Want to know more about bone cancer?
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer associated with pain and a risk of bone fracture due to the weakening of the bone strength. It can evolve rapidly to metastases (cancer cells spreading elsewhere in the body). Depending on the time of diagnostic, the aggressiveness of the bone cancer and the possibilities of treatments, dogs can survive as little as 1 or 2 months, but the average survival time is from 5 to 11 months.
Osteosarcoma affecting long bones (front and hind limbs) is the most frequent, representing 85% of all bone cancers. However, other bones such as jaws, hips and pelvis may also be affected.
What is the cause of osteosarcoma?
The cause of developing an osteosarcoma is unclear and is most probably multi-factorial (environmental and/or genetic). Size, body weight and especially height are considered as important risk factors.
Large and giant breed dogs (such as Boxer Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Great Danes, Greyhounds, Irish Setters, Irish Wolfhounds, and Rottweilers) are unfortunately the most predisposed to bone cancers and pay the highest toll to this disease.
What are the signs of osteosarcoma?
Your dog shows a sudden lameness or a local swelling without an obvious cause. He/she is also lethargic, manifests loss of appetite and is reluctant to use the limb because of pain. Bone cancer might be the cause of these signs, especially if your dog is a large or giant breed.
Dog will limp on the affected limb and may present a local swelling, the area may appear warm, and the tumor might often be felt at the palpation (associated with pain).
Based on these first signs, your veterinarian will make a radiographic image (X-Ray) of the region to show the abnormal bone structure with bone destruction (osteolytic lesion) and/or abnormal bone formation (osteoproductive lesion).
A fine needle aspiration, a less aggressive method, can be performed to characterize cells present in the tumor. For a more definitive diagnosis, a bone sample (biopsy) will be collected surgically. The veterinary pathologist will then examine the samples to confirm the diagnosis.
The treatment options aim to manage pain, reduce the risk of pathological fractures and improve the well-being of the dog. They also intend to control bone cancer or evolution (locally and metastases).
Bone cancer is particularly painful therefore the first concern is to relief pain: analgesic medication is often used in this aim.
Bone cancer treatment combines surgical and non-surgical procedures. Surgery (amputation of the cancer limb or partial resection known as invasive limb-sparing surgery) may or may not be combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to control as long as possible the evolution of the disease and give comfort to the patient.
Amputation and invasive limb-sparing surgery are not always possible due to the presence of other diseases, the large size or the overweight of the dog. It may also be by owner’s choice.
In these cases, an alternative option is needed.
The cementoplasty with BIOCERA-VET OSTEOSARCOMA RTU is a new innovative palliative and complementary (to other non-surgical procedures) option for these dogs.
The cementoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure aiming to provide bone reinforcement by filling the cavity affected by the bone cancer. Indeed, weakened bone causes pain, lameness and increases risk of pathological fractures.
This mini-invasive approach, meaning through a small hole on the skin, is used to inject the cement into the bone cavity after the veterinarian has tried to remove as much as possible the tumoral content (curettage). In this case, the filling is performed using BIOCERA-VET OSTEOSARCOMA RTU.
Cementoplasty may help in reducing pain and preserving limb function with a lower risk of pathological fracture thanks to the bone support provided.
Find an experienced veterinarian in cementoplasty near you
Each clinic propose non surgical management treatments complementary to cementoplasty such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and micro-wave ablation. For more info on the treatment options at the clinic of your choosing, contact the clinic directly or contact us.
Living with bone cancer
This treatment didn't cure Navy's cancer but as palliative care it did remove Navy's pain and allowed him to spend more time together.
I’m very glad my vet was able to do the procedure because it gave Ruby a chance to carry on using her leg for as long as possible. Having a hip osteoarthritis, walking on three legs would have been a struggle for her.”
Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
So thankful for Dr. Stewart and Petsound Animal Hospital for all they have done and are continuing to do for Colt. He has come so far in just a few weeks and it’s the best Christmas present I could have asked for.”
Raleigh, North Carolina, United-States
Thanks to the cementoplasty, Hastro lives as he used to before the disease. Being a Newfoundland, he loves swimming, but pain prevented him from enjoying it. Now he takes pleasure again and gets in and out of water with ease.”