Bone Cancer in Dogs

Finding out your dog has bone cancer can be a scary thing. Will your dog survive this diagnoses? How is this cancer treated? What are signs of cancer in dogs? Are there ways you can help your dog to stay healthy despite this health problem?

If you’ve asked these questions and are looking for some ways to help understand what exactly bone cancer is and how your dog can be helped, you’ll want to check out this article. Below, you’ll find some helpful information about this disease as well as some treatments your dog will have and diet changes you can implement.

What is Bone Cancer in Dogs?

Bone cancer in dogs occurs when tumors appear in the bones. The most common type of tumor to form in a dog’s bones is osteosarcoma. This cancer begins in one spot but eventually spreads to other parts of the body quickly making it a deadly disease.

What is Osteosarcoma?

As mentioned above, osteosarcoma is the most common type of tumor to develop in a dog’s bones. This tumor, mainly found in large dog breeds like Boxers and Golden Retrievers, can spread rapidly which is why it’s such a problem. It can quickly grow in your dog’s body, and if not treated instantly, can be a deadly problem for your pet. There are many osteosarcoma signs and symptoms you need to watch out for, like swelling and limping.

Because of its strength, osteosarcoma can be very painful resulting in your dog not being able to walk or their bones being weaken and easily fractured or broken.

What Causes Bone Cancer?

It’s not fully known what exactly causes bone cancer in dogs, but there are a few overall ideas. One is that the larger the breed the more intense their bone structure is. This can harbor toxins and other problems that could end up causing bone cancer to form.

The other reason many pet medical professionals believe bone cancer forms in dogs is because of previous blunt trauma to a bone. While this reason has not been fully studied, some believe that the trauma could weaken the bone and cause it to be more susceptible to this cancer.

Symptoms of Bone Cancer in Dogs – A Few Osteosarcoma in Dogs Symptoms

When bone cancer forms in dogs there are a few symptoms that will occur. By keeping an eye out for signs of bone cancer in dogs, you can help to prevent this disease from progressing.


One of the main ways (and one of the early symptoms of bone cancer) to tell if your dog has canine bone cancer is if they tend to limp quite a bit. This can be a sign that the bones in a certain area hurt when pressure is put on them which can show that the area might be affected by bone cancer.

Limping can also be a sign of lameness. If you find your dog is walking funny or tends to not put pressure on a certain area on their body, it could be a sign of bone cancer. This is because the cancer will cut off the circulation in the legs or feet which can make it hard for your dog to walk because they can’t feel anything.


Another one of the first signs of bone cancer is swelling. Because bone cancer causes tears and pain in the bones, the area might be swollen. If you find that a certain area on your dog is extremely swollen, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. This might not be bone cancer, but it’s important to have your vet check it nonetheless.



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