Dog Oral Osteosarcoma
From Pet Health Learning Center
Dog Oral Osteosarcoma
A malignant tumor in the bone is known as osteosarcoma. While these tumors usually affect the shoulder, knee or other limb, they can also occur in the skull. Less common than the limb osteosarcoma is oral sarcoma. This accounts for about one fourth of all cases. It can involve either the lower or upper jaw.
These are not a common Dog Cancer. They affect about three percent of cancers in dogs. Male dogs seem to be more likely to have this type of cancer. Dogs such as the Chow Chow have increased pigment inside their mouths and are more prone to Dog Oral Melanoma in the mouth. Dog Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Dog Oral Fibrosarcoma are more common in larger dogs.
Signs and Symptoms
The first thing an owner may notice is a mass somewhere in the mouth. These tumors can also appear in the pharynx and are not noticed by owners. Symptoms that owners may also notice are swelling, drooling, bleeding from the mouth, Dog Bad Breath, difficulty swallowing and pain. There can also be loosening of the teeth in advanced cases.
A thorough examination of the dog's mouth by the veterinarian is the only way to properly begin the diagnostic procedure. Usually sedation or anesthesia will be required for the examination to take place. This is especially true if the tumor is on the tongue or in the back of the mouth.
Your vet may order chest x-rays to see if the cancer has spread to the lungs. This would be done before a biopsy is taken. Unless the disease is in the advanced stages and at least forty percent of the bone in the mouth is gone, x-rays may not be enough to properly diagnose. In this case, an MRI or CT scan is in order. These advanced tests will also indicate if there has been metastasis has progressed to the nasal cavities and other areas of the head of the dog.
Oral osteosarcoma is treated with greater success then limb osteosarcoma. The average survival of dogs after surgery is fourteen to eighteen months depending on what part of the oral cavity is affected. Surgical removal must be complete to prevent recurrence. Although there is rarely metastasis to other organs, it can reappear in the mouth. There have been no studies regarding the effectiveness of chemotherapy for oral osteosarcoma.
Perhaps the two most important factors for the dog owner is the relief of pain and maintaining adequate nutrition.
Every dog that has cancer will have Dog Pain. Medication will be prescribed by the veterinarian. Pain is debilitating. It will cause loss of appetite, energy and that spark that everyone loves to see in their dogs' eye. With the Dog Loss of Appetite, comes Dog Weight Loss. It is not unusual for your veterinarian to prescribe specific Dog Cancer Diets. There needs to be in increase in protein and the dogs liquid consumption must be maintained.
Comforting your dog during this difficult time is a very important part of Dog Palliative Cancer Care. There will be times when they want you to be close and others when they would rather be alone. By attempting to keep the dog pain free and well nourished, you will have accomplished all that you can possibly do.
Additional Dog Cancer Pages
Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Lung Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors | Dog Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Dog Mouth Cancer | Dog Brain Tumor | Dog Palliative Cancer Care