My dog was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma. How should we proceed?
Original Question: Hello Dr. Greenway, I don’t know if you remember us. We have 3 dogs, Charlie, Buddy and special Eddie and we were clients at West Hill. We have recently found a lump on Charlie’s back end and tested it and it came back as a spindle cell tumour. We are very worried/scared for this appointment. We are wondering how familiar you are with this type of tumour, any information would be greatly appreciated. - Mandy & Britany
Hi Mandy and Britany,
Of course I remember you both. You’re very hard to forget and I know how much you care for your dogs.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this. I know it’s not easy.
I don’t have an answer that will completely put your mind at ease right now. What I can do is let you know that you are doing the right thing. By seeing an oncologist, they are going to do an absolutely incredible job at helping you and Charlie start to deal with this.
With spindle cell sarcoma in dogs and with any tumor, you need to collect information to begin the process of understanding how significant it is and building a treatment plan. The first thing the specialist will do is confirm the diagnosis by either reviewing the current test results or collecting another sample and possibly a more reliable one. They will then go through the process of ‘staging’ the tumor. This is a series of diagnostic tests to determine how aggressive it is, if it has moved to other locations, build a treatment plan and offer a prognosis. With the vast experience that an oncologist has, they will even be able to offer some idea of what the treatment and prognosis may be just from an initial physical examination and consultation. You’re going be presented with a wealth of information far more than I can offer right now.
At that point, further discussion about what to expect from the various parts of the treatment plan can then be discussed. It’s simply too early for me to offer a reliable answer to your question. But please feel reassured by this, you are doing exactly what you should be doing and you’ll be seeing the best person to move forward with.
I really hope this goes well and there are lots of reasons to stay positive right now. Good luck and reach out if you need to.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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