Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide
collection

Osteosarcoma

Tripawds: Community Forum & Help for Three Legged Dogs

This amazing site offers lots of help for three legged dogs. A must-join for anyone who is facing osteosarcoma or amputation.

Read Article

Checking Your Dog’s Legs for Signs of Osteosarcoma

Taking it in Stride: Those Amazing Legs Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is a common cancer in our dogs, and it usually develops in the long bones of the legs and the ankle or hock joint.  It is more common in some breeds than others, and although there are certain reasons a dog is predisposed to bone…

Read Article

Primary Lung Tumors, part 2

Unlike people where lung cancer is one of the top five cancers and the leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide, primary lung cancer is very rare in dogs. Dogs are often diagnosed with lung cancer as in incidental finding during a routine geriatric screen. Lung Cancer Symptoms in Dogs Often dogs have NO clinical signs,…

Read Article

Uncommon Tumors: Primary Lung Tumors, Part 1

As a boarded oncologist, I see not only the common cancers in dogs like lymphoma, mast cell tumors, osteosarcomas, hemangiosarcomas, and mammary cancers. But I also see the uncommon ones. Recently I have been seeing more of the uncommon tumors, and what’s even strange to me, I am seeing more that one within a few…

Read Article

Spay/neuter and the association with cancer in dogs: part two

Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology) continues her discussion on how spaying and neutering our dogs can increase their risk for certain aggressive cancers.

Read Article

Chemotherapy for Osteosarcoma

In my last two posts about osteosarcoma (OSA), we discussed treatments that address the tumor affecting the bone. We discussed amputation, Stereotactic RadioSurgery (SRS) like Cyberknife, palliative radiation, and limb-spare surgery. While these treatments are important for the malignant tumor destroying the bone, metastasis (cancer spread) is inevitable.  So even if the primary tumor is…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma: when amputation is not an option, part 2

In my last post, I went through some “alternatives-to-amputation,” including palliative radiation and limb-spare surgery. Now we will review stereotactic radiosurgery. Stereotactic RadioSurgery: radiation instead of surgery RadioSurgery is used INSTEAD of surgery, when traditional surgery with a scalpel blade is impossible or would cause unacceptable side effects to the patient (for example, in brain…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma: when amputation is not an option

In my most recent blog, we discussed amputation for limb osteosarcoma (OSA), the most common local treatment for the primary tumor in the bone. We discussed that amputation is not an easy decision for pet Guardians, even though most older dogs with average, moderate arthritis usually do well on three legs. If my clients are…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma and Amputation: myths and facts

In my last blog, I gave my recommendations about osteosarcoma (OSA) work up. Now it’s time to talk about treatment. Conventional treatment for OSA targets: The primary tumor with local treatment (surgery and/or radiation) The likely micrometastasis with systemic treatment (chemotherapy) Today, I am going to talk about amputation. The Goal The main goal of…

Read Article

Dr. Sue’s Recommended Tests for Osteosarcoma Diagnosis and Work up (pre-surgical biopsy optional)

As I discussed in the previous blog, the first sign of osteosarcoma (OSA) that a pet Guardian sees is usually limping, or refusing to put weight on the leg involved. This is because bone tumors hurt, especially when the bone bears weight — so your dog will be lame or will limp. You may see…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma, part one

Osteosarcoma (OSA) is the most common bone cancer in dogs, accounting for about 85% of bone cancer cases. The bottom line on OSA is that metastasis is a problem: 90% of patients will die from the metastasis within the 1st year when amputation is the only treatment. Those are grim statistics, but it is the…

Read Article

The Oncologist’s Perspective on Statistics: Part One

I know what you are thinking. Statistics … ick, boring. I agree. I was never a fan of learning about stats. In fact, statistics was one of my least favorite classes in undergrad. But when you are dealing with the overwhelming diagnosis of cancer, there are a ton of statistics to learn. How long will…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma, Cisplatin and Magnesium

Low magnesium may be a threat for dogs receiving chemotherapy. Magnesium is a mineral in the body that is needed for proper functioning of over 300 different enzyme systems.  A study was done on critically ill dogs, and over half were found to have low magnesium. Low magnesium levels increase the risk of toxic reactions…

