Diagnosis of Fibrosarcoma in Dogs

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Question:

Answer:

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

Fibrosarcomas are a common skin tumor of both dogs and cats. Low grade fibrosarcomas (an indicated by the biopsy report) are generally locally very invasive, but unlikely to metastasize. Complete surgical excision can be curative; however, wide surgical margins are needed. The initial surgery (following the biopsy diagnosis) is the best chance for a cure, and it is always a good idea to seek the second opinion of a board-certified surgeon if there is any question about the surgery. This being said, it can be very difficult to obtain adequate surgical margins on a limb because of the lack of skin and soft tissue and proximity of vital structures (nerves, tendons, vessels). Amputation offers the best chance for a cure because the tumor is then removed with wide margins. A second option is to combine surgery with radiation therapy.

There is a good chance that there is a radiation therapy facility within driving distance. Check your phone directory for a large teaching veterinary hospital. Surgery combined with radiation offer a fair to good prognosis of tumor control and is the next best option after amputation.

In an otherwise healthy dog, and a well-equipped hospital with good monitoring equipment, a second anesthetic procedure should be no problem even within 24 hours. If the dog had any problems with anesthesia additional procedures would be a concern, but waiting a few weeks won't necessarily make any difference.


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