Our expert says:
Sorry to hear that your Rottie has been diagnosed with bone cancer.
I would definitely await the return of the orthopaedic surgeon to undertake the process of limb amputation or limb-sparing surgery as a week will probably not make any difference to survival time.
However, as the owner you can ask to be referred to another orthopaedic surgeon if you feel that the procedure needs to be conducted urgently.
As you know osteosarcomas are highly aggressive with 60% of animals dying due to metastatic disease in the lungs and bones. Interestingly, neutered dogs have an increased risk of developing osteosarcomas over unneutered dog’s.
The therapies that are currently available include:
* Pallative therapy – management of pain and lameness with the use of pain killers. Note: this does not increase the survival time. Mean survival time between 1-3 months.
* Pallative radiation therapy – is inexpensive. Is used to reduce pain, reduce local inflammation and slow the progression of metastatic lesions. Mean survival time between 4-10 months.
* Limb amputation – this is an effective means of pain control. Complications are rare. Mean survival time between 3-5 months.
* Limb-sparing techniques – becoming very common as the owners do not want to go down the route of limb amputation. The technique appears to be most successful in the distal radius/ulna.
* Chemotherapy – used to treat the primary bone tumour and micrometastatic disease. Chemotherapy by itself does not increase survival time beyond palliative therapies but when combined with surgery can have a mean survival time between 7-12 months.
I hope the information is useful and that your Rottie has a fulfilling life.
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