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Bone Cancer (Chondrosarcoma) in Cats



This is highly aggressive and life-threatening tumor needing prompt treatment in most cases. Amputation or limb salvage is usually recommended in cases in which tumor involves a limb and there is no metastasis (spreading) of the tumor. For nasal tumors, radiation therapy is normally the treatment of choice. Radiotherapy may also help in prolonging the life spans in those cats in which tumors are inoperable. If the tumor involves the ribs, your veterinarian may decide to remove the affected ribs and nearby lung tissues through a wide excision in order to prevent metastasis. Chemotherapy may also be recommended in some cats, but the effectiveness of this therapy has not yet been fully evaluated for CSA.


Living and Management


You may be advised to revisit your veterinarian every three month for follow-up evaluation. During this time, your veterinarian will evaluate your cat to see if any metastasis has occurred. Routine x-rays will be taken of the affected part and other body areas to check for recurrence and spread of the tumor.


After surgery, you should expect your cat to feel sore. You will need to limit your cat’s activity until it heals, setting aside a quite place for it to rest, away from common areas, other pets, and active children. If it is difficult to control your cat’s movement, you may consider cage rest for your cat, placing your cat’s litter box and food dishes close by for its comfort. In case of leg amputation, most cats will still live comfortably, learning to compensate for the lost limb.


Pain management is crucial for the effective treatment of chondrosarcoma; your veterinarian will prescribe appropriate painkillers. Follow instructions for medications strictly. One of the most avoidable causes of death for domestic pets is overmedication.


Nutrition is very important for a swift recovery and you will need to monitor your cat’s food and water intake while it is recovering, making sure that it is hydrated enough and is getting sufficient amounts of food, but taking care not to overfeed your cat. If your cat cannot take food on its own, your veterinarian will instruct you on the proper use of a feeding tube that can be passed down into the stomach for food administration.

Image: Stokkete via Shutterstock


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