Fibrosarcoma in dogs can affect your dog’s nasal and sinus cavities and in some cases, it may also affect their leg bones.
This potential killer can affect dogs of all ages and breeds but it is much more common in middle aged and older dogs.
If your dog suddenly develops a nasal discharge, tearing of the eyes, or starts to sneeze for no apparent reason, there is a very good chance that they have developed fibrosarcomas.
However, if it is severe enough, it can also cause your dog’s face to become grossly deformed.
If either of these conditions is not properly and promptly treated, it will take the life of your dog.
Nasal and Para nasal fibrosarcoma in dogs are slow growing but very progressive tumors that invade your pet’s nose, their nasal cavity, or the surrounding areas.
If it is the bone form of this disease, it is a cancer that arises from the fibrous connective tissues in your dog.
These would include the tissues of the skull, spine, pelvis, and well as the ribs. But with the bone form, it almost always attacks your dog’s legs.
Bone fibrosarcoma is not nearly as common as the nasal form and it is extremely difficult to detect simply because it appears that your dog is becoming lame.
Lameness in dogs has several potential causes, but this is one of the most dangerous.
Cancer tumors in dogs are extremely frustrating, simply because they will have no known cause.
There is nothing that you can do to prevent them other than build up your dog’s immune system as strong as you can.
While this will help in the majority of cases, it will not totally prevent them, which is what makes them so frustrating.
Nasal and Para nasal fibrosarcoma in dogs will show you some very early and very distinctive signs, but the bone form will only show you a couple of symptoms.
However, there is one common symptom to either form; Halitosis.
If your dog suddenly develops halitosis, or as it more commonly referred, bad breath, there is an underlying reason.
It may be a sign of some type of a dental problem or infection, but it is also one of the first symptoms of fibrosarcoma.
Nasal fibrosarcoma in dogs, other than the bad breath, will show you some other very early warning signs.
The first is a sudden development of a nasal discharge in your dog that will usually be followed by what is referred to as Epistaxis, which is a very sudden bleeding for the nose of your dog.
You will also see signs almost at the same time of tearing from the eyes. However, a sudden burst of sneezing that will not stop is one of the most telling signs that your dog has this form of cancer.
As nasal fibrosarcoma in dog’s progresses, it will show you additional symptoms that will stop any owner almost dead in their tracks, as it will become that serious.
As these tumors grow and are not treated and stopped, your dogs face will start to become deformed to the point that you may not recognize them.
The most chilling sign of this is called exophthalmia, which is a very severe bulging in your dog’s eyes.
By now, it has reached a very serious state and will need immediate treatment. The bone form of fibrosarcoma will show initial signs of lameness, especially in your dog’s rear legs.
Once this does occur, you should always examine your dog’s legs and look for any type of swelling.
Lameness has several potential causes, but swelling almost always tells you one thing; your dog has a growth and that growth is usually a tumor.
Fibrosarcoma in dogs will have several forms of treatments, but there is some good news about this type of tumor.
Unlike other forms, it very rarely spreads to other parts of the body, making it much easier to treat.
The most common form of treatment with either form will be surgery and medications to relieve the pain.
Radiation therapy may also be used in either form of this cancer, but it is used only as a last resort.
The surgery itself that your veterinarian will perform will include removal of the tumor infected tissues and any of the affected surrounding tissues.
Nasal and Para nasal fibrosarcoma can very effectively be totally removed, and your dog is considered totally safe for at least a year or two, because it usually does not spread.
If it is in your dog’s leg bones, it is more difficult, simply because of the broader system of connective tissues.
If either of the forms has become extreme, and surgery is not an option because of some pre-existing condition, radiation therapy will be used.
However, it is highly specialized and very expensive. This form of treatment will usually involve at least three treatments administered over a three week period of time.
If it is the nasal form, it may have to be done daily until it has been eliminated. This form of treatment is very effective, but again is very specialized.
Chemotherapy is used only in cases where the fibrosarcoma has spread, which is extremely rare.
If you make the decision that you cannot afford surgery or do not have pet insurance to cover it, your dog can be given both narcotic and non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain in their final days.
This is cancer, and it will eventually take their life.
If you do elect the surgery and it is successful, it will be extremely important to give your dog the correct home care.
You will need to restrict their actively with either form for at least three weeks.
You will need to make sure they do not climb, jump, or play as they have just been operated on for cancer and a slow recovery process is needed.
You will have to monitor the healing process very carefully and make sure the site of the surgery is clean and dry at all times.
Fibrosarcoma in dogs can be treated in most all cases, but the key will be catching it early enough. Knowing and understanding the symptoms can be the only thing that saves your dogs life.
Pet insurance is also something that any owner should consider, as this may be the one time that your dog really needs it as it can be very expensive.
If not surgically removed, your dog can still be treated with pain medications and at least make their final days more comfortable.