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Bone Cancer in Dogs – Your Canine Can Survive With It

Life gets suddenly thrown out of gear and the harmony of daily living gets disrupted when you hear that your most loved creature is suffering from the cruelest disease, bone cancer. Cancer is the most dreadful disease that spreads at the speed of light, and the hallmark of this silent killer disease is the uncontrolled cell growth. Any cell in the body might get affected which in turn can lead to spreading of the disease to other parts of the body. Of late, bone cancer in canines is one of the most challenging disorders to overcome. It’s also known as canine osteosarcoma.

Different dogs suffer from different types of cancer and the treatment to fight them also differs. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone tumor that affects animals, especially canines. This type of bone cancer arises from cells that deposit bony minerals. Osteosarcoma spreads very fast and is the most dreaded disease as this aggressive tumor causes either bone disintegration or bone production or sometimes both.

The other forms of bone cancer are chondrosarcomas, fibrosarcomas and synovial cell carcinomas. In case of chondrosarcomas, tumors arise from the cartilage joint surfaces and generally have less aggressive tendency to invade and spread. Cancers in dogs that originate from the fibrous connective tissue, adjacent to bone are known as fibrosarcomas and the synovial cell carcinomas originate from joint tissues and invade the associated bone. However these tumors are less aggressive than osteosarcoma.

Diagnosis of Bone Cancer

Cancer is more common in older dogs; although, not a rule, this group of dogs have more likelihood of developing arthritis and/or injuries to ligaments. There are also young dogs with sprains as problems of ligaments diagnosed with bone cancer. Several canines develop some ailments attributed most often to something else, only to be diagnosed as bone cancer. A simple x-ray should be enough to diagnose bone cancer. Further course of treatment plans can be made when x-rays indicate bone cancer. If it’s non-conforming a bone biopsy is called for.

Dog Bone Cancer Treatment Options

The options of treatment ranges from one to many. Chemotherapy coupled with surgery is considered to be the primary therapy in dogs with osteosarcoma. Amputation often helps dogs to fight this dreaded disease; however, amputation alone is only palliative for osteosarcoma as it is a very aggressive type of cancer. Over time, the metastatic cells will continue to multiply and grow in size as well number. It has been found that a conjunctive treatment works well also. Amputation followed by chemotherapy for treating osteosarcoma will be your best bet at defeating this horrible disease.

The condition of the cells needs to be studied thoroughly to start your canine on chemotherapy. Research suggests that chemotherapy can be initiated either with surgery or even before surgery. However, not all dogs can be good candidates for surgery. This is because some might already suffer from allied neurological disorders, and living with three legs might become again difficult for them.

Again, in other cases, the owner of the dogs might not pursue with surgery. In these cases, the options to treat osteosarcoma are to administer non-steroidal medications. Radiation therapy has also proved to be quite useful. Localized radiation therapies to the diseased bone have proved to be a very effective method of controlling the pain as well as preventing metastases of cancer.

The sooner the bone cancer is discovered, the better will be the chance of treating it successfully. It is thus of paramount importance awareness and being alert is of primary importance. All dog owners need to be proactive and proper x-ray examination need to be done if any kind of swelling exists with their pets’ legs. So, if you see any kind of lump in the body of your dog, waste no time and consult your veterinarian for proper investigation, diagnoses and treatment if need be.

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