Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)
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Essential Facts About Bone Cancer
(Osteosarcoma) in Dogs
Canine Osteosarcoma Basics
Osteosarcoma accounts for 80-90% of malignancies involving bone cancer in dogs. The typical patient is an older dog of a large breed.
Osteosarcoma begins on the surface of the bone and progresses inward, disintegrating the bone.
There are various forms, but the treatments are similar and this information applies to all varieties of the disease.
The promising news is that, with proper treatment and immune support, some 80% of dogs with osteosarcoma can be put into remission if the disease is discovered early enough.
There are fungal bone infections that cause symptoms and appearances on x-rays similar to osteosarcoma. Your veterinarian may call for Pythiosis, a screening to rule out the fungal culture. Pythiosis is a simple blood test and your vet can contact Pavlab at 800-856-9655 for details. After other causes are ruled out, your vet will want to perform a biopsy for osteosarcoma.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteosarcoma in Dogs
The problem is that the usual symptoms, lameness and pain, don’t usually develop until the cancer is advanced.
It might at first seem like a case of arthritis or a muscle pull, but any lameness or swelling on your dog’s legs or ribs should be checked out as soon as possible.
If Your Dog Has Bone Cancer
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Learn More About Bone Cancer in Canines
Defeating Canine Osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma is primarily a failure of the body to recognize the aberrant cancer cells and ward them off — in other words, an immune dysfunction disease. Amputations and radiation therapy can be effective, but it’s the dog’s own immune response that will hopefully overcome the disease.
If the osteosarcoma goes untreated, a dog can be expected to live for only two to four months after diagnosis. But proper treatment, along with immune system support, can increase the odds of remission. In many cases, treatment has provided a long-term positive outcome, but it depends on how early the disease is diagnosed and treated.
Understanding Your Dog’s Diagnosis
Your dog is depending on you. Once you’re beyond the initial shock of the diagnosis, it’s essential to act fast in turning this disease around. Waiting can drastically reduce the chances for long-term survival, and generally the quicker you start treatment, the more positive the outcome will be.
Treatments for Osteosarcoma in Dogs
Once the tumor has been positively identified, the affected limb is usually amputated. In some instances the tumor can be removed without amputation, but that is rarely the case. Radiation therapy may also be an option in place of amputation. Each case is different, however, and your veterinarian will know best.Chemotherapy is generally prescribed as a follow-up to amputation or radiation.
Even after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, the underlying cause of the cancer will still be there. Deficiency in the immune system is what allows cancer to form, and immune system rejuvenation is what will empower your dog to defeat it.
Immunotherapy for Dogs with Osteosarcoma
All cancer exists because the affected patient’s immune system isn’t strong enough to recognize and fight the malignancy.
Surgery and chemotherapy don’t address the underlying cause of the disease (immune dysfunction) and almost never result in a remission alone. In fact, the cancer comes back in over 99% of these cases.
Immune therapy greatly enhances your dog’s chances.
Research into the combination of immune modulation therapy and conventional therapy, however, has shown that ultimately it’s the patient’s own immune system that will overcome the cancer.
Immune System Therapy for Dogs
Immune system enhancement can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for dogs with cancer.
Supplements for Dogs with Osteosarcoma
Triggering the immune recognition response with the use of immunotherapy supplements will help your dog’s body to fight bone cancer.
Immune system enhancement can increase the length of the dog’s life as well as the quality of life while he is undergoing cancer treatment, so he can eat, play and act like his old self again.
The most powerful form of immunotherapy supplements are those formulated with medicinal mushrooms.
Long a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine, medicinal mushrooms are now getting recognition as the most potent immune system modulators available.
But, not all medicinal mushroom supplements are created equal.