Read Article

Cancer-Prone Dog Breeds

If you have a purebred dog, be on the look out for problems that are more common in your dog’s breed. Different breeds are more prone to certain health issues.  Many are familiar with genetic diseases like hip dysplasia, more common in large breed dogs.  However, there are more examples of breed-associated diseases, and cancer…

Read Article

Chubby Golden Retriever Has Less Cancer Protection

I was talking to one of my clients today in the exam room.  She owns an awesome Golden Retriever named Baloo.   Like his namesake in the movie “The Jungle Book,” Baloo is happy, friendly, goofy and….chubby. I started telling Baloo’s owner about the cancer rate in the breed. It is estimated that around 2/3…

Read Article

A Dog With Bone Cancer

I couple of months back, I diagnosed a bone tumor in a wonderful dog named Dolly. Dolly is one of the world’s happiest dogs.  She is an elderly family member (she would not be happy if I told you her age).  She is a Boxer. As many are aware, Boxers are one of the breeds…

Read Article

Cancer Cure?

Recently I heard the comment that medicine (in my case, veterinary medicine) is primitive. This is a very interesting comment, especially if we are talking about canine cancer. When you are coping with a canine cancer diagnosis, the question of curing cancer comes up frequently.  Now, shifting back to this idea about medicine being primitive,…

Read Article

Treatment Plan Analysis in Real Life

Yesterday, a 13 year old Rottweiler came in to the hospital. She had been limping, and there was a swelling in her front leg, down on the forearm.  It was firm and slightly warm to the touch.  The area was about 4 inches long. We took X-rays of the sore leg.  The films showed a…

Read Article

Bone Tumors and Doxcycline

Osteosarcoma, and other types of canine bone cancer, can be especially hard for a dog lover to cope with.  Not only are most of these cancers very malignant, but often they require major surgeries to help deal with the immediate crisis. Once the decision is made and the surgery performed, we are faced with cancer…

Read Article

Bone Cancer Pain: New Ideas

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…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma and Dog Food Link

Some new information for dogs at risk or afflicted with osteosarcoma is out that I would like to share. Osteosarcoma occurs in both dogs and humans, but is much more common in dogs. It is the number one bone cancer in the canine. A recent study found that eight widespread brands of dog food contained…

Read Article

Dog Cancer and the Malaria Drug Artemisinin, Part 2

This is a continuation post on artemisinin, a compound that is found sweet wormwood. This agent is currently used for malaria treatment. Recently there has been interest in it’s application in dog cancer treatment. It has caught on in bone cancer care for dogs (osteosarcoma). In the last post we summarized some mechanisms where artemisinin…

Read Article

Dog Cancer and the Malaria Drug Artemisinin

There is a bit of excitement about Artemisinin in osteosarcoma (the most common bone cancer) care for dogs these days, so I thought I should give you some thoughts. Artemisinin is used for malaria infections. It is derived from the sweet wormwood, which has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine for fever. Presumably…

Read Article

Canine Osteosarcoma: Amputation and Life Quality

In the last post, I focused on looking at life quantity, or lifespan, in considering amputation for dogs with osteosarcoma.   Let’s focus on life quality issues and amputation. Often the first question that arises is, “But will my dog be able to have a normal life on 3 legs?” Everyone, the answer is almost…

Read Article

My Dog Has Osteosarcoma: Should I Allow Amputation?

Hi Everyone. Osteosarcoma is a common cancer in the dog.  Most of the time it occurs on the long bones of the legs in large breed dogs.  And most of the time a veterinarian or veterinary oncologist will recommend amputation of the affected leg. You will likely have some strong feelings about it, as one…

Read Article

Dog Cancer Surgery: They Didn’t Get It All Out

Sound familiar? Did this happen to anyone out there? Removal of all the cancer cells from the body during surgery is pretty important.  How can we tell? The most important thing to do is get that biopsy report.  Some don’t want the extra cost.  “Just get it out” is a line I have heard from…

Read Article

Pain in Dog Cancer and Life Quality

Many have concerns their dog may be in pain.  And rightfully so, since pain is a definite negative.  Pain control is a massive topic all by itself, and it is by no means strait forward. There are different kinds of pain. Sometimes  dull, throbbing pain happens in cancers like osteosarcoma (bone cancer).  Severe pain in…

Read Article

Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Many people as me what to look for to tell if their dogs have cancer. I thought I should give you a little summary of some of the biggies.

Read Article