How much does it cost to remove a mammary tumor in a dog? The Ultimate Guide

How Are Dog Mammary Tumors Treated?

Whether a dog mammary tumor is benign or malignant, the most common treatment is surgical removal. All lumpy glands will need to be removed using a very wide margin of skin around the lump to ensure that the whole tumor is taken. Chemotherapy may also be used in more advanced cases where the cancer has spread to local lymph nodes or other areas of the body.

Costs of Removing Dog Mammary Tumors (Specialists)

Surgeries performed by specialists may also cost more, as estimated in the table below:

Surgery Type Cost of Specialist
1 small tumor $1,500-$3,000
Multiple small tumors $1,500-$3,000
1 large tumor $2,000-$5,000
Multiple large tumors $2,000-$5,000

Surgery to remove a dog mammary tumor may leave your pup with a large incision and some discomfort. Your job is to make sure your pup stays quiet and doesn’t lick the incision. This may require an e-collar or soft wrap. You’ll want to monitor the incision daily to make sure there is no swelling, redness, oozing or foul odor.

Most incisions will heal in about two weeks without complications. It is recommended to keep dogs out of water until they are completely healed. Limit activity to prevent dogs from tearing out stitches or aggravating the incision.

Dog mammary tumors can reoccur, so it’s important to continue to check your dog for lumps and bumps and see your vet if you notice any new ones.

Mammary gland tumours can be seen as either single or multiple masses in the mammary gland tissue of dogs and cats. They can be benign or malignant, and are more common in female dogs and cats that are not desexed, or who were spayed after two years of age. The risk of a dog developing a mammary gland tumour is less than 1% if spayed before their first season. Approximately half of all these tumours in dogs are malignant (likely to have spread) whereas in cats this can be up to 90%.

We believe that every pet deserves the best care – at a price point that is more affordable. Our team of veterinarians has over two decades of experience in caring for dogs, cats and pocket pets such as rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and even birds. Our caring team or vets and nurses will not only make your pet feel welcome and safe during their time at our practice but also educate you on how to best care for your pet following a surgery or procedure.

Surgery is the primary treatment pathway. If there is only a single or a couple of masses in a single gland, then removal of a single gland is all that may be required. If there are masses in many glands, then complete mastectomy (removal of all glands) may be preferred as the best solution. If the dog or cat is not desexed, then desexing is strongly advised and performed under the same anaesthetic. These are hormone induced tumours and removal of oestrogen (ovaries) reduces recurrence and the rate of growth in the cells that remain.

11 Year Old Dog Gets Large Mammary Tumor Removed | Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet

For owners of dogs and cats stricken with cancer, one of the leading causes of death among companion animals over the age of 6, costly treatments only add to the emotional difficulties.

According to Dr. David Vail, a veterinary oncologist whos also a professor at the University of Wisconsin, an initial cancer diagnosis can cost between $1,000 and $2,000. A standard course of chemotherapy costs between $3,000 and $5,000, and radiation treatments used for brain and nasal tumors run between $6,000 and $10,000. Costs vary by region and the type of cancer, among other factors.

Just as with humans, veterinarians are able to cure some types of cancers such as soft tissue sarcoma in dogs, at a cost of about $9,000 for the surgery and follow-up radiation treatments, according to Vail. Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma arent so lucky. Owners can spend about $5,000 on treatments that would extend their pets life for about a year or two with little hope of a cure.

“To some of our clients, that expense for one year of quality time is worth it, and for some of our clients, one year simply isnt long enough for a uniformly fatal disease,” Vail said in an interview.

Of course, for some pet owners, money is no object. For instance, more than 70 owners of dogs stricken with lymphoma spent between $16,000 and $25,000 at North Carolina State University on bone marrow transplants.

“They paid out-of-pocket,” said Dr. Steve Suter, the veterinary oncologist who did the procedures and noted that the cure rate was about 33 percent. “They just came up with the money. They used their savings, refinanced their houses.”

Suter had to shut down the program in 2012 because he said the hospital needed the staff in other areas. He plans to reopen it again next year. Meanwhile, he has referred more than 100 clients to the three other U.S. clinics that are doing canine bone marrow transplants.

Spending on cancer is one of the reasons Americans are expected to lay out $15.7 billion in vet care in 2015, more than double the $7.1 billion in 2001, according to the American Pet Products Association. Petplan, a Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, pet insurance company, said its seeing rising claims for pet cancers.

“Because of advances in diagnostics and vet/owner awareness, were finding more illnesses to be caused by cancer than we have been previously,” wrote Jules Benson, Petplans chief veterinary medical officer, in an email. “Not only are more pets being treated for cancer-related diseases, but the costs per pet are increasing, too,” he added.

Swedish-based pharmaceutical company Oasmia Phamaceutical, which makes one of the three Food & Drug Administration-approved cancer treatments for dogs, estimates the size of the market at $500 million.

The FDA last year conditionally approved Oasmias Paccal VET-CA to treat dogs with certain types of skin and mammary gland cancers. The company is conducting Phase 1 trials of Doxophos, a therapy for lymphoma, the most common type of cancer in dogs.

“We are basically … one of the first in this market,” said Julian Aleksov, Oasmias executive chairman of the board, in an interview from Sweden. “Things will start moving, but it will take some time.”

Besides Oasmias treatment, the FDA has approved Palladia for treatment of mast cell tumors and Oncept, a vaccine for canine melanoma. Dogs are also treated with medicines developed for humans. Although the FDA hasnt approved any cancer drugs for cats, theyre also treated with the same sorts of therapies.

Exact statistics on pet cancer are hard to come by because there are only about 300 or so veterinary oncologists in the whole country. The disease is common in midsize to large breeds, such as golden retrievers and Great Danes. Its slightly less common in cats, though about 20 percent of them will be stricken in their lifetimes.

Human and animal cancer research is done mostly separately, but Cornell scientist Dr. Kristy Richards argues that the two disciplines have much to learn from each other. A “human “oncologist” by training, Richards also has an appointment with Cornells College of Veterinary Medicine. “Almost as many dogs get cancer as people get cancer,” said Richards.

Jonathan Berr is an award-winning journalist and podcaster based in New Jersey whose main focus is on business and economic issues. Thanks for reading CBS NEWS. Create your free account or log in for more features. Please enter email address to continue Please enter valid email address to continue View CBS News In