Dogs or canines, as they are fondly called are believed to be a man’s best friend. Most of them undergo illnesses at some point in their lives. Osteosarcoma in dogs is one of the deadliest bone diseases. It is life threatening and it accounts for about 80%- 85% of bone cancers in dogs.
Osteosarcoma In Dogs is cancer of bones/ tumor in bones and it affects a large breed of dogs. Its main point of occurrence is the appendicular skeleton or the limbs and also the bones bordering shoulder, wrist and knee. It weakens the affected bone from inside and makes movement extremely painful. As the tumor develops, the normal bones swell and get replaced by the tumorous bone. Because osteosarcoma tumors are frequently found near growth plates, it is believed that factors affecting growth rates, such as diets that promote rapid growth in puppies, appear to influence risk. According to oncologists, the tumors tend to get attached to those areas that are ‘remodeling’ regions in dogs.
There are sometimes certain instances where exposure to dogs of radiation with ionizing factors, carcinogens in the air carried by particular chemicals and unusual entities foreign to the dog’s body (These such things include implants in the dog of metal objects used to fix parts and limbs, ballistics or bone transplantation in a dog) can be instigating factors which add to particular formation of osteosarcoma in canines or dogs. According to studies conducted, dogs with osteosarcoma have been found to have aberrations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene.
It has been seen that Osteosarcoma In Dogs is far more prevalent in male that female canines. Considering this information, it still remains that the prospect of developing osteosarcoma is higher both in females who have been desexed less than 12 months old and males who were also desexed in their lifespan leading up to the first 12 months since birth, in comparison to canines which weren’t spayed. It now appears to be a consensus among well respected veterinarians that sex hormones can assist and aid in mitigation against this particular disease.
Most common symptom of osteosarcoma in dogs can be a walking disability and can occasionally exhibit a swollen area where the tumor has been detected. The walking difficulty can be one of two prospective reasons: Firstly, it could be because of periosteal inflammation, fractures of a micro size or fractures of a pathologic nature. If presence of swelling is seen then it is likely due to extension of the tumor into the surrounding soft tissues. A common symptom in dogs with osteosarcoma of mandibular (lower jaw bone) and orbital site is dysphasia which is difficulty in swallowing. Dogs which present with tumors in the skull or vertebrae will almost always display a deficit in the neurologic area of the dog’s brain. Dogs who present problems of pelvic masses potentially suffer from a condition known as dyschezia which will exhibit signs of difficulties with defecating.
To detect osteosarcoma in dogs, either ultrasound of the bones is conducted or biopsy. This helps in diagnosing and identifying the tumor. After diagnosing, X- rays are taken to detect how much the tumor has spread in the bones. In a preliminary point of the diagnosis, aspiration or tests are done to obtain cell samples of any skin sections. Also an ultrasound is performed on the dog’s abdomen for a further check. This is a process which is vital to the assessment of the extension of cancer and health of canines.
Two goals are kept in mind while treating an aggressive tumor like osteosarcoma in dogs- palliation of pain and lameness intent. Radiation therapy is a palliative care. It gives relief from pain when amputation becomes a difficult option. Apart from this, analgesic medications which can likely provide temporary relief from pain. Amputation of limbs is another option to get rid of painful limb altogether. But due to certain misconceptions it is not taken well by owners.