The most common bone cancer of dogs is osteosarcoma. There are other tumors that can involve the bones with lesser consideration for fungal/bacterial infections (although this is highly unlikely). Other tumor types include chondrosarcoma and metastatic disease from another primary tumor. Osteosarcoma is locally invasive and has a high rate of spreading. There is a greater than 90% chance that the tumor has spread to the lungs at the time of diagnosis even if the chest x-rays do not reveal any obvious nodules. This is due to the presence of micrometastasis or microscopic disease that cannot be visualized on radiographs. There is an approximately 10-20% chance that the tumor could spread to bone or a different location. Fine needle aspirate cytology samples have been shown to be comparable to bone biopsy for diagnosing osteosarcoma. Cytology is less invasive and there is a reduced risk of causing a pathologic fracture compared to a bone biopsy. Amputation and chemotherapy are the standard treatments for osteosarcoma involving the limb. The primary goal for treating bone tumors is local pain control as well as potentially slowing down the development of metastatic disease spread, primarily to the lungs with chemotherapy. The bisphosphonate (zoledronate) may be used to help slow down the bone breakdown/rebuild the damaged bone to help control his pain.
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Randhurst Animal Hospital
212 East Rand Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Veterinarians serving Mt Prospect, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Glenview, Morton Grove, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Palatine and surrounding areas
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