Osteosarcoma is an oft-seen bone tumor in the canine realm. Dogs of all breeds can potentially experience bone cancer, though bigger pooches are often even more susceptible to it. Immediate veterinary care is key for all dogs with bone tumors. Note that the symptoms of this type of cancer are frequently mild, however.
Varieties of Osteosarcoma
As far as histologic forms of osteosarcoma go, three varieties are often seen, according to veterinarian Jaime Modiano of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. These include fibroblastic, osteoblastic and finally, chondroblastic. Fibroblastic osteosarcoma involves mostly fibroblast tumor cells that are capable of manufacturing tumor and collagen osteoid alike. With osteoblastic osteosarcoma, tumor cells manufacture osteoid in abundance. With chondroblastic osteosarcoma, however, the tumor cells make both cartilage and osteoid.
Osteosarcoma and Chondrosarcoma Difference
When dogs have chondroblastic osteosarcoma, their tumor cells make cartilage and osteoid. When their tumor cells don't make osteoid and exclusively make cartilage, they have a condition that's referred to as chondrosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma is another type of canine bone cancer that expands rapidly. As with osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma is also especially prevalent in bigger dogs. Elderly dogs are also particularly vulnerable to chondrosarcoma.
If you notice that your pet is showing signs of problems and discomfort walking, pay close attention to him. Lameness is a typical indication of canine osteosarcoma. Some dogs experience troubles walking gradually, while the difficulties are much more abrupt and seemingly "out of nowhere" in others. Weight loss and exhaustion also frequently denote bone cancer in affected canines. Some dogs even get conspicuous swellings on their legs, although many others do not. Aching of the joints and bones sometimes occurs, too.
Prompt Veterinary Management
Since osteosarcoma can be fatal to dogs, it's important to never brush off any potential symptoms of the disease. Osteosarcoma is a fierce condition and can swiftly expand throughout your pet's body. If your dog has chondroblastic osteosarcoma, your vet can analyze his situation and determine which mode of management is most appropriate for his needs. These management options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. The goal of canine osteosarcoma management is both to slow down metastasis and get rid of the tumor. Chemotherapy and surgery often increase dogs' chances of survival greatly.
- Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory: Canine Osteosarcoma
- AKC Canine Health Foundation: Bone Cancer in Dogs
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Canine Osteosarcoma
- PetMD: Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma) in Dogs
- Cancer in Dogs and Cats; Wallace B. Morrison
- Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science: Osteosarcoma in Dogs
- Musculoskeletal Cancer Surgery; Martin M. Malawer and Paul H. Sugarbaker
- PetMD: Bone Cancer (Chondrosarcoma) in Dogs
- North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Osteosarcoma in Dogs