Treatment Options for a Dog with a Nerve Sheath Tumor

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Recently I was told that my 13-year-old dog had nerve sheath tumor on her front right leg. It is a huge growth that looks like cauliflower. What are the treatments? They said I had an option for amputation, and radiation. She is my world and I hate to see her pain. What other options might I have?

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

Amputation and radiation are the two standard options. Amputation may offer the best chance of a cure, particularly if the tumor is very large. Surgery combined with either pre- or postoperative radiation therapy is another definitive treatment option; although less likely to be curative, it might provide long-term control of the tumor. Radiation therapy by itself is strictly palliative for large tumors of this type.