Treatment for Dogs with Osteosarcoma

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I Would like more information/direction on the topic of bone tumor in a Great Dane. Currently, the only treatment being administered is homeopathic. We are also doing acupuncture. Please help.  

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:

There is no doubt from current research that dogs with osteosarcoma benefit by increase in survival from surgical treatment (amputation or limb sparing) followed by chemotherapy. Surgery alone or chemotherapy alone will not improve survival rates. Although, surgery may certainly make the patient significantly more comfortable. Bone cancer is quite painful. Radiation will often alleviate some of the pain but will not alter survival. Amputation is very feasible in a giant breed dog and for those dogs that this is unacceptable for cosmetic or orthopedic reasons, limb sparing surgery MAY be an option. I am not aware that any alternative treatments have any beneficial effects for comfort or survival for this disease.