How Long Can a Dog Live with Osteosarcoma?  Life Expectancy

Not every dog gets to suffer from Osteosarcoma in the course of its life. Due to this, not every dog owner knows what dogs in this condition deal with. However, if you have a dog that has dealt with this condition, you can tell it is a severe disease, and deciding to euthanize your dog will be difficult.

When your dog is affected by Osteosarcoma, you should put it down when its quality of life becomes terrible. If your dog is going through a lot of pain, needs help when going to the bathroom, and is unable to feed correctly, you will need to consider euthanizing it seriously.

Euthanizing your dog is not a decision anyone will make for you. While it is in your place to decide the right time to euthanize your dog, you will need to talk to your vet and, you will need to give their opinion some consideration. Since you are the dog owner in pain, your decision might be emotional and might not be best for your dog. On the other hand, your vet will make a practical decision based on the symptoms your dog is exhibiting.

Putting down a Dog suffering from Osteosarcoma

Although euthanizing a dog is an action that every dog owner likes to avoid. Sometimes, it is the best alternative. Having to watch your dog go through this health condition is not something any dog owner will love. While different dog owners have various mental strengths, making the right decision to euthanize your dog will not come easy.

Has your dog experienced Osteosarcoma or is currently suffering from it? You must know that it is not always so bad. Certain dogs can live for a relatively long time before you have to decide to euthanize them. This, however, is dependent on the stage your dog is in.

While certain people will not hesitate to put their dog down since this is the way to save it from further pain, others will try to hold on for as long as possible. Regardless of the decision you make, you must be sure you are doing the right thing.

When deciding to euthanize your dog or keep it alive, always remember that your dog isn’t living the way it should when it goes through a lot of pain. Also, while you will face some emotional pain letting your dog go, the pain of watching it suffer is even more.

What exactly is Osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma affects giant breeds. It takes place when a tumor starts growing in the dog’s bone. When this tumor begins to grow, it attacks healthy bone cells and destroys them. This condition is associated with severe pain, which leads to a reduction in your dog’s quality of life.

These cancerous cells do not only invade healthy bone cells. They also break out and move to other body parts. Osteosarcoma has its effect on the limbs of dogs. Nonetheless, it could affect other body parts such as the lungs.

This disease is associated with some symptoms. Some of them include bone pain, joint pain, periods of lameness, swelling, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

The cancerous cells are usually not as healthy as regular bone cells. Therefore, when there is an injury to that part of the leg, the dog will get injured.

This type of fracture is called a pathologic fracture, and the bad thing about this fracture is it cannot heal.

When a dog suffers from Osteosarcoma, it begins to show signs of being lame. However, after a period of one to three months, it will get totally lame. This disease comes with other symptoms. These symptoms, however, are dependent on the affected part of the dog’s body.

Every year in the United States, about 10,000 dogs have to deal with this disease. Additionally, Osteosarcoma is responsible for 85% of bone tumors that dogs deal with. Also, according to research, out of every ten dogs with Osteosarcoma, seven pass down the disease to their offspring.

This disease affects various dog breeds. With an increase in a dog’s weight comes an increase in its chances of a dog being affected by Osteosarcoma. Dogs that weigh more than 90 pounds make up one-third of osteosarcoma cases in dogs. Additionally, when a dog gets to 8 years, its chances of being affected by this disease increases.

That’s not all. Some dog breeds are more likely to be affected by this Osteosarcoma. Some of them are Great Dane, Leonbergers, Borzois, Scottish Deerhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, Irish Setters, Doberman pinscher, Golden Retrievers, German shepherd, and the Rottweiler.

When Should You Euthanize A Dog with Osteosarcoma?

There is no perfect answer to the question ‘when should you euthanize a dog with osteosarcoma’. So long as putting down a dog with Osteosarcoma is concerned, you need to think about lots of factors before making a decision.

Although there is no perfect time to euthanize a dog with Osteosarcoma, once a dog’s quality of life reduces, lots of dog owners will euthanize it.

As soon as you notice your dog dealing with a lot of pain and unable to live comfortably, you might need to let it go. This might not be the easiest thing to do. Nonetheless, it just might be the right thing.

When trying to make up your mind on euthanizing a dog with Osteosarcoma, you do not have to worry about making the decision alone. You can talk with vets that will help you make the right decision.

How is Osteosarcoma Treated in Dogs?

It is sad to say Osteosarcoma in dogs cannot be cured. The only available treatment alternatives are targeted at extending the affected dog’s lifespan and helping with the quality of its life.

The treatment alternatives with this disease are first to reduce the level of pain the dog is feeling and to put a check on the rapid spread of the disease component.

The alternative to reducing the pain the dog feels is amputating the dog limb that is affected by the tumor. A lot of times, doing this lowers the pain instantly. Nonetheless, the disease has a high likelihood of spreading.

Another way to relieve the dog of the pain it is feeling is using palliative radiotherapy, as well as pain medication. This treatment is called bisphosphonate infusion treatments.

It is also okay to carryout limb-sparing surgery. This is a process that involves taking out the tumor and leaving the leg intact. This, however, is never done alone. It has to be followed by chemotherapy.

When the surgery is done, the dog will need special post-operative care. This is because the affected limb will need a long time to heal. 

Other treatment alternatives that a dog can get are analgesic drugs. When a dog takes analgesics, intense pain levels cannot be fixed. So, when a dog has to deal with severe pain, palliative radiotherapy and amputation are the only alternatives.

That’s not all there is to treating a dog with Osteosarcoma. Some other alternatives are targeted nutritional therapy. This involves treating cancer in dogs with a ketogenic diet.

Other treatment options are involved in treating Osteosarcoma in dogs. These options involve a more holistic approach and are done with natural remedies. Some of these remedies include injecting your dog with a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, a blend of herbs known as Hoxsey Formula with boneset, bromelain, and vitamins A and D.

How Long Do Dogs Live after Being Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma?

After being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, there are different treatment alternatives a dog owner can take advantage of. Since it is possible to treat a dog with Osteosarcoma, lots of dog owners have wondered how long a dog can live after being diagnosed with this condition.

With different treatment, alternatives come different life expectancy after a dog has been diagnosed with this disease.

  • Without Therapy: When a dog does not go through therapy after being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, it can live for two months. This is quite long depending on when the diagnosis was carried out. A lot of times, when a dog gets diagnosed, the cancer is already spreading.
  • Amputation: This can help a dog live for up to six months
  • Chemotherapy and Palliative Radiation: This can help a dog live for up to six months.
  • Amputation and chemotherapy: These help a dog live for one year after being diagnosed. Sometimes, the dog can live for as long as two years.
  • Limb-sparing Surgery: This can help a dog live between one to two years.

How to Help a Dog Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma

When your dog gets diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, you can prolong its life a little before finally euthanizing it. To ensure it has the best quality of life before it is euthanized. Ensure you make use of the best form of treatment you consider affordable.

You will know it is time to euthanize your dog from the look in its eyes. Its eyes will look glossy and tired. Once you notice this look on your dog’s face, you should not hesitate to euthanize it.


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