Bone cancer

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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I do enjoy
Barked: Fri Jul 30, '10 11:27am PST 
With sad news today I learned that one of my family's dogs has bone cancer in his shoulder (not Starbuck, the one listed on my profile). The vet recommended amputating his leg to ease the pain.

Have any of you dealt with bone cancer before? What course of treatment did you go with? The vet didn't seem high on chemo. But are the only options nothing, amputation and chemo?

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Fri Jul 30, '10 11:35am PST 
frown Sorry for the bad news...

None of our dogs have had osteosarcomas but for a while we did think that Lantis might have it, so we talked to the vet and did a lot of research about it.

It does seem like the only options are amputation or chemo, and maybe both depending on the spread. Sometimes amputation is not an option for some dogs - it would not have been an option for Lantis. He's just too big and has hip dysplasia and arthritis and just wouldn't have been able to support himself afterwards.. maybe we would have had to get him a wheelchair.. or if we had a prosthetic option, we might have looked into that.

But if amputation is an option for your family's dog, then it is not a bad option... there are tons of 3 legged dogs that get by just fine..

hug I hope whatever happens will work out as best as it can.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Fri Jul 30, '10 1:33pm PST 
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer but there are many different types out there and some bone tumors are benign (meaning none cancerous) but they all are scary. Have a sample taken to identify what type of tumor you are dealing with to find out if it is really malignant (ie cancer). Often times if no metatisizing has occured (IE no spreading) then amputation pretty much gets rid of the issue - unfortunately the shoulder is pretty high up for amputation.

Have a full set of rads of lungs (3views Left side down, right side down and on his back), an ultrasound of the abdomen AND an ultrasound of the heart to check for any evidence of cancer before you choose amputation because if the cancer has metatisized the stress of surgery may end his life (IE he may not do well with anesthesia or he may never regain strength to leave the hospital).

One thing about bone tumors is that they can be and ARE VERY VERY painful so make sure no matter what you choose to be prepared with extensive pain management options including some heavy duty opiods. Many patients who opt out of surgical procedures will put there pets on doses of oxycodone, morphine or fentanyl to help control the severe pain these tumors can elicit.

Finding a local board certified oncologist is wise to help you make a decision on surgery or no surgery - remember there is no right or wrong answer - just your families answer

List of ALL board certified Oncologists in USA

Info on Bone tumors
Osteosarcoma Picture (xray)
Limb Amputation Info
Osteosarcoma Info
Fibrosarcoma (bone) Info
and although more commonly in spleen this cancer can also cause bone tumors Hemangiosarcoma (bone) Info

I hope this is helpful and I am so sorry for this diagnosis - POTP to you and your family

Wellington- 4/14/01 - 2/18/13

No I'm NOT a- Saint Bernard.
Barked: Fri Jul 30, '10 7:07pm PST 
I am so sorry to hear about your sad news. I have no experience with bone cancer in dogs but my mother has had the condition for over a year(it had spread throughout her entire body)and at 86 she is not a candidate for chemo. Be aware that this can be a VERY painful condition and that the pain can get progressively worse - even with pain meds. Dogs are typically very stoic and don't always show how much pain they are in. I would recommend you ask questions of the vet and evaluate & consider anything that can alleviate the pain this condition can cause. Good luck to you, our thoughts and prayers are with you! hug
Melvin--Gone- Too Soon

Too weird to- live, too rare- to die
Barked: Fri Jul 30, '10 7:15pm PST 
We just lost Melvin to bone cancer, which was in his front shoulder. We thought he had a bone infection and were treating it as such, when one day the limp was worse, the next he couldn't get up. He was panting heavily and had the worst look in his eyes. The pain was that severe and he was on the highest pain meds they could prescribe.

They offered amputation but it's such a fast moving cancer (and he was an older dog) that they doubted he would have been healed before the cancer was in another limb. To quote our orthopedic specialist: "There are only so many limbs I can remove..." We suspected it might have also been in his back leg anyway, as he was beginning a very light limp on that leg and had broken a toe on it months before (though we weren't sure as we didn't have a full body scan like our previous grey).

It was extremely difficult (and of course every situation is different) but we opted to end his severe pain that night. I feel that we made the right decision though, and whichever way you choose know it was the right for your pooch as I personally don't think there is a 'wrong' choice.

I know, I'm- handsome
Barked: Sat Jul 31, '10 11:19pm PST 
You may want to direct your family to www.tripawds.com.

It's a website dedicated to three legged dogs, most of whom have lost their legs to osteosarcoma or other types of bone cancer - there is a lot of info there about bone cancer and recovery, support for members and a lot of information about treatment options. It's a great community to be a part of.

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Sun Aug 1, '10 4:50am PST 
PLEASE... make sure your vet does the complete body scans prior to amputation. My friend's GSD has his leg amputated, the biopsy report was very good (slow growing tumor, amputation should cure it), BUT, it was already in his lungs and liver and he died within a few weeks of the amputation. My own shepherd went thru a difficult spleen removal for a bleeding tumor and was also not properly scanned prior to the surgery and he was diagnosed with lung, liver and stomach tumors just five weeks later. In both cases these surgeries should not have been done, they only added further stress and agony to an already dying dog. Had we known these cancers had already spread we would have never agreed to the invasive surgeries. Good luck with your boy!!!
"Gunner" Da- Big Boy- Angel

Da Big Boy- Rules, I AM the- Big Boy!
Barked: Sun Aug 1, '10 9:22am PST 
I have to completely agree with Toto about having xrays of the lungs and an ultrasound done of all internal organs to make sure all looks well before proceeding with amputation and chemo. We thankfully do not see too much osteosarcoma in our clinic but we do see quite a bit of different cancers. All of a sudden we have been seeing more lymphoma. We always get bloodwork, rads and ultrasounds done before we start any treatment (amputations, chemo or radiation) for the cancer. Osteosarcoma is so extremely painful and aggressive and quite a few times goes misdiagnosed, about the time we get them it has progressed and the owners are seeking a second opinion.

We will send you lots of pup prayers, and I am so sorry your pup is sick.
God bless you both.

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Sun Aug 1, '10 1:01pm PST 
I don't have any more advice than what's already been given, but I came in here to give you and your family my condolences. I'm so sorry you're all going through this. hug
::Loki::- Rainbow- Bridge::

R.I.P Loki My- Savior in so- many ways
Barked: Mon Aug 2, '10 11:51am PST 
My Loki was diagnosed in Jan of 2010 with osteosarcoma in his "knee" joint. In just 2 months (March 2010) it was found that it had spread to his lungs, and I had to help him cross over to rainbow bridge.

Bone cancer spreads incredibly fast, and amputation isn't always a definite cure.
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