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Dog Benign Bone Tumors

Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Dog Benign Bone Tumors

Canine benign tumors cover five different categories. Some can go untreated for prolonged periods of time. Others need to be addressed by your veterinarian. In either case, when you notice any change in your dogs behavior, appearance or when symptoms start to appear, your vet should be notified.

Canine Osteoma

This rare tumor is usually found in and around the skull and face of dogs. Made up of normal bone, they are nonetheless very dense. A slow growing tumor, no treatment is required unless it creates difficulties or has negative impacts on the surrounding areas of the growth. Often they are confused with another type of growth called exostoses. This is cartilage that will form underneath the bone and will show some of the same symptoms.

Canine Chondroma

These benign tumors affect the bone cartilage. They seldom start in the bones, and are slow growing. They are primarily found on the flat bones. Covered by tissue, the tumor is often confused with cancerous tumors such as chondrosarcomas. This is a tumor that is frequently misdiagnosed.

Multilobular Osteoma and Chondroma of the Canine Skull

The origin of this type of benign tumor is the either the skull or as a secondary tumor triggered by other bones within the skull. The average age for this type of tumor to appear is seven years, but it can occur in dogs from fifteen to twelve years of age.

Signs and Symptoms

There will be some impact on the adjacent areas of this tumor.

Sinus: if the tumor is in the sinuses there will be pus from the nasal cavities.

Brain: difficulties with the dog’s nervous system will surface if the tumor is in the brain.

Eye: tumor in the eye socket will cause the eye to protrude.

Jaw: the dog will have difficulty opening the mouth if it is affecting the temporal or zygomatic bone.

Treatment of Canine Skull Tumor

Surgical removal of the tumor is necessary. If they are not removed they will cause problems. This type of tumor can also reoccur and potentially become malignant.

Canine Osteochandroma

Young dogs with bones that have not yet calcified are prone to this type of benign tumor. They are primarily found in the femur or tibia. They are the second most common type of benign bone tumors after skull tumors. Great Dane, Hounds and Saint Bernard‘s are the most common breeds affected.

Signs and Symptoms

Since this is primarily a tumor of the legs, weakness, lameness and Dog Pain are the most common symptoms.
Diagnosis is made by X-Rays. In the event that the x-ray is inconclusive, your veterinarian will perform a biopsy.
Removal of the tumor is done if the dog is endangered or for cosmetic reasons. A full recovery will usually occur. If the tumor does reappear, it can become malignant.

Canine Enchondromas

This rare tumor occurs in the long cavity of the bone. They can be single or in a group. Prominent in larger breeds, they can cause fractures at the location because of thinning of the bone. Prognosis is good after surgical removal.
Often multiple x-rays will be taken over a prolonged period of time to determine diagnosis. This will depict any changes in the condition of the tumor.

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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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