• Bone resorption;
  • Cancer pain;
  • Canine;
  • Malignant osteolysis;
  • Pamidronate;
  • Surrogate markers

Canine appendicular osteosarcoma (OSA) is a commonly diagnosed cancer that is capable of inducing pathologic bone remodeling. Investigating surrogate indices of bone metabolism may contribute to the diagnostic and therapeutic management of bone malignancies in companion animals. This study evaluated the excretion of N-terminal telopeptide (NTx), a marker of bone resorption that is detected in urine. Sixty-three dogs with appendicular OSA were compared with 29 age-matched healthy dogs. Dogs with appendicular OSA had significantly higher baseline urine NTx excretion than healthy controls (P < .0001). In 17 dogs with OSA treated with either amputation or standardized palliative therapies, significant reductions in urine NTx excretion were observed, suggesting that excessive bone resorption in dogs with OSA may be linked with focal skeletal osteolysis or its consequences. To identify any relationship between indicators of pathologic bone turnover, baseline urine NTx excretion was correlated with serum bone alkaline phosphatase (bALP) or radiographic tumor lengths at diagnosis. No significant correlations were identified between baseline urine NTx excretion and either bALP or tumor length. The findings from this study suggest that high urinary NTx excretion may support the diagnosis of focal skeletal osteolysis in dogs, and reductions in urine NTx excretion after treatment may reflect elimination or minimization of pathologic bone resorption.