Surgery for Dog Rib Sarcoma
by John Copas
My dog Sam, a Labrador has a large solid lump on his ribs about 4 inches by 5 inches. He suffers no pain and is very happy.
He has had a biopsy and the findings are that it is neoplastic and the cells are consistent with a chrondrosecoma. It is locally invasive but cannot exclude metastatic potential.
Sam is 8 years old. Is surgery the only option?
Thank you for your help.
John CopasVet Suggestion Dog Rib Sarcoma Cancer
I’m sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis. Chondrosarcomas tend to be locally aggressive but are less likely to metastasize than some other types of cancer. What this means is that surgery to remove the tumor is the mainstay of treatment. Chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment can sometimes be used in conjunction with surgery.
I think your only other option if you are not willing to pursue surgery is to move into a “hospice care” mentality where your goal is not to treat the tumor directly, but to keep Sam comfortable and happy (using pain relief, symptomatic/supportive care, possibly some holistic medicine like acupuncture and the like) for as long as possible.
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM