Canine bone cancer is, unfortunately, one of the most common types of cancer in dogs. Osteosarcoma is the type of canine bone cancer most often seen. This is a type of canine cancer that starts on the surface of the bone and progresses into the center. The effectiveness of dog cancer treatment depends on several factors, one of which is the degree to which the cancer has infiltrated the bone, and especially if it has invaded the marrow space - the hollow portion in the center of the bone.
The treatment of choice for most is surgery to remove the tumor. Usually, the entire limb is amputated, although sometimes bone-sparing surgery can be used depending on the size and extent of the tumor. A successful outcome with surgical removal of canine bone cancer depends primarily on whether the dog’s immune system can effectively fight off a recurrence of the tumor in some other part of the body after surgery. This is why immuno-modulation therapy is often recommended to follow up the surgery. Without immune therapy, the surgery alone almost never results in a complete remission. Unless something is done to enhance the dog’s immune system, the bone cancer will come back in 99% of the cases, regardless of how good the surgery is.
Chemotherapy is often used to follow up the surgery, but unfortunately, chemotherapy does not work very well in most canine bone cancer cases. Radiation is also used, and this can be a good option, especially in reducing the associated pain when surgery is not possible. But it is important to understand that the chemo, surgery and radiation cannot by themselves cure a dog with cancer. It requires the dog’s own immune system to overcome the cancer. Even though we see bone cancer tumors form in one place, bone cancer in dogs is really a systemic disease. It requires a systemic response to overcome it.
It has been our experience that surgery and/or radiation, with the addition of some form of immune modulation therapy such as K9 Immunity™ or similar products, generally leads to a more favorable outcome than the surgery alone. All other things being equal, this seems to be the canine cancer which responds the best to immuno-modulation therapy. In younger or middle aged dogs, which are otherwise healthy, the results following surgery and treatment with the K9 Immunity™ leads to a complete remission in a large percentage of canine osteosarcoma cases.
Since the cost of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can be quite high, we are often asked about using the K9 immunity™ alone with no other therapy. While this is not the best option in overcoming the disease, it sometimes works and sometimes it does not. There are many factors involved in the successful outcome of Osteosarcoma treatment, or any other medical challenge. The dog’s age, diet, general state of health, other medications, previous history and genetic disposition all come into play. But there are many cases which we have direct knowledge of where the Immunomodulation therapy alone (K9 Immunity™ & K9 Transfer Factor ™) lead to complete remission of bone cancer in dogs. So there is hope. But you should always discuss this with your Vet. Each patient is different and it is important to choose the best possible combination of treatment options in addressing the cancer. We are available to discuss this with your veterinarian or oncologist at 888-366-3641.