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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16304
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi, my 9 year old dog recently went lame she has had X-rays

Resolved Question:

Hi, my 9 year old dog recently went lame she has had X-rays and the said it looks like a bone tumour.Can you let me know if there are any treatments available and they prescribed Tramadol but it doesn't seem to work as she is whimpering in the night.
Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about your girl's discomfort and possible bone tumor diagnosis.

Although there are characteristic changes that we see on radiographs with a bone tumor we cannot be sure of a diagnosis without a biopsy. Other possible causes of changes in bone density include fungal and bacterial bone infections. I recommend getting a biopsy and culturing the lesion for fungal and bacterial infections as well.

If this is a bone tumor then knowing what type of tumor she has will guide therapy.
The most common type of bone tumor we see in dogs is a very aggressive tumor called an osteosarcoma. These tumors don't respond very well to treatment and have often already spread (metastasized) to local lymph nodes, the lungs and in some cases the spleen and liver by the time we find the primary bone tumor.
There are things that we can do to make her more comfortable in the time she has left however.

Amputation of the affected limb takes away the primary tumor and the pain it is causing her. This is usually not a cure, but rather a way to keep her more comfortable longer. In most cases eventually metastatic lesions are found and cause symptoms.

If amputation is not an option then Radiation therapy can greatly decrease her pain and slow tumor growth. This won't change her development of metastatic lesions either, but it will give her better quality of life in the meantime.

Finally if neither of these are an option then she may be able to take a higher dose of Tramadol then what was prescribed. I also recommend adding a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory called Piroxicam. Piroxicam has some anti-tumor effects as well. Together Tramadol and Piroxicam will do a better job at controlling her pain then either one alone.
There are other drugs that can be added too, Gabapentin or Amantadine for example.

Here is a link to an excellent, accurate article about bone tumors in dogs if you'd like to read more:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_canine_osteosarcoma.html

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome. Please let me know how things go for your pup,
Dr. Kara.