Canine osteosarcoma is one of the most common reasons why tumors develop in dogs. The tumor forms deep inside of the bone and slowly grows outward. The condition will be very painful as it progresses and destroys the bone.
Osteosarcoma in dogs can develop for various reasons. Exposure to ionizing radiation or chemical carcinogens are two common reasons. Dogs with a foreign body inside such as metal implants will also have an increased risk. Bone abnormalities can also be to blame.
Certain larger breeds also have an increased risk due to their genetic disposition. This condition usually affects their leg bones. Some of the most common breeds include Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Saint Bernards.
As mentioned earlier, canine osteosarcoma can be a very painful condition. Dogs will appear lame in the affected limb. As a tumor grows, the affected limb will also swell. The affected bone will also break easily since it is not nearly as strong as normal bone.
Osteosarcoma in dogs can usually be diagnosed using a simple x-ray. It may sometimes be necessary to take a biopsy of the affected bone so a small portion of it can be analyzed in a lab. However, this procedure can be very painful so it is only done when absolutely necessary.
There are various methods of treatment for canine osteosarcoma. The affected bone will break easily and will not heal correctly once broken. Therefore, it is suggested that it be amputated since this will stop any associated pain.
However, amputation does nothing to stop the cancer’s spread. Amputation is usually combined with chemotherapy. This will help keep the cancer from spreading after the affected limb has been removed.
With timely treatment, it is possible for the cancer to go into remission. However, it is very likely to recur some time in the future. If the cancer has spread to the lungs or other soft tissue, the prognosis is much worse.