It’s a sad fact that budget concerns will probably impact which cancer treatments you choose for your dog. Especially when it comes to conventional care, the price tag can be quite high. According to studies, conventional cancer treatments (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy), typically cost between $5,000 and $8,000. Single treatments, like surgery, may cost $2,000 or less, but if you choose a combination of treatments, you could end up spending $10,000 or more on conventional cancer treatments.
Even if you decide not to treat with conventional treatments, the tests used to diagnose cancer have costs associated with them, as do less expensive palliative strategies like supplements and high quality food. Most of us wish we could do more than we actually can.
We here are dog cancer vet have plenty of experience with having to provide the best care possible within a budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there really are no rules when it comes to dog cancer budgets. Every case is so different, and every dog, and every dog guardian … and every budget. We all love our dogs, we all wish they weren’t sick, and we all have limitations of some kind that we must work with. There is no “right way” to budget for dog cancer, just as there is no “right way” to treat it.
Here are some important things to keep in mind.
One: Some Cancer Treatments Are Free
You can spend thousands of dollars on some treatments, but it’s also true that there are literally dozens of things you can do for your dog that cost nothing whatsoever. As you’ll find out as you do your research, many of these are backed up with solid, peer-reviewed publications that help us understand their benefit. For example, things like exercise, cuddles, and fresh air and sunshine benefit most dogs. These take time and energy, but also have a healthy impact on your dog.
Two: Planning Is Important
Whether you are worried about money or not, as you select your treatments, Dr. Demian Dressler’s book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, can really help. The paperback (also available in digital editions for Kindle, Nook, and iPad), can really help you to calm down, clarify your thinking, and get your priorities in order. It also helps you to make decisions that truly reflect your own personal and budgetary reality.
In Section IV, Making Confident Choices, you will be led by the hand by Dr. Dressler. Taking your own personality, your dog’s personality, his or her diagnosis and prognosis, and your time and money budget into account, you will be able to come up with a strategy (with the input of your veterinarian) that can really help.
If you take this section of the book seriously, you are less likely to regret your decisions later. No matter how much you can afford, you’ll feel good that you’re taking concrete actions that are in line with your values and your budget.
Three: There Is Financial Help
Remember, you can help your dog with cancer no matter how much or how little money you can budget. And if you need financial help, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the subject. Chapter 24 has a whole list of organizations that may be able to help with medical bills. It also covers how to find clinical trials, how to negotiate a barter arrangement, and the things you need to know about CareCredit, the healthcare credit card your veterinarian might offer you.
Ultimately, the book helps you to spend your money wisely.
Speaking of spending money wisely, we really like The Dog Cancer Kit because of its great value. It’s worth taking a look at. In addition to the paperback book, (and the eBook edition, which you can read while the paperback is shipped to you), you get The Dog Cancer Coping Guide, which can help you to calm down and think clearly, and years of Ask Dr. Dressler webinars about dozens and dozens of different topics.
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Best Wishes & Doggy Kisses from Our Homes to Yours,
Dog Cancer Vet Team
(The Team of Dog Lovers Who Understand What It Means to Have a Dog with Cancer)
There is a whole team of dog lovers behind Dog Cancer Vet and DogCancerBlog.com, and we’re here to help, because we understand what it’s like to deal with dog cancer. We work for Maui Media, the book publisher which includes paperback and digital copies of the best-selling animal health book Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. This must-read book is available everywhere books are sold in paperback, and digital formats (iPad, Kindle, Nook). It is authored by our veterinarian bloggers Dr. Demian Dressler, and Dr. Susan Ettinger, DVM, ACVIM (Oncology).