Treating Cancer in Pets - The Trupanion Blog
Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company

Treating Cancer in Pets


No pet owner ever wants to hear that their pet has cancer. As scary as it can be, there are now many options available to pet owners looking to give their pets the best care. Despite increasing cases of cancer in pets, advances in veterinary medicine mean that pets can live longer, healthier lives.

Treating Cancer in Aging Dogs

It may come as no surprise that your pet’s age, breed, and species will influence their risk of developing cancer.

Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It is more common in dogs than cats, but occurs in both species. After looking into our claims data, we found dogs become significantly more prone to cancer starting at age 5. We’ve paid over $1 million in cancer-related claims, with the majority of the funds going toward dogs over 5 years old.

Though age plays a larger role, both environmental and genetic factors can also determine the risk of cancer in pets. For example, a dog’s breed can influence their risk of developing cancer. Among Trupanion-insured pets, the top dog breeds most prone to cancer include the Rottweiler, Boxer, and Golden Retriever.

Top 10 breeds most prone to cancer:

  1. Rottweiler
  2. Doberman Pinscher
  3. Boxer
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Great Dane
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. American Pit bull Terrier
  8. Labrador Retriever
  9. Beagle
  10. Jack Russell Terrier

Treatments Available for Pets with Cancer

Pets diagnosed with cancer now have a variety of options available to them. Many treatments available for humans are also being used to treat pets.

Pets diagnosed with cancer have the option to be treated by veterinary oncologists, who have specialized in the field. They can receive immunotherapy, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and herbal therapies. Some types of cancer are even curable with bone marrow transplants. These treatment options can be combined to extend the duration and quality of life for pets.

And all of these treatments are becoming more accessible to pet owners with medical insurance for cats and dogs. Coverage can help mitigate the high cost of many of these treatments, allowing pet owners to care for their pet and not worry about the finances along the way.


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