How Much Does a Dog Biopsy Cost?

Written by: Staff

A dog biopsy, much like a biopsy done on a human, is the procedure used to test a tumor to see whether it is cancerous or not.  These biopsies are usually required to identify lumps or tumors that abnormally grow.  The goal is to provide an accurate picture of the disease process taking place.

Casper is miserable by TexasDarkHorse, on Flickr
Casper is miserable” (CC BY 2.0) by TexasDarkHorse

How much does a dog biopsy cost?

On average, a less evasive biopsy can cost $300 to $900, whereas a complex surgical biopsy could cost $2,000 to $3,000, including the hospitalization and medication.

The estimates above should include the vet office examination fee and the entire procedure, including the anesthesia.

According to, the cost of a biopsy will vary depending on the kind being performed.  They claim that a less evasive punch biopsy will cost about $400 to $800, whereas a biopsy, including hospitalization and medication, could cost up to $2,500.

Types of dog biopsies


A punch biopsy is commonly used to determine dermatological conditions, and during the procedure, the skin will be shaven, followed by a small tool that bores the skin, penetrating all of the layers to remove a piece of tissue.  This tissue will then be placed into a solution to help preserve it and will then be sent off to the lab.


A jamshidi needle biopsy will be used to help with bone cancers.  During this procedure, a general anesthetic will be used, followed by a needle that is bored into the bone to obtain a small piece of the bone for further sampling.


A tru-cut biopsy is less invasive and is designed to obtain certain tissue samples.  During the procedure, your dog will be placed under a general anesthesia, and the area that needs to be biopsied will be cleaned and shaven.  Once shaven, the tru-cut device will be placed on the tissue and can be either guided by an ultrasound or placed directly in the tissue.


Lastly, a surgical biopsy will require an incision, meaning the affected tissue will be cut away for examination.

What are the extra costs?

In the event that the vet finds out that there is a malignant tumor or any possibilities of developing serious diseases, then the vet will then suggest future treatment.  Like human beings, the dog can undergo either a non-surgical or surgical procedure.  The costs of the procedure will greatly depend on what your vet will recommend.

Biopsies for a dog’s internal organs will usually require at least an overnight stay in the hospital.  This can increase the costs as most offices will charge an overnight stay fee.

Anesthesia, depending on the billing policy, may be billed separately.

Tips to know:

Usually, anesthesia will be required during the procedure, and depending on the circumstances,  the veterinarian will either use a local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia.  This is usually determined by the severity of the condition and the specific areas that need to be examined.

If you plan on having the mass removed completely, regardless of the outcome, then a biopsy won’t be necessary.

As for the procedure’s results, the veterinarian usually submits the biopsy samples to a veterinary laboratory where a board-certified veterinary pathologist will evaluate them.  Evaluation usually takes one to two weeks; however, the results can be obtained faster if the dog’s condition is critical.

How can I save money?

Consider finding a local veterinary school in your area to see if they can offer the procedure at a much cheaper cost.  Even though students will work on your dog, they will still be monitored by a trained professional.

Discuss the pros and cons of a biopsy and make sure it’s really necessary.  A good vet will choose a good treatment plan to keep your dog as healthy as possible.

Even if you’re loyal to one vet, be sure to get a few quotes from surrounding vets.  As long as you know which procedures you need, most offices should be able to offer you a quote over the phone.

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