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Is Dog Chemotherapy Worth It?

Dogs are wonderful creatures we must take care of as if they were our children. Many people acquire these animals as excellent and faithful life companions.

Canines are the favorite pets of most people on this planet. Many treat these animals as family members and offer them the love and care they deserve.

Is Dog Chemotherapy Worth It

Unfortunately, these animals can suffer from some serious diseases just like humans. One of the most common is cancer. Dogs can suffer from different types of cancer, which can be treated with chemotherapy, especially if the disease has been detected early.

Still, many people wonder if chemotherapy is worth it, even if cancer in their dogs has been detected too late. In this article, we will talk about this topic and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment.

What Is Chemotherapy for Dogs?

This chemotherapy is similar to that of humans. It is one of the most common treatments used for canines that have been diagnosed with cancer.

When a dog is diagnosed with cancer, surgery is the first recommendation before starting chemotherapy. Once the surgical procedure has been carried out, chemotherapy will help reduce the size of the tumor and prevent possible metastases.

Remember that cancer is uncontrolled cell growth. Therefore, chemotherapy treatment helps attack and eliminate tumor cells, preventing them from expanding further. Chemotherapy can be effective as long as cancer has been detected early.

Keep in mind that chemotherapy can cause some side effects in your dog. The reason is that this treatment attacks not only tumor cells but also healthy ones, and that means that chemotherapy is not selective.

Should I Choose Chemotherapy as a Treatment for My Dog?

In most cases, cancer is incurable in dogs since it is not usually detected in time. Remember that dogs cannot speak so often; we realize they are in pain or feel bad when they have strong symptoms.

Unfortunately, chemotherapy will not cure a dog’s cancer when the disease is already advanced. In these cases, the function of this treatment will be to alleviate the symptoms that the canine is presenting and extend its life a little.

Many people decide not to take their dogs to chemotherapy sessions because they don’t have money or simply because they don’t want to prolong their pets’ suffering.

Others do not choose this treatment simply because they believe it is not worth it, especially if the disease has been going on for a long time.

The best thing you can do is ask for the help of a veterinarian. This professional will be in charge of evaluating the canine. Based on the diagnosis results, he will determine if it is a good idea or not to offer chemotherapy.

This is important as this treatment will only prolong the life of the affected canine (in most cases).

On some occasions, chemotherapy could harm the dog since it is responsible for some side effects that the animal will suffer.

It is essential to know that the primary function of chemotherapy is to prolong the lifespan of a dog with cancer. If you want to eliminate this disease, you must destroy the malignant tumor, which can only be achieved through surgery.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Chemotherapy for Dogs

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of this cancer treatment will help you determine whether it is worth it.

Cancer can be treatedMany veterinarians claim that chemotherapy is an effective treatment that will help extend the canine’s life and even cure it.
There are many veterinarians preparedA large number of veterinarians around the world are trained to perform chemotherapy on dogs with cancer.
It is an effective treatmentThere is no other treatment as effective in helping dogs with cancer as chemotherapy. However, this treatment must always be accompanied by surgery, which is what will eliminate the malignant tumor.
There is little chance that cancer will recurMany experts say that most dogs exposed to this treatment do not get this disease again. However, that is not always the case.
Rapid positive changesThis treatment has a rapid effect on dogs with cancer. You may begin to notice positive changes after just a few chemotherapy sessions.
Advantages of Chemotherapy for Dogs
Treatment does not always prolong lifeAlthough chemotherapy is an effective treatment, it is not 100% certain that it will prolong the dog’s life because the dose used is not as powerful as that applied to humans.
It is expensiveChemotherapy is really expensive. The cost of this treatment can vary between $2,500 and $7,000 over 3 to 6 months.
The appearance of side effectsLike chemotherapy for humans, chemotherapy for dogs also has side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, hair loss, weakness, etc.
It takes a long timeChemotherapy can take a long time, and the whole process can cause significant mental fatigue for the entire family. A period of 6 months can be long, especially if the treatment is ultimately ineffective.
It is not easy to know if the canine is recoveringNot always the dog with cancer will react positively to chemotherapy. It is possible that the dog is getting worse, and it will be difficult to detect it since, in many cases, it may not show any signs.
Disadvantages of Chemotherapy for Dogs

Types of Cancer in Dogs

Dogs can suffer from various types of cancer, just like humans. It is good to consider chemotherapy if a canine suffers from any of the following types of cancer:

  • Bone cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Malignant lymphoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcomas


Chemotherapy is an excellent treatment as it helps treat diseases as serious as cancer in dogs. 

This treatment helps to prolong the life of these animals, but it also has certain disadvantages that we have already seen.

So if your dog has cancer, you need to sit down with your family and discuss it to make a decision. Obviously, if you love your pet, chemotherapy will be worth everything in the world. 

However, suppose cancer has been diagnosed late. In that case, this treatment may not have as many positive effects, so you should consider whether it is worth investing a large amount of money in something that may not be 100% effective.