Canine Bone Cancer: The Big Story on Osteosarcoma
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Osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancerous tumor that develops in the bone cells of a dog and rapidly spreads throughout the body resulting in death. There is currently no cure.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Osteosarcoma is linked to rapid growth and it is more common in large and giant breed dogs.
To counteract this trend, large and giant breed puppy food has reduced levels of available energy, designed to slow the time needed for large breed puppies to reach their maximum size.
Believed to be fundamentally a genetic disease, there is currently no definitive connection between family members, yet osteosarcoma is certainly more prevalent in some breeds.
The most common symptoms of osteosarcoma include swelling, visible lameness, joint and bone pain, and even bone fractures caused by the weakening of bones due to the osteosarcoma growth. If you notice your dog limping or in pain, you should immediately contact your vet.
Using an X-Ray, MRI, or CT scan to identify the location of a tumor, a surgeon will then perform a biopsy on the tumor to collect cells to determine if it is indeed osteosarcoma.
Treatment and Prognosis
"Leg of Life"
Currently the most effective standard of care, if the tumor occurs in a limb, is to amputate to prevent the spread of the cancerous cells. When combined with adjuvant chemotherapy survival rates can be improved.
Chemotherapy is Only Effective When the Primary Tumor is Removed.
The Future of Treatment
How You Can Help
With the continued support of Morris Animal Foundation by Orvis and people like you, answers to treatment and survival of osteosarcoma in dogs are within reach.
Visit morrisanimalfoundation.org for more information about the fight against osteosarcoma and Morris Foundation’s many other projects.
You can help in the fight against canine cancer through the Orvis Cover Dog Contest. Visit orvis.com/coverdog to get started.
All information sourced from the Morris Animal Foundation.