A tumor (or neoplasm) is defined as an increase in the volume of a tissue or organ due to the abnormal proliferation of its cells.
A tumor can be visible and palpable when it develops on a superficial tissue (skin, moisture, oral cavity) or it can be visible only by using imaging means if it develops deep on an internal organ or tissue (kidneys, lungs, bladder, blood vessels).
The removal of a dog’s tumor is very similar to the process used when removing tumors from humans.
A tumor can be a sign of cancer or lead to it. Although tumors are not necessarily cancers, they may need removal for several reasons even if the tumor is benign and non-cancerous. A tumor is either benign, which means it’s not cancerous and doesn’t pose any risk to the patient; or malignant, where there may be an underlying metastasis that needs careful examination.
The main difference between malignant and benign tumors is the timing of surgery. Generally, the benign ones can wait for some period of time to be removed since they do not grow as fast. However, this may prove fatal when it comes to removing cancerous growths like malign tumors because they might spread throughout the body if left untreated for too long.
How much does it cost to remove a tumor from a dog?
Dog owners must consider the cost of surgery, location, and surgeon when choosing to remove a tumor from their pet. The costs can range anywhere between $180-$450 for simple skin tumors while complex internal procedures could be more than $2,000. Additional tests like bloodwork or x-ray may also need to take place depending on the gravity of the situation which will increase these costs even further sometimes reaching up to more than $3,000.
Dog owners should be aware that eyelid tumors are common among dogs. These surgeries can range from $320 to upwards of $650, depending on the number of vet visits needed beforehand and the anesthesia involved in surgical procedures. Ear and mouth tumors have similar costs.
The cost of treating a mammary tumor can vary greatly, ranging from $1,000 to more than $12,500. The severity of the tumor and where you live will determine the costs.
In order to remove a mast cell tumor, costs can range from $500 to $1,000. However, if radiation therapy is required the prices increase giving you an average of around $4,000 – $10,100 depending on your pet’s condition and type of cancer.
Removing a dog’s tumor
In order to determine if a lump is malignant, the vet will take some cells from it and send them off for testing. The lab results will also let them know which “stage” of cancer it falls into so they can come up with an effective treatment plan. If there’s a risk of spreading disease, then more tissue may need to be removed than just the initial tumor itself in order to prevent that spread.
When your dog is prepared for surgery, the vet will first inject a painkiller to prepare them. This step involves injecting an anesthetic into their leg via a catheter and then keeping it with gas through a tube inserted in their windpipe. Next, they would pre-prepare the area where the tumor was located by creating an incision and getting access to remove underlying tissue if necessary before closing it all up again with sutures.
The tissue that was removed will be sent to a lab for analysis. These findings will confirm what kind of tumor is present and if enough cancerous cells were successfully removed from the patient’s body.
The success of the treatment will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to tumor type and size, how early it was detected or caught at all, accessibility, and amount/quality of tissue removed.
Your dog will have to wear a cone during their recovery time after surgery. This is because they shouldn’t be able to lick the area that was dressed, which helps with faster healing and reducing infection risk. The average amount of time your dog has to spend in this state can range from 10 days up until 21 depending on how extensive the procedure was.
What are the extra costs?
There are several steps a vet will take before removing a tumor. First, they’ll run blood work to confirm the size of the tumor and whether or not surgery is necessary for your dog’s health. The cost of this type of testing can range from $60 to $110. However, it helps determine whether or not anesthesia may cause any harm during an operation. If x-rays must also be conducted because there isn’t enough evidence using palpation techniques alone (pressing into their body with hands), then these additional costs typically range between another $100 and $220.
After your dog has surgery, you will need to buy pain medication for them. This could cost $60 or more depending on the size of your animal and how long they require meds after their procedure is complete.
To make sure the lump didn’t come back, future appointments may be necessary.
Important things to remember
If a lump is found and ignored, it may get larger in the future. Therefore, you should never ignore any lumps you find on your pet’s body.
In some cases, if the dog is in poor health or cancer has been spreading very quickly, your vet may not recommend surgery at all. If they do suggest it and you want to go through with it though, there are different types of surgeries that range anywhere from something straightforward to a more complicated situation.
How can I save money?
In case you can’t afford to pay the entire cost upfront, talk with your vet’s office about any financing options they may have.
If you’re struggling to pay the surgery costs, there may be charity groups in your local area that can help.
If you’re getting a second opinion, it’s important to get one from an expert in the field. A specialist can often remove more tissue during their first surgery, which means less work for them down the line and potentially fewer surgeries overall.