Sumo a dog of a friend of mine was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma two years back. I have closely seen the family suffering to take every measure to save their dog. When they did not find any hope left and seeing the sufferings of Sumo, they decided to euthanize the dog with Osteosarcoma. The post-euthanization effects were many. The family is still trying to get out of the horror of euthanization. However, it was the most humane step to take at that moment. When is the right time to euthanize a dog with Osteosarcoma? Let me help you a little through this article.
What Is Canine Osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma is cancer. Bone cancer to be specific. This malignant cancer affects the larger breeds of dogs. This cancer is very painful and a lot for a dog to take in. what happens in Osteosarcoma is that a tumor is developed deep-rooted in the bones of a dog. This tumor grows slowly and destroys the bones inside out. You can imagine the pain. Osteosarcoma in dogs particularly starts with the limbs. Slowly and steadily they infect other parts of the body as well. The cancerous cells try to destroy every bone cell present in the body of the dog. The length of pain that your dog has to suffer is unimaginable. that is why most dog owners end up euthanizing their dog with Osteosarcoma.
Symptoms Of Osteosarcoma In Dogs:
As you may have noticed that the tumor develops in the bone. It is slowly destroying the bones of your dog. If your dog gets an injury in the tumor area, it can fracture the bone even if the injury is slight. This fracture is termed Pathologic. What here is to be noted with hands-on your heart is that these fractures do not heal. There is no cure no treatment for it.
Hence if you see your dog is lamming and it continues to do so for weeks, it means it has developed Osteosarcoma. Take it to the vet immediately.
Are treatments Available For Osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma in dogs in incurable. You cannot do anything but improve the quality of life of your dog.
- As mentioned, there is very much pain involved in this disease. You need to go for limb amputation in order to relieve your dog from pain. This gives an immediate result.
- Palliative radiotherapy might also help relieve pain.
- If you need to get rid of the tumor. Chemo followed by Limb-sparing surgery will help your dog.
It is to be noted these measures can give temporary relief only. The chances of the spread of cancer to the other body parts are still very high.
When To Euthanize A Dog With Osteosarcoma?
All being said and done. The lifespan of your dog if given all the treatments given above boils down to be 2 years at maximum. These two years even with the treatment are highly painful. Your dog might not be able to even walk at times. The question of euthanization of a dog with Osteosarcoma is not easy to answer. You need to seek not just one but two or more opinions from professionals. The points that may help you are:
- Quality of Life of your dog: this is the most important ground to answer the euthanization of a dog with Osteosarcoma query. Even with the treatments, survival is painful. The constant pain and not being able to walk makes your dog die every day. The pain is unbearable. Constant medications and treatments irritate your dog. What will you want if you were in its place? The decision is complete of the owner. If you want your dog to fight go for it. Else you can euthanize your dog and put it to sleep peacefully and end its sufferings.
- Expenses: the treatments are fairly expensive and not all can afford them. Looking at the lifespan and the suffering it might seem more viable to euthanize a dog with Osteosarcoma. However, there are a lot of NGOs and Societies that might help you. You can always reach out to them.
The question of euthanization of a dog with Osteosarcoma is not an easy one to make. It depends on the advice of the Vet, the owner’s choice, and the quality of life of the dog. The time is hard and a lot for you to take in. I am with you!