Dog Health: Bone Cancer

Dog | Bone Cancer

An Introduction to Bone Cancer

The most common type of bone cancer affecting dogs is called OSTEOSARCOMA.

• Osteosarcoma most commonly affects large breed dogs, for example Rottweiler’s. 

• The long bones in their legs are the most common location for tumour growth.  However, any bone in a dog’s body can potentially be affected (eg.  jaw, the spine).

Erin Coomer - Veterinarian (July 2013)

• Less commonly, other types of cancers can affect the bones.

• Dogs of any age can suffer from this very serious cancer.  However, most commonly affected dogs are middle aged to older.

• Tumours grow within the bone, destroying the bone, as it gets larger.  These tumours are painful.  The affected area of bone is weak and is more likely to fracture (your dog make easily break his leg).

• Osteosarcoma is a malignant tumour.  It can spread secondarily to the lungs

Causes of Bone Cancer

Unfortunately, we don’t know why Osteosarcoma’s develop and affect some dogs, particularly the large breed dogs. 

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Symptoms of Bone Cancer

• Lameness, which may start off as being intermittent, but often progresses to being constant

• A swollen area on a limb

• Lethargy/Attitude Change (due to the pain)

• A cough (if the cancer has spread to the lungs)

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Treatment of Bone Cancer


• Your Vet will do a thorough physical examination and will run blood tests. 

Xrays will be recommended.  Osteosarcoma has a very characteristic appearance on x-ray.  Your Vet will be able to tell you if he/she is concerned about Osteosarcoma.  X-rays of the lungs will also be taken to evaluate for...
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