BACKGROUND: Metastasis of appendicular osteosarcoma is most common to the lungs and is generally considered a terminal event in dogs. Behavior and prognosis associated with cutaneous or subcutaneous metastases (CSM) is poorly defined.
OBJECTIVE: Describe the population and gather prognostic information regarding appendicular osteosarcoma with CSM in dogs.
ANIMALS: Twenty dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma and CSM.
METHODS: Retrospective case series. Medical records were searched to identify dogs diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma that developed CSM. Demographic data, order of metastatic events, and CSM clinical features were evaluated. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed and log-rank tests were used to compare survival between groups of dogs.
RESULTS: In 19 dogs (95%), CSM was an incidental finding. Seventeen dogs (85%) developed pulmonary metastasis, and 1 dog (5%) developed bone metastasis. No other metastatic sites were detected before euthanasia. The median CSM-free interval and CSM survival time were 160 days (range: 0-542 days) and 55 days (range: 5-336 days), respectively. The median CSM survival time was significantly longer for dogs treated with surgery and chemotherapy (94 days) or chemotherapy only (64 days) than for dogs that did not receive these treatments (11 days) (P = .002 and P = .03, respectively). No other factors were associated with survival after diagnosis of CSM.
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: The skin or subcutaneous tissue can be the first osteosarcoma metastatic site detected. After CSM diagnosis, the prognosis is grave with median survival <2 months. Although this finding could have been biased by case selection, treatment with surgery and chemotherapy may improve outcome.