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Cancer Treatment for Dogs

Cancer is a significant health concern for dogs, just as it is in humans. It affects a substantial number of canines across various breeds and ages. Understanding the options and steps to take following a cancer diagnosis can significantly impact the well-being and quality of life of your pet. 

My Dog Has Cancer, Now What?

Receiving a cancer diagnosis for your dog can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. It's important to process this information and then focus on the steps you can take to support your pet. Here’s what you can do:


Understand the Diagnosis


Explore Treatment Options


Plan Financially


Have Regular Follow-Ups

Types of Cancer We Treat in Dogs

At VetMed, we are equipped to manage and treat various types of cancer in dogs. Each type has its own characteristics and treatment approaches.


  • Mast Cell Tumors: These are among the most common skin tumors in dogs. 

  • Sinonasal Carcinoma: This cancer affects the nasal cavity and sinuses. 

  • Skin Cancer: Skin cancers in dogs can be of various types, with some being more aggressive than others. 

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma can occur in various locations, including the skin, mouth, and toes. 

  • Thyroid Cancer: Thyroid cancer in dogs usually appears as a neck mass. 

  • Oral Melanoma: Oral melanoma is a highly aggressive cancer commonly found in the mouth of dogs. 

  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma: TCC primarily affects the bladder.

  • Fibrosarcoma: Fibrosarcoma is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that can be found in the skin, subcutaneous tissues, or more internally. 

Cancer Treatment Options for Dogs

Cancer in dogs requires a multifaceted approach to treatment, utilizing various methods depending on the type, location, and stage of the cancer.

HDR Brachytherapy

VetMed specializes in High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy which is a form of internal radiation therapy that allows a high dose of radiation to be delivered directly to the tumor with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissues. 

HDR Brachytherapy is advantageous because it typically involves fewer treatment sessions than traditional radiation therapy, reducing the overall stress and discomfort for your pet.

Other Treatment Options


Besides HDR Brachytherapy, several other treatments are commonly used depending on the cancer type:


  • Surgery: Surgery aims to remove the cancer entirely when possible.

  • Chemotherapy: Used for cancers that are known to metastasize or as an adjunct therapy when complete surgical removal isn’t possible. 

  • Radiation Therapy: External beam radiation therapy is used for tumors that are not candidates for surgery.

  • Immunotherapy: Specifically useful for certain types of cancer like oral melanoma, where vaccines are available to help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.

  • Targeted Therapy: Includes drugs designed to target specific aspects of cancer cells, such as the abnormal proteins that drive their growth. 

  • Palliative Care: Focuses on providing relief from symptoms and improving quality of life without necessarily aiming to cure the disease. 

** VetMed does not provide all of these cancer treatments, this is for information only

VetMed operating room

How Much Does Cancer Treatment for Dogs Cost?

The cost for HDR Brachytherapy at VetMed starts at $5,500 to $7,700 per dose. The price can vary based on the complexity of the case and the number of sessions required. It's important to note that some types of cancer may necessitate multiple doses of HDR Brachytherapy for optimal outcomes. The specific number of doses will depend on the type of cancer, its location, and how it responds to initial treatment.

Payment Support is Available

Our dedicated client care team is ready to provide detailed information about the costs associated with your pet's cancer treatment and the variety of payment options available. Our team can guide you through the process of insurance claims submission and discuss eligibility for financing solutions.


It's important to note that most pet insurance plans cover aspects of cancer treatment, provided the policy is active prior to the diagnosis of cancer. Additionally, VetMed offers financing opportunities through partnerships with financial services like CareCredit and All Pet Card, making the management of treatment expenses more accessible.

How Long Can Dogs Live Without Cancer Treatment?

Dogs diagnosed with cancer and not undergoing treatment generally have a life expectancy of about 4 to 8 weeks. However, survival times can vary significantly depending on the cancer's stage, as well as other variables like the dog's age, breed, and general health condition. For instance, dogs with early to mid-stage low-grade oral melanoma (stages 1–3) may survive for over 18 months, whereas those with advanced high-grade (stage 4) melanoma often survive less than three months.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Schedule your appointment with VetMed today to ensure your pet receives the care they need. You can reach us by phone to speak directly with our scheduling team or send us a message through our website for convenience. We are here to help guide you every step of the way in your pet's health journey.

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Join over 5,000 pet parents who have chosen VetMed for specialized, minimally invasive treatments that prioritize your pet's health and well-being.

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