Many who love a dog with bone cancer need information to make sure pain is managed. Bone cancers are often very painful. Since life quality is so essential for us when making medical choices, we need to always control pain.
Bone cancer is often first noticed as a limp. Many times I have had a dog lover tell me they were worried about arthritis or a sprain, and the diagnosis turned out to be osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, or other bone cancer. This is one reason why it is so critical to get an X-ray done, especially if you have a large breed dog, being more prone to bone cancers.
A new cutting edge treatment for bone cancer pain in dogs is a drug approved for use in humans called Quadramet. It is given as an injection during a hospital stay. Quadramet, also called Samarium- 153-EDTMP, slows the breakdown of bone. In doing so, it helps alleviate pain.
A number of studies have been done. Most show that this treatment helps roughly 60 or 70% of dogs with bone cancer pain. Here is one of the studies for your review.
Quadramet does have some risks, but they appear to be manageable at this time. The drug does tend to suppress the bone marrow, although temporarily. This means that cells like platelets (which help control bleeding) and white blood cells (which fight infection), decrease in numbers.
The good news is that at the doses of Quadramet being used currently, these side effects tend to resolve all by themselves.
Not many veterinarians in private practice will have heard of Quadramet or Samarium- 153-EDTMP. However, oncologists will have likely heard of it or may use it. Most using Quadramet will be at advanced veterinary facilities.
As usual, I encourage you to be your dog’s primary health care advocate, and get the info you need!
For more information, click on The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
All my best,