Canine osteosarcoma, an owners guide to osteosarcoma in dogs
Canine osteosarcoma is more commonly known as bone cancer. The cancer develops deep inside the bone and grows outwardly as the disease progresses. The bone is slowly destroyed from the inside. This cancer can affect any bone in the body, but the limbs are affected in the majority of cases. So, what causes this devastating condition?
There are various reasons why osteosarcoma in dogs can occur. Some family lines simply have a genetic predisposition to this cancer. Other dogs may have pre-existing abnormalities. Other common reasons include radiation, chemicals, and foreign objects such as bullets or metal implants.
As mentioned earlier, this cancer grows deep inside the bone and progresses outward. As the condition advances, your dog will experience more pain. The affected limb will swell up and become lame. In its early stages, this period of lameness will only occur occasionally. Over time, it will affect your dog constantly.
If your dog shows any of these symptoms of canine osteosarcoma, you should have him checked out as soon as possible. The first step will be to take an x-ray of the limb. This is usually the only procedure necessary. In some cases, a biopsy of the bone will be done to provide a definitive diagnosis. However, this is usually avoided due to the pain involved.
Osteosarcoma in dogs needs to be treated as soon as possible as the tumor spreads rapidly. Medication will be prescribed to try to control the growth of the tumor. Your dog will also need medication to control pain. It may be necessary to remove the affected limb if your dog starts experiencing too much pain. This may be avoided if the affected bone can be replaced. Radiation and chemotherapy are also treatment methods.