Lymphangiosarcoma in Dogs

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My 6 year old Dalmatian was just diagnosed with cancer. The good news is that what we originally thought was an osteosarcoma turned out to be a soft tissue tumor on the leg (ankle joint). They called this a Lymphangiosarcoma. I caught this early and amputation is the recommended course of treatment. I feel like this is the direction to take. Am I crazy? I know you can't make this decision for me but any information you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:

Lymphangiosarcomas are rare tumors in dogs. Since it is an uncommon tumor, you may want to consider getting a second opinion on the biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

There is relatively little published information about these tumors. However, they might have a similar behavior to hemangiosarcomas, which are common high-grade (i.e., aggressive) sarcomas found in dogs. These tumors have the potential for widespread metastasis to the lung, liver, and spleen. A thorough staging evaluation is recommended prior to pursuing a treatment course. This would include abdominal ultrasound, chest X-rays, CBC and blood chemistries.

If there is no detectable evidence of metastasis (spread of the tumor) then completely removing the primary tumor followed by a standard chemotherapy protocol for hemangiosarcoma is a reasonable treatment option. Again, because lymphangiosarcomas are rare in dogs, there is little known about prognosis and benefits of treatment. However, assuming a similarity to hemangiosarcoma, the prognosis must be guarded.

If metastasis is present, any treatment is considered palliative. Radiation may help control symptoms at the primary tumor site; chemotherapy may help slow progression of the disease.

If you or your veterinarian have not already done so, please consult a qualified veterinary oncologist to further explore the treatment options for your pet.


My Cancer Experience
by Bob Riter
October 06, 2015

Related News

Sniffer Dogs May Be Used to Detect Lung Cancer

Aug 19, 2011

The dogs correctly identified lung cancer, independent of other disease or tobacco smoke

ACS: Dog Cancer Therapy Success May Extend to Humans

Oct 8, 2015

Experimental 'Trojan horse' drug enters cancer cells through B12 receptors

Agent Orange Tied to MGUS in Vietnam Vets

Oct 8, 2015

Exposed veterans have higher rates of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance