Bone Cancer in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatment
We now know that pets par excellence, dogs and cats, are susceptible to numerous diseases that we can also observe in humans. Fortunately, this growing knowledge is also due to a veterinary medicine that has developed, evolved and now has several means of diagnosis and treatment.
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Studies on the incidence of tumors in dogs roughly consider that 1 in 4 dogs will develop some type of cancer throughout their life, so we are facing a pathology that must be known so that we can deal with the greatest as soon as possible.
In this Animal Expert article we talk about the symptoms and treatment of bone cancer in dogs .
Bone Cancer in Dogs
Bone cancer in dogs, also known as osteosarcoma , is a type of malignant tumor that, although it may affect any part of the bone tissue, is mainly detected in the following structures:
- Distal radio region
- Proximal region of the humerus
- Distal femur region
Osteosarcoma mainly affects dogs of large and giant breeds that are in middle or advanced age, dogs Rottweiller, Saint Bernard, German Shepherd and Greyhound are especially susceptible to this pathology.
Like any other type of cancer in dogs, osteosarcoma is characterized by an abnormal reproduction of the cells. In fact, one of the key features of bone cancer is the rapid migration or metastasis of cancer cells through the bloodstream.
Bone cancer usually causes metastases in lung tissue ; on the other hand, it is strange that cancer cells are found in bone tissue as a result of the metastasis of a previous cancer.
Symptoms of Bone Cancer in Dogs
The most prevalent symptoms in canine osteosarcoma are pain and loss of mobility . Subsequently the physical exploration will reveal a broader symptomatology but mainly centered at the osteoarticular level:
- To miss
- Nose bleed
- Neurological signs
- Exophthalmia (oocytes very projected outwards)
Not all symptoms have to be present, since the more specific, such as those neurological, only occur depending on the affected skeletal area.
On many occasions the suspected fracture delays the diagnosis of osteosarcoma delaying the implementation of appropriate treatment.
Diagnosis of bone cancer in dogs
The diagnosis of canine osteosarcoma is performed mainly through two examinations.
The first is an imaging diagnosis . The dog is submitted to a radiography to the symptomatic region. In cases of bone cancer, it is sought to observe if the affected bone tissue shows regions with bone malnutrition and others with proliferation, following a certain pattern typical of this malignant tumor.
If the radiography causes an osteosarcoma to be suspected, the diagnosis should finally be confirmed through a cytology or study of the cells . To do this, first a biopsy or tissue extraction should be performed, the best technique to obtain this sample is fine-needle aspiration, as it is painless and does not require sedation.
Subsequently, the sample will be studied under a microscope to determine the nature of the cells and determine if they are carcinogenic and typical of osteosarcoma.
Treatment of bone cancer in dogs
Currently the first line treatment is amputation of the affected limb with adjuvant chemotherapy, however, the treatment of canine osteosarcoma with the recovery of this disease should not be confused.
If amputation of the affected limb is performed only, the survival is 3 to 4 months, on the other hand, if the amputation is done along with the chemotherapeutic treatment, the survival amounts to 12-18 months, but in no case the hope of life is similar to that of a healthy dog.
Some veterinary clinics begin to rule out amputation and replace it with a graft techniquewhere the affected bone tissue is removed but the bone is replaced by the bone tissue of a corpse; however, chemotherapy and life expectancy after the intervention is similar to the values we described earlier.
Obviously, the prognosis will depend on each case, taking into account the age of the dog, the readiness of the diagnosis and the possible existence of metastases.
Palliative and complementary treatment
In each case the type of treatment should be evaluated, this evaluation must be done by the veterinarian but always taking into account also the wish of the owners.
Sometimes, in older dogs whose quality of life will not be improved after the intervention, the best option is to choose a palliative treatment, that is, a treatment that does not have the objective of eradicating cancer, but rather the relief of symptoms .
In any case, in the face of a pathology characterized by great pain, treatment of the same must be urgent. See also our article on alternative therapies for dogs with cancer .
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles that may be products of Bone Cancer in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend you to enter our section on Degenerative Diseases .