Joint cancer can develop on the leg or shoulder and is a type of soft tissue cancer that affects the synovial membrane, which lines the surfaces of joints and helps facilitate movement. Tumours grow on the affected joint, and the cancerous cells can spread quickly into other parts of the leg. It's not known why some dogs develop joint cancer, but it seems to be more common in large breed dogs. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for joint cancer:
Symptoms of joint cancer can show up quickly in affected dogs or develop gradually over time. Limping is a common symptom, and this can develop into lameness in the affected leg. There may also be a noticeable tumour growing from the affected joint, which you may feel when grooming your dog, and localised inflammation can develop, particularly after a period of weight bearing. Loss of appetite is also common, and this can cause rapid weight loss and dehydration. Your dog may also be lethargic and withdraw from social contact and play.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
Your vet will diagnose joint cancer by taking details of your dog's symptoms and conducting a physical exam. Blood and urine samples will be taken to check inflammatory markers, determine if an infection is present and check organ function. Additionally, a biopsy of the tumour will be analysed for the presence of cancerous cells, and this will involve the vet passing a long needle into the tumour and drawing out some of the fluid contained within it.
As joint cancer is highly invasive in dogs and can metastasise quickly, amputation of the affected limb is the recommended course of treatment. Pain medication will be prescribed to support your dog before and after surgery, and nutritional support may also be provided if your dog is underweight or malnourished.
After surgery, your dog will require a clean, quiet place to recover at home. You will have to keep their wound clean, and your vet will show you how to do this. Losing a limb can be a big adjustment for a dog in the same way it would be for a human, and your dog may need some support from a canine physiotherapist when they are able to start moving around more and go out for walks again.
If your dog has symptoms associated with joint cancer, schedule an appointment with a vet clinic as soon as possible to prevent them experiencing unnecessary discomfort.Share
29 July 2020
From a young age, children are taught about the importance of regular dental care and this advice is followed through adulthood. When it comes to your dog, dental care is just as important as it is for humans but the topic is not often widely discussed. Veterinarians are often alerted to dog dental care issues once they erupt, but proper care of a dog's teeth helps prevent issues from arising. When looking for dog dental care tips, it is important to find the information in one place, and that is what is available to you here. Use these helpful dental care tips to reduce the odds of your pet needing a trip to the vet to repair teeth issues.