The discovery of expression of the erythropoietin receptor (EPO-R) on neoplastic cells has led to concerns about the safety of treating anaemic cancer patients with EPO. In addition to its endocrine function, the receptor may play a role in tumour progression through an autocrine mechanism. In this study, the expression of EPO, EPO-R and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) was analysed in five feline and 13 canine osteosarcomas using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). EPO expression was positive in all tumours by IHC, but EPO mRNA was only detected in 38% of the canine and 40% of the feline samples. EPO-R was expressed in all samples by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) and IHC. EPO-R mRNA was expressed at higher levels in all feline tumours, tumour cell lines, and kidney when compared to canine tissues. PDGF-BB expression was variable by IHC, but mRNA was detected in all samples. To assess the functionality of the EPO-R on tumour cells, the proliferation of canine and feline osteosarcoma cell lines was evaluated after EPO administration using an alamarBlue assay and Ki67 immunostaining. All primary cell lines responded to EPO treatment in at least one of the performed assays, but the effect on proliferation was very low indicating only a weak responsiveness of EPO-R. In conclusion, since EPO and its receptor are expressed by canine and feline osteosarcomas, an autocrine or paracrine tumour progression mechanism cannot be excluded, although in vitro data suggest a minimal role of EPO-R in osteosarcoma cell proliferation.