In the video below, veterinarian Dr. Laura Hady shows how quickly canine osteosarcoma can metastasize.

The dog, whose radiographs are shown, was diagnosed in December and by the end of January, the metastasis could already be seen on radiographs. Dr. Hedy takes you through the X-rays to see how the primary lesion in the leg bulks up in a few more weeks to involve the surrounding soft tissue and the metastasis quickly moves throughout the lungs.

Explaining the difference between a CT (
X-ray computed tomography) scan and an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) she instructs that a CT is a series of circular X-rays taken by a spinning X-ray machine where you can take many different views of one site. This type of diagnostic equipment works well for examining bony areas like a dog’s wrist or distal radius osteosarcoma.

An MRI depends on how electrons are repulsed and the conductivity of an area. It’s magnetic resonance. Giving a more detailed image for soft tissue, an MRI would be her diagnostic choice for a shoulder area, for instance. 

Dr, Hady further explains that a lesion less than 3 mm won’t show up on a radiograph or could be mistaken for the blunt end of an alveoli. So it would be very difficult to tell if you were viewing an osteosarcoma lung metastasis, especially in a older dog. The X-ray just might look like a picture of an "old dog’s lung."

But the metastatic progression shown in the video very clearly demonstrates the terrifying aggression of a canine osteo

This dog did not have an amputation, but 90% of the dogs who are diagnosed with osteosarcoma, already have metastasis. For these dogs, amputation can control pain. 

And for the lucky 10% whose primary leg tumor has not already metastasized, amputation may prevent systemic spread of the disease. But be advised, dogs diagnosed with bone cancer are considered to already have metastasis at the time of diagnosis since early metastasis will not be visible on an X-ray and the disease is frighteningly aggressive.

Mainstream medicine will usually advise amputation and chemotherapy or amputation plus chemo and radiation.

Dr. Laura Hady is with Veterinary Health Care in Santa Fe, NM.
What is a CT scan?
What is an MRI?

Drug companies make far more money selling drugs that treat disease than on drugs that cure disease.
This is one reason why virtually no cures have been offered by any major pharmaceutical company in the last 25 years.



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