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Bone Cancer in Dogs

Updated on February 23, 2017

Bone Cancer in Dogs Picture

Courtesy for this Image goes to Compassion for Camden a society dedicated for the last 20 years to education of people and rescue of animals that are treated inhumanely. You can view more images from the
Courtesy for this Image goes to Compassion for Camden a society dedicated for the last 20 years to education of people and rescue of animals that are treated inhumanely. You can view more images from the | Source

A brief introduction to Bone Cancer in Dogs

The nature of bone cancer seen in dogs can either be; bone cancer that is benign (localized to one area and does not spread) or malignant bone cancer (may spread to other areas like the lungs). Bone cancer in dogs can be a devastating condition that negatively affects pet’s quality of life. The bone tumors in dogs are categorized depending on their nature i.e whether they spread or they are limited to a certain area.

Malignant Bone Cancer in Dogs

This class of tumors in dog affects dogs irrespective of their age. Though experts argue that there are certain breeds that are predisposed to this kind of bone cancer, virtually all dog breeds can be affected by this bone cancer. The main subclasses of malignant bone cancer in dogs are Osteosarcoma and Chondrosarcoma.

  • Osteosarcoma- Dogs are more often affected by this kind of bone cancer being very popular amongst the giant Dog breeds. Osteosarcoma in dogs spread seriously and amputation is recommended to treat this kind of cancer in dogs.

Occurrence of Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma) in Dogs

Osteosarcoma is a very common condition in dogs and it is seen in dogs that are of diverse ages but it’s more common in dogs that are at least 8 years old. This category of bone cancer in dogs is seen equally in both male and female dogs. The dogs that are least likely to be diagnosed with malignant bone cancer are small dog breeds that are alternatively called the dogs that stay small.

Development of bone cancer (Osteosarcoma)

Given the fact that malignant bone cancer in dogs is a serious condition, as a dog owner there are certain signs that should never the overlooked. It is common though from expert veterinarians that bone cancer in dogs and particularly, Osteosarcoma begins developing from the front legs. The dog’s hind legs are affected later.

What is the first sign of Bone cancer in Dogs?

A dog owner, who observes a dog that has suddenly starts limping and has not had any previous history of trauma, should be concern on the possibility of this being the warning sign of an underlying bone cancer problem.

What happens next?

Depending on the decision that the dog owner takes, the condition may be diagnosed early and curbed or it may aggravate to a more malignant cancer. Often the limping will be followed by an inflammation of the affected limb and fracture may result due to pressure on exerted on the bone by the tumor. Alternatively a bone mass may be observed on the affected limb and can be somewhat painful on palpation.

It is advisable that if you observe any of this sign in your dog that you consult your veterinarian for assistance in identifying the underlying problem.

Bone Cancer in Dogs Video

Signs a Dog Owner cannot miss in case of bone cancer (Osteosarcoma)

The summary of the early signs of Osteosarcoma in dogs can be the following signs:

  • The first sign is idiopathic lameness – This is lameness that develops suddenly and don’t have any identifiable cause. The vet may recommend use of anti-inflammatory drugs but this does not resolve the problem.
  • Fractures may be observed in the affected limb
  • Inflammation of the limb that is characterized by severe pain may be the second most important observation sign in dog bone cancer.
  • The dog will eventually have anorexia and severe mass wasting if proper care is not initiated at the opportune time.

The course of the bone cancer Disease in dogs

This is one of the most serious tumors observe in dogs. Being malignant in nature, any delay will lead to the spread of this bone cancer to the lungs. If early clinical intervention is sought the condition can be controlled and the life of the dog saved.

How malignant bone cancer in dogs is diagnosed

If you and your vet think that this is a case if Osteosarcoma affecting your dog, your vet may recommend X-ray since it is the most reliable way of diagnosing cancer in dogs. Another method that may be used is biopsy of the swollen tissue mass which will reveal whether the swelling has the cancerous cells or not.

The second most common Bone cancer in dogs

Chondrosarcoma is another bone cancer in dogs that is equally common like Osteosarcoma. As the name suggests this kind of bone cancer in dogs is seen in body parts that have cartilage. This is a tumor that has deadly tendencies due to its ability to spread but it is not as malignant as Osteosarcoma

Treatment of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Treating cancer in dogs can take various approaches depending on the stage and the nature of the bone cancer. The most common approach of treatment of bone cancer is surgery that comes after a serious physical and radiography examination of the affected dog. In certain cases of malignant bone cancer amputation may be the only way to save the life of the dog.

This procedure may be followed or augmented by chemotherapy to suppress the cancerous malignant cells and consequently increase the survival rate of the affected dog.

Radiation therapy may also be another approach used for treatment of bone cancer in dogs. This may be an effective way to treat cancer of the bone in areas that would otherwise be difficult to carry out surgery.

Conclusion: Bone Cancer in dogs

I hope this hub has provided you with some important facts about bone cancer in dogs. This is a very wide topic and cannot be wholly covered in one hub; nevertheless this information should be helpful to dog owners who are not aware of how dogs are affected by bone cancer. You can leave a feedback through the comments and I will be happy to respond to your questions and offer advice where necessary.


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