Bone Cancer in Dogs

Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is one of the most common types of cancer our Ventura vets see in dogs. To achieve good treatment outcomes bone cancer needs to be detected and treated in the very earliest stages.

What is osteosarcoma?

At VMSG in Ventura, osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary bone cancer our vets see in dogs. Osteosarcoma accounts for approximately 95% of all bone tumors diagnosed in dogs. This aggressive condition leads to the malignant, abnormal growth of immature bone cells.

Sadly, without treatment osteosarcoma spreads quickly throughout the body causing other health issues, and can quickly become fatal for dogs. That said, if bone cancer is diagnosed early, life-saving surgery may be possible to remove the cancerous limb and help to prevent spreading.

What are the signs of bone cancer in dogs?

The early signs of bone cancer are so subtle that many pet parents don't recognize them straight away. Bone cancer often appears in the dog's front legs however, your dog's jaw, facial bones, vertebrae, ribs, and rear legs may all be affected by this disease.

Symptoms of bone cancer to watch for include:

  • Swelling in the ribs, spine, legs, or jaw
  • Severe pain
  • Growth of a mass on the dog's body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Limping or lameness
  • Respiratory distress
  • Discharge from the nostrils
  • Lethargy or weakness

When should I take my dog to see a vet?

Bone cancer is a very aggressive disease prone to spreading quickly, that's why pet parents should always take symptoms of bone cancer in their dogs very seriously.

In order to give your dog the best chance possible, it is essential to keep a close eye on your pet's overall health and immediately book an appointment with your vet if you notice any of the symptoms listed above, even if they are subtle. Osteosarcoma can quickly spread to other organs and cause fatal conditions such as respiratory distress.

What is veterinary oncology?

If your dog is showing signs of bone cancer, book an appointment with a veterinary oncologist immediately. Veterinarians with specialized training in oncology have the appropriate technology to diagnose bone cancer in dogs and quickly begin treatment.

What is the treatment for dogs with bone cancer?

Because osteosarcoma is such an aggressive disease, treatment is often amputation of the limb followed by chemotherapy. While amputation may seem extreme it may help to prevent the cancer from spreading and most dogs do very well with three legs. If surgery isn't an option a combination of radiation and chemotherapy may be beneficial.

New therapies and procedures are always being studied. Your vet will take the time to discuss recent bone cancer treatment developments with you so that you are able to understand your dog's treatment options. 

What is the prognosis for dogs with bone cancer?

Factors such as age, weight, and where the tumor is located will all influence your dog's prognosis. Only your vet will be able to provide you with an accurate prognosis for your pet. Your veterinarian or veterinary oncologist will develop a specialized treatment plan to help your dog achieve the best possible outcome.

Typically, dogs diagnosed and treated for bone cancer live for another 1 - 6 years. Unfortunately bone cancer is very aggressive and often proves fatal even when treated with surgery and therapy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

At VMSG our Ventura veterinary oncologist is committed to providing the very best in advanced cancer care to pets. If your pet has been diagnosed with bone cancer contact us to book an appointment today. 

Bone cancer in dogs, Ventura veterinary oncologist

Looking for a veterinary specialist in Ventura?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.


Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Ehrlichiosis in Dogs

Ehrlichiosis is a disease carried by ticks that is found in dogs across the southern United States. Early diagnosis and treatment of this condition are critical in preventing it from reaching its more severe stages. Here, our Ventura vets explain ehrlichiosis' stages, symptoms and treatments in dogs.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Tick-borne diseases can pose a quite serious health risk for people and their pets across the United States. Spread by western black-legged deer ticks, Anaplasmosis is one of these diseases. Here, our Ventura vets share the symptoms of this disease in dogs and how it can be treated. 

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is a common tick-borne disease that is found in people and pets across the United States. In people and dogs, Lyme disease can lead to chronic symptoms like kidney failure and joint pain or arthritis if not promptly caught and treated. Here, our Ventura vets share some of the causes, symptoms and treatment for Lyme disease in dogs, as well as the impact of chronic Lyme on your canine companion's life.

Symptoms & Treatments for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) in Dogs

Seen more often in some breeds than others, this common spinal disease typically requires surgery to correct. Our Ventura vets list symptoms, causes and treatments for intervertebral disc disease in dogs. 

Acute Kidney Failure in Dogs

In your pup, healthy kidneys perform a wide range of essential functions. Dogs suffering from acute kidney failure, however, experience a rapid decline in kidney function which require urgent vet care. Here, our Ventura vets explain the signs of acute kidney failure in dogs and what actions you should take.

Caring for Pets in Ventura

Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG) accepts new clients to our specialty services and emergency services.

Contact Us

(805) 339-2290