Osteosarcoma is the most common type of malignant bone tumor in dogs, and this form of cancer is something that every dog owner should be aware of. Those who suspect their dog has osteosarcoma should be sure to visit a veterinary hospital right away, as it is a life-threatening condition.
The most common clinical sign of osteosarcoma in dogs is limping or lameness in a limb, without any known injury or trauma to that body part. The condition may also lead to bones that break very easily, even as the dog is simply going about their normal activities.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, some dogs are at greater risk than others for the disease. Larger breeds such as Rottweilers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, St. Bernards and Great Danes all have high risk of osteosarcoma. In fact, VCA reports that dogs over 80 pounds are sixty times more likely to get the cancer than those under 75 pounds. While owners of big dogs should be aware of this cancer, it is diagnosed in smaller dogs as well.
Osteosarcoma is a painful and often fatal disease for dogs. It is a type of cancer that can quickly spread to other parts of the body if not treated early. Depending on where the tumor is located, the veterinarian may recommend cancer treatments, such as limb amputation and possibly chemotherapy as possible ways to manage the disease.