A bone tumor results from uncontrolled growth and spreading of new bony tissue. In dogs these tumors are mostly malignant, osteosarcoma being the most common type of bone tumore.
Bone neoplasms primarily develop on the extremities of the dog. The symptoms arise sneakingly. Depending on the area of the tumor, the dog feels pain and is lame. The lameness and the pain are usually rarely perceivable at the beginning. The more progressed the course of disease, the stronger the symptomatology is developed. Stressing the affected extremity is hardly possible. In later stages the general condition of the dog is seriously impaired. In case the tumor does not grow, the chances for healing after an operation are favorable. Should other organs or bones be already affected, the prospect is rather unfavorable.
The causes of a bone neoplasm are not completely resolved. As risk factors for the development, among others, operations, implants or traumata being not completely cured, are to be named. The type of cancer can occur with dogs of any age, however, mainly large dog breeds (German shepherd dogs, Saint Bernards, Bernese mountain dogs, Great Danes, etc.) are affected.
X-ray photographs and tissue samples give information about the position and type of the tumor. The operation is possibly the most reasonable therapeutic measure in case of bone neoplasms. The tumor is removed or destroyed and the distribution of the cancer cells is prevented. In many cases amputations are indispensable. However, also methods for the maintenance of the extremities or radiation therapy are applied. The therapy measures ultimately to be used shall be determined individually for each dog.
If your dog feels pain for reasons unexplained or limps, you should always urgently consult a veterinarian. In case of bone neoplasms the following shall apply: The earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the more favorable are the prospects for healing. In case the consultation hours elapsed and the pains of the animal are not too strong, then it is sufficient to call the next day, explain the situation and agree upon a date.