Bone Cancer

“Bob” was brought in by his owners for being lame on his back left paw. On examination, he was found to have a swelling in the tibia which was very painful. Even though “Bob” was a brave dog, it hurt when the sore area was pushed. He did not appear to have any wounds on the leg and the rest of the clinical exam was unremarkable.
Xrays were offered and taken. It appeared there was a lesion in the middle part of the tibia. We had thought it was a bone cancer or osteosarcoma. In order to find out if it our tentative diagnosis was correct, we did a bone biopsy which was sent to a pathologist for evalutaion. The pathology report confirmed our thought that the lesion was an osteosarcoma.
The treatment options were discussed with the owners. They elected to go ahead with a full agressive treatment option for “Bob” which started out with a full leg amputation followed by chemotherapy. “Bob” was a very brave man and handled the surgery and each round of chemotherapy with fly colours. He fought as hard as he could, but in the end the cancer had spread throughout his body and lungs. He made it to 14 months post detection which is almost twice the normal.
He will be missed by us all here and will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Osteosarcoma is a malignant primary bone tumour. The tumours occur anywhere on the body with 75% of them being on the limbs, 25% on the body wall and rarely in other places. The main complaint is a lameness which does not get better and persists for weeks. The tumour is diagnosed on xrays first and can be confirmed by a bone biopsy sent to a pathologist. Once the tumour is diagnosed, the best treatment is to remove the primary tumour along with chemotherapy.