Go to content

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer (osteosarcoma or OSA) is a malignant tumour which usually affects the limb bones. Unfortunately, by the time a dog has symptoms the cancer has often already metastasised, most commonly to the lungs. It is listed as the cause of death of approximately 20-24% of Wolfhounds.

The causes of OSA are poorly understood, but are likely to be both polygenic (an inherited tendency) and environmental. Areas of previous injury or infection may be more prone to the disease.
The initial symptom is usually lameness, sometimes with swelling at the tumour site. The diagnosis is usually made by the primary care vet on physical examination and x-rays. Bone biopsy gives a definite diagnosis but there is a risk of complications.

Treatment options range from simple pain relief to chemotherapy and amputation, but regardless of  treatment few dogs survive for more than two years after diagnosis.

The IWHG has had two ongoing studies into OSA, one with the AHT, which sadly has ceased to exist, but we are hoping the research may be taken up by another organisation at some point, and also an ongoing study at the University of Nottingham. All of which we hope will lead to a better understanding and management of this disease.
(click buttons to visit websites)
Canine Cancer website
Fitzpatrick Referrals
Purdue University
Palliative Treatment
Vaccine research
Devoted to the health and welfare of Irish Wolfhounds
Patron: Trudie Sumner
Back to content