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Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) in Dogs

Bone cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in dogs and must be detected and treated in its very earliest stages to achieve the best possible outcomes. Learn more from our Pflugerville vets about the symptoms and treatments for bone cancer in dogs.

What is osteosarcoma?

At Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital, osteosarcoma emerges as the most common form of primary bone cancer in dogs. This is a common observation. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone tumor that is diagnosed in dogs, accounting for approximately 95% of all cases. This aggressive condition makes it possible for immature bone cells to grow in a manner that is both malignant and abnormal.

In the absence of treatment, osteosarcoma has the potential to rapidly spread throughout the body, resulting in a variety of other health complications and even potentially leading to death. If osteosarcoma is detected at an early stage, it may be possible to extract the cancerous limb through a surgical procedure that could save the patient's life. It is possible to stop the disease from spreading by removing the limb as soon as possible.

What are the signs of bone cancer in dogs?

Many pet parents fail to recognize the subtle early symptoms of bone cancer in dogs. Dogs commonly experience the development of osteosarcoma in their front legs initially, although it can also impact other areas such as the jaw, facial bones, vertebrae, ribs, and rear legs.

Some of the most common symptoms of osteosarcoma in dogs include:

  • Swelling in the ribs, spine, legs, or jaw
  • Severe pain
  • Mass or lump on the dog's body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Limping or lameness
  • Respiratory distress
  • Discharge from the nostrils
  • Lethargy or weakness

When should I take my dog to see a vet?

Treatment for bone cancer needs to be administered urgently due to its rapid spread and aggressive nature. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial to contact your vet right away and schedule an emergency appointment for your pet. It is crucial for pet parents to treat symptoms of bone cancer in their dogs with utmost seriousness! Early detection is crucial in treating osteosarcoma to prevent it from becoming fatal.

What is the treatment for dogs with bone cancer?

Amputating the limb and starting chemotherapy is often the recommended treatment for osteosarcoma due to its aggressive nature. Amputation, while appearing extreme, can effectively prevent the spread of cancer. Additionally, dogs typically adapt well to life with three legs. If your dog is unable to undergo surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can be a beneficial combination.

When your dog is diagnosed with osteosarcoma, your vet will make sure to have a detailed conversation with you about the latest advancements in cancer treatment. This will help you gain a clear understanding of the available therapy options for your furry friend.

What is the outlook for dogs with osteosarcoma?

The prognosis can be influenced by factors such as your dog's age, weight, and the location of the tumor. Your vet is the only one who can give you an accurate prognosis for your pet. They will work with a veterinary oncologist to create a specialized treatment plan that will give your dog the best chance for a positive outcome.

Dogs with bone cancer can typically live for an additional 1 - 6 years after diagnosis and treatment. Regrettably, bone cancer is highly aggressive and frequently results in fatality despite surgical and other therapeutic interventions. However, your primary and specialty veterinary teams will work together to guarantee your dog's comfort and maintain their quality of life for as long as feasible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

For more information on getting a referral for diagnosis and treatment for your dog at Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital, please get in touch right away so that our team can provide the best care for your dog. 

New Patients Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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