Bone Cancer in Cats: Signs, Causes and Treatment

Osteosarcoma, another name for bone cancer in cats, is a disease in which tumors in the skeleton and limbs grow continuously, causing deterioration and the possibility for metastasis to other parts of the body.

It is uncommon for cats to develop osteosarcoma, but when it does, it can be painful and benign (non-cancerous). Typically, cats and dogs will develop this malignant malignancy.

The three primary kinds of bone cancer typically present as tumors. Osteosarcoma, which accounts for 94% of all diagnoses of bone cancer, is the most prevalent kind.

Based on the aforementioned figures, osteosarcoma in cats is still a rare occurrence. Although bone cancer can develop anywhere in the body, it tends to affect the limbs or any of the bones that link to the spine, including the ribs, pelvis, and skull.

Both primary and secondary osteosarcomas are possible. When a tumor forms within the bone itself, it is primary; if the tumor spreads from another part of the body to the bone, it is negative. Cats seldom develop primary osteosarcoma, and when they do, it’s typically benign.

You should read on the causes and symptoms of Brain Tumor in Cats because certain cats also develop brain tumors.

types of bone cancer in cats

As previously mentioned, there are numerous forms of bone cancer. Depending on how severe the cancer is, each of them has a different impact. They comprise:

  • Chondrosarcoma: Bone cancer of the chondrosarcoma type is less aggressive and less likely to spread.
  • Fibrosarcoma: Unless the tumor is of high grade, this type of bone cancer usually remains confined and spreads slowly.
  • Synovial Cell Carcinoma: This form of tumor may be treatable in grades 1 and 2. But in grade 3, the average outcome is death within a few months.
  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is the most prevalent and aggressive kind of bone cancer in cats. Since the risk of metastatic spread in cats is negligible, the disease can be treated by amputating the afflicted limb.
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Symptoms of bone cancer in cats

Cats with bone cancer commonly exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Substantial weight loss as a result of loss of appetite
  • Pain that never stops and gets worse
  • Body weakness generally
  • Issues with breathing
  • Inflammation of the limbs and bones
  • Acute lameness can also happen when there is a bone fracture; it can affect any or all of the limbs and become more consistent over a period of 1-3 months.
  • Inability to open the mouth may result from tumors around the jaw.
  • Nasal discharge may be profuse due to tumors near the nasal cavity.
  • Spinal tumors may have an impact on the nervous system.
  • If the tumor is on the prostate or urinary bladder, it may cause problems urinating.

what causes bone cancer in cats?

Unknown factors are at play in feline bone cancer. The cause of primary bone cancer in cats is unknown, although secondary bone tumors may be the result of spreading.

treatment of bone cancer in cats

Treatment of bone cancer in cats typically involves amputating the afflicted limb and then administering chemotherapy to eradicate any potential metastases.

Since most bone tumors have a propensity to migrate to the lungs, chemotherapy should be started right away. Radiation therapy may also be suggested by the vet in order to ease the cat’s discomfort.

However, if the injured location is on a lower part of the bone, amputation might not happen in cats. A bone graft from another region of the body is used to replace the tumor-affected bone in this instance.

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There will need to be more x-rays, more sophisticated imaging, and bone scans. Due to the fact that the limb starts to function after the bone graft cures, which typically takes two to three months, this operation has been very successful.

Amputation and chemotherapy may also be forgone. To alleviate the discomfort in such circumstances, high radiation doses are given. The only other choice, if this option is not selected, is euthanasia.

Osteosarcoma treatment is a personal choice that should be made based on your cat’s health and condition as well as what is convenient for you, the owner.

Recovery after treatment

  • Your cat’s chances of survival with osteosarcoma amputation alone are between three and five months, while your cat’s chances with chemotherapy-assisted amputation are between one and four years.
  • Amputation alone can treat chondrosarcoma and fibrosarcoma tumors without the need for chemotherapy.
  • Amputation alone can treat grade 1 and 2 tumors of synovial cell sarcoma. Patients with grade 3 tumors, however, typically pass away within seven months.

The length of your cat’s life expectancy and the nature of its recovery depends on the severity of the cancer and the extent of its spread. The following list of recovery-related events and occurrences is illustrative.

  • Following surgery, your pet would stay in the ward for roughly 2 days, receive painkillers, and soon after being discharged, it should be able to walk again.
  • As often as possible, bandages used on the surgical site should be changed and kept clean. Additionally, the surgical site should be examined to look for any signs of infection.
  • To speed up your cat’s rehabilitation, you should encourage it to walk.
  • Giving your cat the right nourishment is crucial throughout rehabilitation in order to retain strength, improve quality of life, lengthen survival times, and enhance the response to treatments.
  • The likelihood of the malignancy returning is present. But it rarely appears on the first page. Instead, if it occurs at all, it is more likely to resurface at another spot.
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