Signs of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Posted Mar 13th, 2020

Bone cancer in dogs is one of the most serious diseases that can afflict our furry companions. Our Waxhaw vets outline how to spot symptoms of the condition, and when to book an appointment with your vet.


Bone Cancer in Dogs

Bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, is a common but often deadly type of cancer that can appear in dogs. An aggressive condition that can spread quickly and cause other health issues if not caught early, it can easily be fatal.

This disease leads to abnormal, malignant growth of immature bone cells, and can cause your dog to experience pain, swelling, weakness, and other symptoms in their bones and internal organs.

There is reason for optimism - although surgery may result in the removal of the limb with the tumor, it may also save your dog's life.

Signs of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Symptoms of Bone Cancer in Dogs

If you see signs of bone cancer in your dog, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian experienced in internal medicine as soon as possible. He or she will be able to officially diagnose the disease and may propose a suitable treatment plan. Your primary care veterinarian may also refer you to a veterinary oncologist who has specialized training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of pets with cancer.

Osteosarcoma is a severely serious disease, but the symptoms are so subtle you may not recognize them right away, especially in the condition's early stages. Bone cancer typically develops in the front legs, but the bones, ribs, vertebrae, facial bones, jaw, and rear legs may all be affected.

Symptoms of bone cancer in dogs may include:

  • Swelling in the jaws, legs, ribs, or spine
  • Respiratory distress
  • Problems eating or loss of appetite
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Discharge from the nostrils
  • Lameness or limping

When to visit your vet if you suspect your dog has bone cancer

Bone cancer is always very serious regardless of where it shows up in your dog's body because it can spread to other organs and cause fatal conditions such as loss of appetite and respiratory distress.

Keeping a close eye on your dog's health is critical to spotting potentially life-threatening disorders or diseases in their early stages. Book an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you see any of the symptoms listed above, even if they appear subtly. You may just give your dog a chance at surviving.

Prognosis & Treatment of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Many factors determine prognosis, quality of life, and survival rates for dogs who have been diagnosed with bone cancer. If it is caught early, you may see a better outcome.

We will take time to examine your dog and provide a prognosis based on his or her unique requirements and situation, then develop a treatment plan customized to him or her.

Dogs who are treated for bone cancer may survive from anywhere from another 1 to 6 years.

However, a bone cancer diagnosis is a difficult journey for both the dog and their owner. It is often fatal even with surgery and therapy. Successful treatment can also depend on the location of the tumor - if close to a vital organ or artery, prognosis is not good.

Scientific discoveries continually reveal new procedures and therapies, and your vet can review any developments that could be successful for your dog.

Are you seeing symptoms of bone cancer or another serious condition in your dog? Our veterinarians at Providence South Animal Hospital in Waxhaw are experienced in diagnosing and treating serious disorders and illnesses. Book an appointment today.

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Providence South Animal Hospital provides comprehensive veterinary care for your cherished pets in Waxhaw.

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704-843-0208