Canine Chondrosarcoma Treatment

Summary:

"Canine chondrosarcoma treatment follows the protocol for osteosarcoma, a more common form of canine bone tumor. Multiple approaches are used during treatment, which follows protocols used in humans. The treatment approach selected depends on the specific condition/stage of your dogs bone tumor.

Treatment approaches include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery can be effective when used to remove tumors that are local to one area and have not spread. Many bone tumors are resistant to chemotherapy. Immunotherapy works by stimulating the dogs immune system in a way which will destroy cancer cells. Usually surgery and amputation followed by radiation are used first, followed by chemotherapy and immunotherapy."

Overview

Canine Chondrosarcoma treatment tends to be necessary in dogs 1 - 12 years of age or older and is not as severe as the more common Osteosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma accounts for 10% of dog bone cancers. The cancer is found in the pelvis area, bones around the nose, and the rib area. 

The tumor grows in the bone cartilage (cartilage connects the bones together and allows for smooth bending of the joints) and can move to the lungs. It is usually found in the nose, ribs and pelvis. Only 10% of cases result in the cancer spreading to the lungs.

This type of tumor tends to be found in German Shepherds and Mixed-breed dogs.

Your dog will not be in pain from this disease.

Diagnosis of Canine Chondrosarcoma

Your Veterinarian will take X-Rays to take a look at the effected area and to determine if the cancer spread to the lungs. They may also do a fine needle aspiration biopsy (take a sample) of any enlarged lymph nodes (lymph nodes are gathering points for cancer within the blood circulatory system). Depending on the results, specific chondrosarcoma treatment for your dog will be recommended.

Symptoms of Canine Chondrosarcoma

Symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumor.

  • Nasal Chondrosarcoma – Sneezing and nasal discharge possibly accompanied by breathing difficulty.
  • Ribs – Swelling where the ribs come together (costochondral junction)
  • Pelvis – Pain when examining the area
  • Vertebrae/Spine – No visible signs

Canine Chondrosarcoma Treatment

Surgery is used to remove the tumors. Other techniques such as radiation are often used in combination with surgery.  Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are also being actively researched. Consult your Veterinarian as to whether surgery is considered a cure or will extend the life of your pet.

Natural remedies such as C-Caps may provide some level of support to strengthen healthy cells, reduce the severity of symptoms and strengthen the immune system during treatment. Do not use these types of products 1 week before and after the use of chemotherapy, as there is a possibility that it could reduce the effectiveness of this treatment approach. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

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References

James M. Giffin MD and Liisa D. Carlson DVM
Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

Canine Osteosarcoma, Is There a Cure?
J. Kirpensteijn, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ECVS & ACVS Chief, Soft Tissue Surgery Section
Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University
Utrecht, The Netherlands
j.kirpensteijn@vet.uu.nl

Textbook of Small Animal Orthopaedics
C. D. Newton and D. M. Nunamaker (Eds.)
Publisher: International Veterinary Information Service (www.ivis.org)
Ithaca, New York, USA.

Malignant Bone Tumors in the Dog ( 1-Jan-1985 )
M. H. Goldschmidt and D. E. Thrall