Osteosarcoma In Dogs (Canine) Symptoms, Treatment And Life Expectancy

May 24, 2011 | Dog Cancer | Leave a Comment |

Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone cancers which usually affect the middle aged canines. Mostly it affects their limbs, then skull, ribs. The main clinical indicator of a dog suffering from bone cancer is lameness.

Osteosarcoma in Dogs Symptoms:

  • This type of lameness responds poorly to pain medications.
  • An obvious swelling might also be visible in the affected area.
  • Radiography results will show bone lysis (affected bones will appear to be moth-eaten).
  • Biopsy can determine if the dog has osteosarcoma and determine the stage of the disease.

Osteosarcoma in Dogs Treatment:

Radiation therapy can be administered to shrink the size of the tumor, as well as to eliminate the pain present during osteosarcoma.

  • Amputation is commonly done for cases of osteosarcoma occurring in the distal limbs of the dog.
  • Amputation provides a low level of complication, as well as the certain removal of the primary tumor.
  • Chemotherapy is usually administered after amputation in order to kill stray cancer cells and to prevent metastasis.
  • No treatment option: Some pet owners opt to euthanize the dog diagnosed with advanced osteosarcoma in order to end the animal’s suffering.

Osteosarcoma in Dogs Life Expectancy:

Usually, at the time of diagnosis, the cancer has already metastasized to other parts of the dog’s body, thus lowering the chances of survival.

  • Early diagnosis can therefore increase the chances of the pet’s survival.
  • Most treatment methods aim to improve the pet’s quality and length of life.
  • The average survival time with radiation therapy is 4-6 months.
  • Amputation alone has an average survival time of 6 months.
  • Amputation combined with chemotherapy allows for an average survival rate of up to 12 months.
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Middle-aged dogs are more susceptible to this type of cancer, but younger dogs can also develop the disease. Treatment of canine osteosarcoma can be any of the following: the reduction of pain, treatment of lameness, or completely cure the disease.

Bone Cancer in Dogs Symptoms:

  • Osterosarcoma in the limbs can cause a dog to become lame.
  • Occasionally, there is swelling at the site of the cancer.
  • Bone cancer in the mandibular area will make swallowing difficult.
  • Cranial tumors can cause neurological deficits.
  • Dogs with cancer in the pelvic area will have difficulty in defecating.

Bone Cancer in Dogs Life Expectancy/Survival Rate:

  • Prognosis for dogs that have bone cancer will differ based on several factors.
  • Dogs under 7 years of age will usually have a poor prognosis.
  • Other factors that can yield a poor prognosis include a large volume of tumor, osteosarcoma located in the forelegs, and the metastasis of the cancer.
  • An aggressive chemotherapy can raise the chances of survival by up to two years.

Bone Cancer in Dogs Treatment:

  • Amputation is done to prevent the further spread of the cancer to other tissues and organs; however, it is not a popular treatment option for many dog owners.
  • Chemotherapy, in combination with other modes of therapy, is categorized as a curative.
  • Surgery is usually done to remove the tumor from the dog’s legs.
  • Radiotherapy can be an alternative to chemotherapy.
  • Medications to alleviate pain can be administered, but they are usually powerless against the level of pain attributed to canine osteosarcoma.

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