Osteosarcoma in Dogs by Dr. Chris MacDonald

Bogart is a 10 year old Bouvier des Flanders dog who had a lameness in his front right leg. He had been getting progressively more sore over the preceding month, showing signs at home of being less active, not wanting to get in and out of the car, and whining when he was laying down. When we examined Bogart he had an obvious lameness of his front right leg. He was experiencing pain when his distal leg was palpated and his range of motion in his carpal joint was reduced. An x-ray was taken of Bogart’s front limb and it showed changes in the bone that were very suggestive of bone cancer. A starburst appearance and lysis of the bone was obvious. Due to the degree of bone lysis there was a concern that the bone may have broken just from Bogart walking.

An emergency referral appointment was made for Bogart at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island where Bogart could be screened for signs of bone cancer spread and surgical options could be discussed. While at AVC biopsies were obtained from the diseased bone, from a suspicious area on his spleen and he had chest and abdominal scans preformed. The biopsy of the bone tumor gave a diagnosis of osteosarcoma but there were no signs that the tumor had spread to other areas of his body. After discussion with the surgeons at the college Bogart’s owners elected to proceed with limb amputation surgery and follow up with chemotherapy. Bogart’s biopsy samples were sent to the oncology department at the University of Guelph Veterinary Hospital where a chemotherapy protocol using the drug Carboplatin was recommended.

Bogart returned home and was walking comfortably within days of his amputation surgery. His chemotherapy began the week after his surgery and is continuing for a total of 16 weeks.

Bogart continues to do very well, he is active, moving comfortably and is back to his usual happy self. His owners naturally questioned how far to go with Bogart’s treatment but he has done so well through his surgery and his chemotherapy that his owners feel they made the right choice for him. The long term prognosis for Bogart is not great but he and his owners are enjoying all their quality time together.

If you have any questions about cancers in dogs, please do not hesitate to contact the PetFocus Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital team. We are always here to help!



The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.


    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital