How much does dog biopsy cost?

Last Updated on December 9, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

A biopsy is an extremely useful medical procedure in veterinary diagnosis. A good diagnosis can save your pet’s life. Therefore, when in doubt, a biopsy may determine the life-saving treatment.

A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of the animal’s skin is excised and examined with a microscope. In some cases, a small part of the animal’s skin is sufficient, but there are also situations in which it is necessary to collect several samples, or even excise and analyze the entire suspicious area.

How much does a dog biopsy cost?

Plan on spending anywhere between $320 and $950 for a less invasive dog biopsy, while for a complex surgical dog biopsy, like a bone biopsy, you will have to pay $2,100 to $3,100, including the medication and hospitalization. In these price ranges, the vet examination fee and the whole procedure should be included, as well as the cost of anesthesia.

You might also like our articles on the cost of urinalysis, CT scans, or echocardiograms for your dog.

The cost of a dog biopsy will be influenced by the type of biopsy being performed, as a surgical procedure performed by a board-certified veterinary surgeon will be more expensive according to Vetary.com. The cost of a dog biopsy which includes hospitalization and medication would be around $2,600, while for a less evasive punch biopsy will cost anywhere from $410 to $820.

Types of dog biopsies


This type of dog biopsy requires an incision, which means that the affected area will be cut away to be examined.


This is used in general to determine dermatological problems. During this type of biopsy, the dog’s skin will be shaved and all the skin layers will be penetrated with a small tool that bores the skin in order to remove a piece of tissue. After that, the tissue will be placed into a solution for preservation and sent to the lab for examination.


Tru-cut dog biopsy is designed to get certain tissue samples and is less invasive. The dog is placed under general anesthesia during this procedure and the area which has to be biopsied will be shaved and cleaned. After that, the tru-cut instrument is placed on the affected tissue. The tru-cut device can also be guided by an ultrasound.


Bone cancers in dogs are diagnosed with the help of jamshidi needle biopsy. Your dog will be under general anesthesia during this procedure and a needle is bored into the bone in order to get a little piece of the bone for examination.

What are the additional expenses?

To appropriately diagnose a condition, bloodwork, urinalysis, imaging (x-rays, ultrasound), and other diagnostics paired with the biopsy are often necessary.

At least one overnight stay in the hospital will be required for dog biopsies done on internal organs. In this situation, you will have to pay an overnight stay fee.

Depending on the billing policy, you may have to pay separately for the anesthesia.

Your vet may recommend future treatment if he finds out that there is a malignant tumor or there is a risk of developing a serious disease. Just as humans, dogs can undergo surgical or non-surgical procedures, and the total estimated cost of this will depend on what the vet will recommend.

Does pet insurance cover a dog biopsy cost?

Wellness plans in 2023 usually provide some coverage for routine procedures like biopsies, while accident/illness plans may only cover if related to an injury or sickness.

Insurance often covers diagnostic biopsies done to determine a medical condition. Therapeutic biopsies (part of a treatment plan for an illness already diagnosed) may not be covered.

If the biopsy is related to an accident, injury, or illness a dog is already being treated for that is covered by the active policy, it’s likely the biopsy will be reimbursable as part of that ongoing care.

In any case, most pet insurance providers will clearly indicate in their policies and documentation what specific biopsy scenarios they will and will not reimburse as medically necessary veterinary care.

Biopsy procedure overview

Dog BiopsyIn veterinary medicine, biopsies are most often used in dogs that develop various swellings and irregularities in the epidermis. These irregularities can be signs of the presence of a cancerous tumor, but they can also be harmless to the animal. The biopsy may also show the severity of a medical problem.

For example, if an animal suffers from kidney and liver disease, a liver sample can be taken with a biopsy and then examined under a microscope to determine the cause and severity of the problem.

Biopsies are performed by veterinarians, with the animal placed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the intervention. The tissue samples collected are generally analyzed within a few days of their sampling.

The actual procedure generally consists of the excision of a part of the animal’s skin, with a diameter between 4 and 8 mm, with the help of a sharp-pointed tubular instrument.

How can I save money?

Make sure the dog biopsy is absolutely necessary. Your vet will be able to choose the right treatment place to keep your dog in a good health condition.

Try to find price offers from more vets in your area, even though you are loyal to one vet. The majority of the vet offices will be able to offer you a quote over the phone if you know exactly what procedure is required.

Take into consideration finding a local veterinary school where this procedure can be performed at a lower cost. Even though your dog will be treated by students, they will be supervised by an experienced doctor.

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