Just Ask the Expert: Will pamidronate help manage osteosarcoma pain?
Dr. Fan welcomes oncology questions from veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
I have a 6-year old female spayed Doberman pinscher in which appendicular osteosarcoma was recently diagnosed. We are currently treating her with carprofen, tramadol, and gabapentin. I also started her on an intravenous treatment regimen every 28 days with pamidronate. Have you seen much success in pain management with pamidronate? How many treatments do dogs need to receive before you notice any progress? I would also like to know if there are any other helpful options for this condition.
Although potent intravenous bisphosphonates appear to have a role in managing malignant bone pain, the use of ionizing radiation therapy remains the first-line and most effective treatment modality for controlling pain secondary to focal skeletal osteolysis in dogs. So I would recommend that you add ionizing radiation therapy to improve pain control in your dog, if possible.
1. Fan TM, de Lorimier LP, Charney SC, et al. Evaluation of intravenous pamidronate administration in 33 cancer-bearing dogs with primary or secondary bone involvement. J Vet Intern Med 2005;19(1):74-80.
2. Fan TM, de Lorimier LP, O'Dell-Anderson K, et al. Single-agent pamidronate for palliative therapy of canine appendicular osteosarcoma bone pain. J Vet Intern Med 2007;21(3):431-439.
Timothy M. Fan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (internal medicine, oncology)