Dog Bone Tumour Treatment
(canine osteosaracoma)

by Dilys Williams
(British Columbia CANADA)

Reader Question regarding Canine Osteosarcoma:

My 6 year old fixed male Golden Retriever has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the humerus right leg. Previous injury at 6 months caused a limp, thought to be elbow dysplasia, not sure as he was run over by a Labradoodle around this time at 6 months. So not sure if the elbow dysplasia just occurred or due to the accident.

We have elected to not amputate or give radiation or chemo. It is in the early stages with no lung involvement. Treatment with Meloxicam and Tylenol has removed his limp. We are treating with homeopathy, and artemisinin, cancer diet of high protein, no carbs, no sugar.

Could this be an osteochondroma or a benign tumour? Do these look similar to an osteosarcoma on Xray? Diagnosis by the vet was by Xray only, bone biopsy not taken. He has been active, no issues for 5 years. Wondering if the injury as a puppy could have caused an osteochondroma and he might have had this for years.Last Xray at 6 months.

Would appreciate your comments and opinions.

Dilys Williams

Vet Suggestion regarding Canine Osteosarcoma

Hi Dilys,

I’m sorry to hear about your Golden. It sounds as if your veterinarian was fairly confident in his/her diagnosis of osteosarcoma based on an x-ray alone. Usually, it is possible to make this diagnosis without biopsies since the lesion has a fairly characteristic look on x-rays and does tend to look quite different from a benign tumor. Unfortunately, osteosarcomas are not all that rare in middle aged Goldens.

If you do have questions about the diagnosis, you could ask your veterinarian to send the x-rays to a veterinary radiologist for a second opinion. Do not worry about offending your vet, no well-intentioned doctor minds having a second pair of eyes take a look at a difficult case.

It is possible that your dog’s previous injury could have played a role in the development of the osteosarcoma. We think that chronic inflammation can increase the risk of some types of cancer developing. Of course, it could also be completely unrelated, and there is no way to know for sure which explanation is valid in your dog’s individual case.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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