Bone Cancer In Dogs Symptoms: Recognising The Warning Signs

There are 2 types of bone cancer in dogs:

  • primary, which originates from the bone
  • secondary, which is spread from cancer in other parts of the body

Secondary bone tumors are rare in dogs.

Bone tumors can affect:
  • appendicular skeleton or long bones (limbs)
  • axial skeleton or flat bones (jaw, skull, spine and ribs)

Common types of primary bone cancer in dogs

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma

Osteosarcoma
This is the most common primary bone tumor in dogs. Learn more about it here –> Osteosarcoma in Dogs

Chondrosarcoma
This is the second most common primary canine bone cancer. It is a cartilage tumor that usuallty occurs on axial skeleton of medium and large breed dogs. Although a malignant tumor, chondrosarcoma is less aggressive than osteosarcoma.

Fibrosarcoma
This rare type of primary bone tumor is locally invasive, so it has a low tendency to spread. It affects mainly the axial skeleton of medium and large breed dogs

Hemangiosarcoma
This is a rare type of primary bone tumor, which can affect axial and appendicular skeleton. Hemangiosarcoma is a highly metastatic and aggressive tumor.

Canine Bone Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of bone cancer in dogs are determined by tumor location.

Symptoms of tumors of the appendicular skeleton:
– lameness
– swelling of the affected bone
– pain
– fracture

Pain can cause:
– weight loss
– loss of appetite
– whimpering
– decrease in activity

Symptoms of tumors of the axial skeleton:
– swelling (skull, jaw, ribs)
– eating difficulty (jaw tumor)
– seizures, unsteady gait (skull or vertebral tumors)
– lameness (shoulder blade or pelvis)

If a primary bone tumor has metastasised to the lungs, dogs may show symptoms of:
– swelling of limbs
– weakness
– breathing difficulty

See the next post on: Canine Bone Cancer: Treatment, Prognosis & Life Expectancy

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