Sampson's Bone Tumour and Chemotherapy

Sampson was brought into Vetwest Currambine when his owners noticed he was limping on one of his hind legs. The veterinarian examined Sampson and found that he was painful in the region of his knee, and scheduled x-rays under general anaesthesia to gain more information.


X-rays showed a lesion suggestive of a bone tumour, with a bone biopsy taken to confirm if this was the case. Sampson’s biopsy results confirmed the diagnosis of Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma, which is the most common type of bone tumour found in dogs. Without treatment the tumour becomes so painful that euthanasia is often required within weeks to months.

The ideal treatment, and the treatment chosen by Sampson’s owners, was amputation of his leg combined with chemotherapy. This treatment combination increases the average survival time to 12-18 months, with a cure rate of approximately ten percent. Even dogs of Sampson’s size can have a normal active life with three legs. 

Chemotherapy for Sampson involved one treatment every three weeks for six treatments in total. Most dogs show no severe side effects of chemotherapy (such as hair loss or illness) but some dogs, including Sampson, show mild gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting or diarrhoea. All patients who receive chemotherapy have their white blood cells monitored as these can sometimes be affected by the chemotherapy drugs.

Sampson has recently finished his final treatment of chemotherapy and can be found beating his four legged friends when playing ball at the park!


Pet type(s): 
Life stage(s): 
dog leg
German Shepherd