Limb Spare Surgery Options for OS

Sick Dog

The gold standard for dogs with osteosarcoma, bone cancer, is amputation and chemotherapy. However there are other options available for dogs that may not be able to undergo amputation.

1. One option is to cut out the cancer-affected bone. The diseased bone is then replaced by a donor bone or cement spacer. It is secured with a plate and screws.

2. Stereotactic Radiation is the use of a gamma knife to target the tumorous area of the bone and kill the cancer. A CT scan determines where radiation is needed. Then the use of 3D software allows a cross-section view of the affected area. After several radiation sessions, a plate and screws are used to secure the area.

3. The newest procedure is called Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization or TACE. The dog is initially tested to rule out any lung or bone metastases. Under anesthesia, the artery supplying blood to the tumor is injected with carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug widely used for bone cancer. Following that, embolic beads are then slowly injected to induce embolization of the tumorous bone segment. Embolization acts as a barrier blocking the blood flow in the blood vessel leading to the tumor. If the bone is at risk for fracture, a plate will be applied at a later date. Analgesics and pamidronate will be used as a pain palliation protocol. A full course of chemotherapy will be recommended.

We will try to keep you up-to-date on new cancer treatments for all our pets.

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