Tips on Caring for Your Senior Dog
Changes in medicine and technology are making it possible for…
Cancer accounts for nearly half of all disease-related pet deaths every year. Dogs get cancer at nearly the same rate as humans (approximately one in four dogs will develop cancer at some point in his life). Half of all dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer at some point. It is theorized that, as we humans have begun to take better and better care of our pets, their life spans have increased to the point where cancer has a greater chance to develop. While cancer is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, it tends to be more aggressive in our feline companions.
However, there are treatments available, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer in your pets can aid in early detection and treatment.
Of course, the best treatment for cancer is prevention.
Cancer treatment options for pets are similar to those available to humans: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have become commonplace. Research is currently underway to investigate immunotherapy vaccines to use the pets own immune system to attack the cancerous cells. The FDA approved the first canine cancer drug in 2009, and further research into medicinal treatment is ongoing.
The cost of treatment for canine andfeline cancer varies greatly. Diagnostic testing can cost between $200-1,000. Surgical treatment can range from $1,000 all the way up to $15,000 depending on the severity and complexity of the operation. Treatment in a specialist center will almost always be more expensive than treatment from your local veterinarian, but specialists will have more options to provide and more experience dealing with complex treatments.
PetFirst Pet Insurance covers cancer, as they do any other disease, provided it is not a pre-existing condition to the policy. We cover everything to diagnose (including scans, bloodwork, etc.) and treat (such as medication, surgery), and we also cover the vet visits. Though there is no lifetime cap on reimbursement, there is an annual limit per policy. For more information about our plans, please click here.
The scourge of cancer is a terrible and persistent blight upon our population – human and animal alike. As always, early detection and regular checkups are critical in keeping your furry companion healthy for years to come. Keep an eye out for symptoms and consult your veterinarian for further information if your pet exhibits troublesome signs.