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Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer?


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Vet holding iPad with x-ray of dog tumor (Caption: Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer?)

Does pet insurance cover expensive health conditions, like cancer? It depends on your dog’s health status when you purchase the policy and after all waiting periods have passed. Because pre-existing conditions are excluded, you can’t obtain coverage for an existing cancer diagnosis before signing up. However, if you’re preemptively purchasing a pet insurance policy for any possible concerns down the road, then any future diagnoses, including cancer, may be eligible for coverage.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer Treatment?

It depends on when you signed up for pet insurance. Cancer will be considered pre-existing if your pet began showing symptoms or was diagnosed with cancer before purchasing your pet insurance policy. However, if you buy a pet insurance policy and your dog begins showing signs of cancer after the policy’s effective date and all waiting periods have passed, cancer may be eligible for coverage.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Cancer For Dogs?

According to Fetch Specialty & Cancer Veterinary Centers, these are the top five cancers in dogs.

  1. Mast Cell Tumors – This is the most common type of skin cancer in dogs, and it can be successfully treated if caught early on. It’s most commonly located on the limbs, chest, and lower abdomen and appears red and itchy. Tumors are surgically removed and depending on the grade, your dog may also require radiation and chemotherapy to treat mast cell tumors.
  2. Melanoma – Another type of skin cancer that most often occurs on the lips or mouth, in the nail bed, or on the dog’s pads. They can appear as a dark or pink spot. Surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy are commonly used to treat melanoma in dogs.
  3. Lymphoma – Located in the lymph system, this cancer is often noticed in swollen lymph nodes in the jaw, under the shoulders, and behind the knee. The swollen lymph node can feel like a hard lump that can be moved under the skin. Chemotherapy is the most effective treatment for lymphoma in dogs.
  4. Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma) – This painful cancer often affects dogs’ legs but can also occur in the jaw, pelvis, and hips. You may notice your dog is limping, is lethargic, or has some swelling. Amputation and chemotherapy are the most common forms of treatment for osteosarcoma in dogs.
  5. Hemangiosarcoma – This cancer grows in cells that line blood vessels, most often on a dog’s spleen, skin, or heart. Unfortunately, it’s often in the advanced stage upon diagnosis. Treatment for hemangiosarcoma is typically tumor removal and chemotherapy.

A Personal Experience

Wondering if pet insurance is worth it? A member of our team had a rescue Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who suffered from squamous cell carcinoma (throat cancer) at the age of only four and a half. Thankfully she had Embrace Pet Insurance to help cover expenses related to diagnosis and treatment.

Sadie and Lexie
Sadie and Lexie

I never anticipated needing pet insurance early in Lexie’s life, but couldn’t be more thankful for it. In three months, it saved us nearly $10,000 in vet bills, including costs for mass removal, CT scans, chest X-rays, consultation fees, and more. I can’t imagine making a critical health decision based on cost. I am so grateful for the advanced medicine that makes it possible to prolong a pet’s quality of life while providing the best possible healthcare.

– Sadie C., Canine Journal

What’s The Best Pet Insurance For Dogs With Cancer?

Fortunately, all pet insurance companies we review offer coverage for cancer. Our exhaustive research can help you find the best pet insurance for cancer and any other concerns your dog may experience over the years.

Our pet insurance comparison may be helpful, providing valuable charts that allow you to quickly see how the most popular providers stack up against one another. Our comparison includes tables analyzing plan customizations, coverage and exclusions, waiting periods, age limitations, and sample prices.

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