Bone Cancer in Dogs

Updated: February 02, 2024

There are many types of bone cancers in dogs. The most are commonly diagnosed in large dog breeds and the majority occurs in senior dogs, though it can also occur at any age. Bone cancer in dogs is aggressive and can rapidly spread to different parts of the body. If not diagnosed and managed properly, this can be life-threatening and may happen so fast.

In this article, we’ll dig in a little deeper on what bone cancer in dogs is, its types, what it looks like, and how you can properly deal with it and make your furbaby's life a whole lot easier. 

We know that it sucks having your dog diagnosed with cancer. Keep hope close by and know that you can absolutely do something to help ease your furbaby's pain.

"Bone cancer in dogs is aggressive and can rapidly spread to different parts of the body."

Bone Cancer in Dogs

The Many Types of Bone Cancer in Dogs

Canine bone cancer can be classified into many categories. Some of the most common ones include:

Metastatic bone cancer. Also called secondary bone cancer, this type of bone cancer usually started from other body parts and then spreads and affects the bones. This type of bone cancer is aggressive, acute, and can spread all throughout your furbaby's body. If not diagnosed earlier, this can be quite hard to cure.

Fibrosarcoma. This type of bone cancer in dogs is not expressly aggressive. It settles slowly and does not spread so extensively in the body. This cancer originates in your furbaby's fibrous connective tissue joining the bones. If your dog has this, he'll start limping, lose his strength, and will appear lethargic.

Chondrosarcoma. This type of bone cancer arises in the cartilage. It's also not quite as threatening like the fibrosarcoma and infrequently develops outside the affected bones.

What Will Bone Cancer in Dogs Look Like?

Symptoms of bone cancer can be subtle and hard to detect at first, according to the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Since the tumor starts deep within the bone, your furbaby may not feel be able to feel any discomfort or pain yet. But as the cancer progresses, signs will eventually show up.

The following are the most diagnosed symptoms in dogs who have bone cancer, but not limited to:

  • swelling or presence of a mass usually on the legs but can also appear on the spine or the ribs
  • broken bones near the presence of mass
  • lethargy
  • difficulty in breathing, respiratory distress
  • weakness, loss of strength
  • extreme joint or bone pain
  • neurological disorders like seizures
  • limping
  • signs of pain when walking or sitting down
  • decreased to no appetite at all
  • swollen jaws
  • signs of pain when eating or drinking
  • abnormal nasal discharge

Living and Managing a Dog with Bone Cancer

Pain control. According to Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center, treatment and management for bone cancer in dogs give emphasis to alleviating the very serious bone pain and slowing down the metastatic disease. Furthermore, because bone cancer in dogs is incredibly painful, many expertsrecommend amputationfor dogs, which is the only absolute wayof putting rightyour furbaby’s pain.

However, if your dog is not fit for amputation, mitigativeways can be taken, like radiation therapy combined with pain medications.

Dogs with bone cancer are under a lot of pain – that's why it's always best to talk to your vet about pain management plans. Remember that it's never okay to self-medicate pain relievers to your furbaby as this may cause more harm than good.

Holistic pet care. There are options for holistic treatment for bone cancer in dogs to help manage it. If your dog has been diagnosed with bone cancer, it's always important to introduce holistic pet care as soon as possible. Holistic pet care is to embrace more “natural” and “common sense” methods to your pet's health care - food, supplements, nutrition, treatment methods.

This will help improve your dog's quality of life and may even play a great role for a faster recovery.

Note: Bone cancer is a seriousmatter and holistic approaches, like providing supplements and vitamins, maynot be the cure(but can assist) and may interfere with some of your dog’s medications.Please consult your vet.

Special diets. Your pet who has bone cancer must be under a special diet that will boost theirimmune system and help reduce inflammation. Giving your furbaby dry food made from starchy carbs that turn to sugarmay helpcause thecancer cells to grow and spread quickly, according to studies.

So even if it's disappointing to know that what you're used to giving your furbaby might actually be causing themharm, drop it and examine other special diets approved by your vet. It is in the past, and what you do with moving forward is what matters! 

Essential Omegas. Aside from curcumin, it is also best to provide our dog with the powerhouse essential fatty acids, Omega-3 and Omega-6 that may help fight your furbaby's cancer.

How can Pet Parents® help? Pet Parents® Omega 3 for Dogs Supplement will provide your furbaby with healthy nutrients that can help promote moisture in the skin during treatments and supports antioxidant function & helps remove damaging free radicals in your dog's body.

Curcumin for dogs. Providing your furbaby with supplements that have Curcumin can greatly help minimize inflammation. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and it has proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help fight off those nasty cancer cells. It also protects your dog's skin if ever they're going through radiation from chemotherapy. Read more about why Curcumin is good for dogs here.

Dog Supplements

"Our turmeric curcumin with BioPerine® dog chews can help maintain a normal inflammatory response and it also helps maintain healthy bone & joint function."

How can Pet Parents® help? Turmeric and Curcumin SoftSupps® provides your furbaby with healthy ingredients that may help promote dog immune support & dog joint health. Our turmeric and curcumin supplements contain BioPerine®, which can help maintain a normal inflammatory response. It also helps to maintain healthy bone and joint function.

Bone cancer in dogs is not fun at all. But know that your furbaby will never have that leap of faith to get well if you don't have it, too. Always be there for your dog and show them that better, sunshiney days are coming!