Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) Average Cost

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What is Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer)?

If your dog has metastatic neoplasia, you have to see a veterinary professional to find the primary tumor. Usually, by the time the metastasized neoplasia is found, you will likely have noticed some signs of the original tumor depending on where it is located. For example, if the cancer originated in the lungs, you will probably have seen some breathing difficulty and maybe weight loss. Cancer cells travel through the blood and lymph nodes to different areas in the body, but those cells that have travelled there will not be from the organ they are in, but the organ that they came from. For example, lung cancer tumor cells that travel to the liver will show up as lung cells. This is one way the veterinarian can tell where the tumor originated. After taking a biopsy of the neoplasia that was found, the cells will tell where the original tumor is located.

Neoplasia is an abnormal tissue growth that can occur anywhere in the body and it can be benign or malignant. Benign neoplasia is not cancerous and malignant neoplasia is cancerous. Metastatic neoplasia, often called mets, is a cancer that has spread to other parts of the body from its original site. The neoplasia would have to be malignant for it to metastasize (travel) to other parts of the body. Most often, it moves through the lymph nodes and lungs, then travels to other organs. The neoplasms (cancer) invade and destroy all the tissue around them and grow faster than the other tissues, so the neoplasms break apart and move to other parts of the body.

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Symptoms of Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) in Dogs

Since the metastatic neoplasia are cancer cells that travelled from a tumor somewhere in your dog’s body, the symptoms will be mostly related to the primary tumor area. However, the areas where the neoplasia ends up will also send out signs of problems.


  • Inflammation
  • Redness or rash
  • Discolored skin
  • Hair loss
  • Lumps or growths

Breast (Mammary Gland)

  • Edema (fluid retention) in the chest and abdomen

Head & Neck

  • Mass or lump in the mouth or gums
  • Bleeding
  • Foul breath
  • Trouble eating
  • Appetite loss


  • Painful testes
  • Edema (fluid retention) in abdomen and genital area
  • Abdomen


  • Pain in the affected area
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Trouble walking
  • Depression
  • Lethargy


  • Coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Gasping for breath
  • Weight loss
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weakness


  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting blood


  • Edema (fluid retention) in abdominal area
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and mucous membranes)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness


  • Edema (fluid retention) in abdominal area
  • Frequent urination gradually changing to lack of urination
  • Abnormal thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss

Causes of Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) in Dogs

The cause for cancer has not been definitively found but there are some factors thought to contribute to it's development.

  • Old age
  • Chemical exposure
  • Genetics
  • Environmental influence

Diagnosis of Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) in Dogs

The sooner you can get a diagnosis by a veterinary professional, the better your dog’s chances of recovery. First, the veterinarian will need to give your pet a thorough examination including height, weight, pulse, oxygen levels, breath sounds, abdominal palpation, pupil reaction time, blood pressure, temperature and respirations. Tell the veterinarian the symptoms you have noticed and if you have given your dog any medication. Necessary laboratory tests include blood counts and serum biochemistry panel to check for abnormal levels of protein, blood cell counts, kidney function, liver panel, glucose level, and a packed cell volume (PCV) to check for dehydration and electrolyte balance.

Radiographs (x-rays) of the affected area will be done next to look for the metastatic neoplasms and the primary tumor as well. An MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound are usually done next to get better views of the tumor. Once the neoplasia is found, a biopsy will be taken by fine needle aspiration. The cells found in the neoplasia will be from the primary tumor, so the veterinarian will know exactly where to look.

Treatment of Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) in Dogs

With any kind of cancer, it is important to attack it aggressively and quickly to be able to either minimize the tumor or get rid of it completely. However, once there is metastatic neoplasia in your pet’s system, the primary tumor would already have to be large and hard to get remove. There are several choices that the veterinarian can suggest, but the best idea is to get a recommendation for a veterinary oncologist because they specialize in metastatic neoplasia. Some of the treatments available are:


Depending on the primary tumor site and size and how far the cancer has spread, removing the cancerous areas may be possible. However, once metastatic neoplasia is evident, the cancer will have already spread enough to be inoperable.


The veterinarian may choose to do chemotherapy by itself or after surgery. Chemotherapy may be good for slowing the progression of the disease, but it is usually fatal once this stage is reached.


Radiation is usually a last resort and most oncologists do not recommend this treatment for metastatic neoplasia.

Supportive Care

Because this disease is usually fatal, most oncologists just suggest supportive care. This may include oxygen and fluid therapy, intravenous feeding, antibiotics for infections, and pain medication.

Recovery of Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) in Dogs

Unfortunately, the prognosis for metastatic neoplasia is grave due to the fact that the cancer has already spread. Once this happens, it is usually only a matter of time. Many owners choose to euthanize their pet to ease their suffering.

Metastic Neoplasia (Cancer) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

American Pit Bull Terrier
9 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain When Lifted

My 9 year old american pit has a mass (left axillary area) that was drained March 5, now the mass is back and larger, May 10. Doctors don't know what it is...they drained and determined it was fat with blood...she had trauma before having surgery...which they say may have caused the blood factor. They had syringed fat prior to surgery three times...nothing but white fat. Now they are sending to a specialist. X-rays were done, no other masses found, pathology was done, not including anything; but could be possible cyst or r/o neoplasia. I have to pay out of pocket, so looking for an effective & reasonable treatment. With all tests, blood work, x-rays, path reports; now the want more intense MRI,ct scan, etc.; any advice?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Since your veterinarian has not been able to determine what the mass might be but it seems to be causing problems for Sheeba, an appointment with a specialist might be the next best step to take. They may be able to surgically remove the mass and have pathology done to determine what it is. Unfortunately without knowing more details about her situation, I'm not sure why they are wanting an MRI, but there must be a reason that I'm not aware of. It would be best to ask more details on what they think is going on, and what the next step is.

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


My Chesapeake Bay had a splenectomy in November due to Hemangiosarcoma which had not ruptured. The vets couldn't tell if the nastiness had metastasized. Yesterday morning and this morning Ben vomited also last night and this afternoon he had some dark brown diarrhea. He ate a small meal yesterday afternoon of white rice and a little fresh cooked beef. This evening he ate some white rice a little beef a a few cooked carrots. He went for a short walk today. Early this evening he started shivering but has since stopped and is sleeping. He has drunk some water but not much. He is 10 almost 11 and is also being treated for an enlarged heart and high thyroid levels. I am asking if you see these symptoms as a sign that the nastiness is spreading. I would like an opinion on the best pain meds if he should need them, we have a wonderful vet but I always like to get other opinions.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Those could be signs of a hyperactive thyroid, or gastrointestinal disease, or cancer, yes. Many dogs do well on NSAIDs, gapabentin, and/or tramadol for arthritis pain, but he may need medications for GI disease. An x-ray may be able to help tell if the cancer has spread. I hope that Ben is okay.

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Manchester Terrier
15 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


My 15 year old Manchester terrier was diagnosed with metastic neoplasia. How long could she have had this? Is, there anything I can do? And, what is her life expectancy?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Metastatic neoplasia is a general term for cancer spreading to other organ systems in the body from other areas; the type of cancer and the origin would have a bearing on the amount of time Hope has had cancer. Treatment options would be dependent on the type of cancer with surgery possibly being unrewarding due to Hope’s age; chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be useful to limit the progression of the cancer. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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