From Dog
A nasal chondrosarcoma in a 12-year-old male American Foxhound[1]
Macroscopic view of a resected fibrosarcoma of the abdominal aorta[2]

Primary chondrosarcoma and osteochondrosarcoma are malignant, slow-growing and locally invasive tumors of skeletal and extraskeletal cartilage[3] and are the second most common primary bone tumor in dogs.

Some cases may begin as an idiopathic chondromatosis and progress to neoplastic sarcomas[4], and where neoplastic osteoid or bone is produced, the tumor is classified as an osteosarcoma.

Chondrosarcomas may be primary, arising within a bone (central) or from the periosteum (peripheral), or secondary, arising by malignant change in osteochondromas[5]. They can be found in large-breed dogs of any age, affecting the ribs[6], mammary gland, penile urethra[7], digit, tongue, kidney, liver[8], abdominal wall, scapula[9], skull[10], nasal cavity, pelvis[11], eye[12], heart[13], larynx[14], aorta[2], spleen[15] and lungs[16].

Clinically affected dogs usually present with multiple soft-tissue masses in the affected area with regional swelling. When involving the limbs, lameness is a consistent finding[17].

Diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, often associated with swelling in the surrounding tissue. Radiography may display osteolyis of neighboring bone and osteolytic regions associated with the tumor. Pulmonary radiographs are necessary to determine possible secondary metastases.

A definitive diagnosis requires histopathology, with characteristic chondrocytes with marked nuclear pleomorphism and a high mitotic rate. Histologically, two different types of chondrosarcoma are recognized: myxoid, the most common type found in skeletal tumors, and mesenchymal, a rarer type found more often in extraskeletal sites. Grading is usually given on a scale of 1 (mild) to 3 (aggressive).

Immunohistochemically, these tumors stain positively for vimentin, S-100 protein, neuron-specific enolase, calretinin, and chromogranin A[18].

A differential diagnosis would include myxosarcoma[19], giant cell tumor, osteoma, osteosarcoma, osteochondroma, polyostotic lymphoma and Spirocerca lupi-associated chondrosarcomas[20].

Treatment usually involves wide-margin surgical resection and radiotherapy.

Appendicular chondrosarcoma can be treated effectively with amputation alone. Low to intermediate grade chondrosarcoma has a good prognosis, whereas high-grade tumors appear to behave aggressively[21].

Survival times following treatment range from 1 - 4 years[22].


  1. Malinowski C (2006) Canine and feline nasal neoplasia. Clin Tech Small Anim Pract 21(2):89-94
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lee BR et al (2011) Abdominal aortic chondrosarcoma in a dog. J Vet Med Sci 73(11):1473-1476
  3. Cohen L et al (2010) Non-skeletal multicentric chondrosarcoma in the hindlimb of a dog. J Small Anim Pract 51(10):553-557
  4. Díaz-Bertrana C et al (2010) Extra- and intra-articular synovial chondromatosis and malignant transformation to chondrosarcoma. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 23(4):277-283
  5. Spjut HL et al (1971) Tumors of bone and cartilage. In Atlas of Tumor Pathology, 2nd series, fascicle 5. Washington, DC, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
  6. Halfacree ZJ et al (2007) Use of a latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap for one-stage reconstruction of the thoracic wall after en bloc resection of primary rib chondrosarcoma in five dogs. Vet Surg 36(6):587-592
  7. Davis GJ & Holt D (2003) Two chondrosarcomas in the urethra of a German shepherd dog. J Small Anim Pract 44:169–171
  8. Chikata S et al (2006) Primary chondrosarcoma in the liver of a dog. Vet Pathol 43(6):1033-1036
  9. Norton C et al (2006) Subtotal scapulectomy as the treatment for scapular tumour in the dog: a report of six cases. Aust Vet J 84(10):364-366
  10. Kim H et al (2007) Primary chondrosarcoma in the skull of a dog. J Vet Sci 8(1):99-101
  11. Ling GV et al (1974) Primary bone tumors in the dog: A combined clinical, radiographic and histologic approach to early diagnosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 165:55
  12. Rodrigues EF et al (2009) Metastatic intraocular chondrosarcoma in a dog. Vet Ophthalmol 12(4):254-258
  13. Dupuy-Mateos A et al (2008) Primary cardiac chondrosarcoma in a paced dog. Vet Rec 163(9):272-273
  14. Muraro L et al (2012) Successful management of an arytenoid chondrosarcoma in a dog. J Small Anim Pract Oct 8
  15. Miller JM et al (2005) Primary splenic mesenchymal chondrosarcoma in a dog. Can Vet J 46(2):163-165
  16. Brodey RS et al (1974) Canine skeletal chondrosarcoma: A clinicopathologic study of 35 cases. J Am Vet Med Assoc 165:68
  17. Aeffner F et al (2012) Synovial Osteochondromatosis With Malignant Transformation to Chondrosarcoma in a Dog. Vet Pathol Jan 27
  18. Kojima D et al (2012) Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma with systemic metastasis in a five-month-old irish setter dog. J Vet Med Sci 74(8):1045-1049
  19. Khachatryan AR et al (2009) What is your diagnosis? Vertebral mass in a dog. Vet Clin Pathol 38(2):257-260
  20. Lindsay N et al (2010) Imaging diagnosis--spinal cord chondrosarcoma associated with spirocercosis in a dog. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 51(6):614-616
  21. Farese JP et al (2009) Biologic behavior and clinical outcome of 25 dogs with canine appendicular chondrosarcoma treated by amputation: a Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology retrospective study. Vet Surg 38(8):914-919
  22. Waltman SS et al (2007) Clinical outcome of nonnasal chondrosarcoma in dogs: thirty-one cases (1986-2003). Vet Surg 36(3):266-271