet insurance cover?

Dog Insurance Programs That Do Not Cover Cancer

You won’t have coverage for cancer-related expenses if:

  • You purchased an accident-only plan. As the name implies, only accidents are covered under this type of strategy. Illnesses, such as cancer, are not covered within an accident-only plan.
  • Your pet’s cancer is a pre-existing condition. Pet insurance plans commonly exclude pre-existing conditions, meaning an illness (such as cancer) that will started prior to your protection beginning, including the waiting period.

Related: Family pet insurance programs for pre-existing problems

Top Malignancy Warning Signs

Just like humans, different types of cancers can affect your pet. That’s why it’s important to take your family pet to your own veterinarian with regard to regular wellness exams. But it’s equally important for you, as a pet parent, in order to be on the lookout for any malignancy warning signs and report them to your vet.

Right here are a few common cancer warning signs to be aware of:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Bleeding or discharge, including diarrhea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing, defecating or urinating
  • Difficulty eating or even swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Loss of appetite
  • Offensive odor from your pet’s ears, mouth or any other part of their body
  • Persistent lameness, such as limping or other evidence of pain
  • Sores that do not really heal
  • Weight loss

Types of Pet Cancers

Here are usually some common forms associated with cancer plus how they impact your dog.

Bladder malignancy

This type of cancer can occur in any part of your own pet’s urinary system. It is typically detected by diagnostics such as biopsies, blood work and imaging in order to determine the particular best course of treatment. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) malignancy

HSA is really a fast-spreading, malignant tumor related to bloodstream cells plus can be found anywhere in your pet’s body. The most common places HSA appear is in the spleen, heart and liver. HSA happens less commonly in the particular skin.

HSA is more typical in canines than in cats. Due to its aggressive nature, HSA is usually within advanced stages before it is diagnosed.


This type of cancer is found in your pet’s white blood cells or lymphoid tissue. Growths may appear in locations in your pet’s entire body like bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract (including the intestines, liver and stomach) plus the lymph nodes.

Cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency (FIV) are at a higher risk of developing lymphoma. Keeping your own cats indoors can help reduce their chances of catching viruses through other pet cats.

Lymphoma in dogs is often treated with chemotherapy, plus 95% associated with dogs treated go into remission when the “most effective therapy protocols are used, ” according to the CSU Flint Pet Cancer Center. About 70% of felines with lymphoma treated along with chemotherapy experience remission.

Mammary cancer

Dogs and cats are both prone to mammary (breast) malignancy. Most tumors are cancerous and can potentially spread to the rest of your pet’s body. Surgical removal of breast growth will be one of the most effective treatments as long as cancer has not spread. Early detection and removal once the mass is usually small could potentially cure your pet.

Unspayed female dogs plus cats are more likely to develop mammary cancer. One of the best prevention tools is in order to have your own pet spayed.

Mast cell tumor (MCT)

MCTs are the most common skin tumors found in dogs. Low- or even intermediate-grade cancers are unlikely to spread and surgical removal may be the only treatment necessary. High-grade tumors may spread, and additional treatments for example chemotherapy and radiation may be considered.


Melanomas are usually tumors arising from pigment-producing cells. In canines, they are commonly found on the skin, within the mouth and on the toenails. The majority of skin melanomas upon dogs are usually benign, but the majority of oral plus toenail melanomas are malignant and may spread throughout the entire body.

Squamous cellular carcinoma (SCC) is a common melanoma tumor in a feline’s oral cavity. Because pet cats have this kind of small mouths, surgery may require the removal of the upper and lower jaw so cancer doesn’t always distribute.

Diagnosis of the melanoma usually requires a biopsy. Surgery is definitely typically the first treatment. In cases where surgery is not possible, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy may be an option.


About 85% of canine bone tumors are osteosarcomas, according to the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Middle. It generally affects the particular limbs associated with large plus giant breed dogs yet can also happen in other parts of the skeleton, such as the pelvis, ribs, skull and vertebrae. The particular cancer will spread towards the lungs inside about 80 percent of dogs with osteosarcomas.

Treatment depends on several factors, such because the growth type, location and extent of the particular disease. Diagnostic tests such as biopsies, blood tests and x-rays are often used to determine the appropriate therapy.

Breeds Prone to Cancer

Some pet breeds are more susceptible to certain cancers than others. For example, Oriental and Siamese cat bread of dogs are a lot more vunerable to Lymphoma.

Here are some dog breeds that are more prone to mast cell tumors:

  • Beagles
  • Boxers
  • Boston Terriers
  • Bull Terriers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • English bulldogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labradors
  • Pugs
  • Schnauzers
  • Staffordshires
  • Shar Peis
  • Rhosesians
  • Ridgebackss
  • Weimaraners

Dog breeds which are susceptible to Osteosarcoma:

  • Borzos
  • Deerhounds
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Great Danes
  • Greyhounds
  • Irish Setter s
  • Irish wolfhounds
  • Rottweilers
  • Saint Bernards
  • Scottish Deerhounds
  • Borzois
  • Greyhounds

Dog bread of dogs that are vulnerable to Lymphoma:

  • Airedale Terriers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Saint Bernards
  • Scottish Terriers

Dog breeds that are vulnerable to Hemangiosarcoma

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Boxers
  • Flat Coated Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Portuguese Water Canines
  • Skye Terriers

Pet Cancer Treatments

If your pet is identified with cancer, here are usually some types of treatment your veterinarian might suggest.

Keep in mind, most pet insurance plans do not cover treatment that is considered experimental, investigational or not within the standard of care accepted simply by your state’s veterinary medical board. It’s a good idea in order to speak with your own insurance agent before you begin treatment to make sure you’re covered.


Surgery or rays may not eliminate the disease if malignancy has spread throughout your pet’s body. Chemotherapy can help slow the particular spread of cancer plus kill the disease. Chemotherapy can also be used before surgical treatment to reduce the size of a tumor or after surgical procedure to kill small cancer cells that will the surgeon was unable to remove.

Pets can receive chemotherapy either through an IV or oral medications.

Clinical trials

Veterinarians use clinical trials to identify new treatments and discover a deeper understanding of particular diseases in pets. In case your dog isn’t responding to the treatment recommendations, participating in the clinical trial may give them access to advanced treatments that aren’t readily available. Clinical trials can consist of testing medications, radiation treatment protocols, surgeries or some other treatments like immunotherapy.

If your vet is just not conducting medical trials, you can visit the Pet Health Studies Database to search for relevant scientific trials.


Radiation therapy kills malignancy cells by damaging the DNA. Teletherapy is the particular most normal form associated with radiation therapy, which is a good external beam that targets the tumour and surrounding areas. A small dose of radiation might be delivered in order to your dog every day over a course associated with three to four weeks.

Surgical treatment

One of the most typical treatments regarding cancer is surgery, which aims to remove the tumor. Before a vet recommends surgery, they usually take the tumor biopsy to diagnose the mass as well as other analysis such as a CT scan, MRI and ultrasound.

Some pets may require additional treatments, this kind of as radiation treatment, in addition to surgery.

Pet Malignancy Treatment Costs

The average cost intended for cancer treatment for dogs is $4, 100 and $3, eight hundred for felines, based on statements data from 2017 to 2021 provided by Animals Best.

A good way to offset these costs is with pet insurance policy. The typical cost to get $5, 000 of yearly coverage pertaining to a dog is $35 a month and $28 for a cat, according to a Forbes Consultant analysis of pet insurance plan costs. It is a great idea in order to compare dog insurance quotes through several different insurers to find a good plan at a reasonable price.

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