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Tumors

  • Plasma cell tumors develop as a result of dysregulated production of plasma cells and are relatively uncommon in dogs and cats. Some plasma cell tumors are benign and the most common locations for these tumors are the head, feet, lips, mouth, and ears. The treatment of choice for benign plasma cell tumors is surgical removal, with little to no recurrence if completely excised. Conversely, multiple myeloma is a very malignant cancer that is usually treated with chemotherapy.

  • Pleural effusion refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid within the chest cavity. The fluid is not found within the lungs, but instead within the pleural sac, essentially meaning the lungs are floating in a chest that is full of fluid. Several conditions can cause pleural effusion, including chylothorax, heart failure, and tumors in the lungs or chest wall. Immediate treatment often requires oxygen support and the removal of the excess fluid by thoracocentesis, which can also then be tested to diagnose the cause of the pleural effusion. Treatment and prognosis vary depending on the underlying cause of the pleural effusion.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • This handout explains post-vaccination sarcomas (also called injection-site sarcomas) in cats. They are a rare consequence of vaccine injections (and other drugs or materials) that can cause a very aggressive form of cancer at the site of the injection. The incidence of this condition, as well as precautions you and your veterinarian can take, are highlighted.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for dogs, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • Tumors of the prostate are relatively uncommon in dogs and extremely rare in cats. The most common tumor is prostatic adenocarcinoma. Clinical signs include blood in the urine, changes in urination habits, or straining to urinate or defecate. Metastasis to the pelvic bone and/or lumbar spine is likely. FNA of the prostate aids in the diagnosis, though surgical biopsy may need to be considered. Treatment is limited. Stents may be placed in patients with tumors obstructing the urethra. Radiation therapy in conjunction with NSAID therapy has shown significant survival advantage when compared to pets who did not receive NSAID therapy. The role and/or benefit of chemotherapy is not well understood.

  • Prostatic disease can be uncomfortable for a dog, particularly if it causes compression of the urethra or colon. Because there are many diseases of the prostate, it is necessary to perform several tests to determine the exact cause of a patient's condition. This handout provides explanations of the seven most common conditions affecting the prostate and the corresponding approaches to treatment.

  • Radiation therapy is the medical use of high dose radiation to destroy cancer cells by damaging the cells’ DNA to interfere with cell replication and kill them. It may be used on its own or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, or to reduce the size of very large tumors prior to surgery. There are several radiation protocols used in veterinary medicine. Your veterinary oncologist will choose the therapy most appropriate for your pet’s individual situation.

  • Round cell tumors are among the most common skin tumors in dogs, and they typically form just under the skin, although they may change the surface of the skin above them. It is impossible to diagnose any of them without a veterinary pathologist analyzing a tissue sample of the tumor under a microscope. If detected early, most round cell tumors can be easily removed.

  • Salivary gland tumors are rare in dogs and cats. The mandibular and parotid glands are most commonly affected. Older dogs and cats, Poodle and Spaniel breed dogs and Siamese breed cats, and male cats are at a higher risk for salivary gland tumors. The most commonly reported salivary gland tumor is the adenocarcinoma. Signs include swelling of the upper neck or ear base, halitosis, anorexia, weight loss, difficulty eating, pain, and lethargy. Fine needle aspiration may be used to differentiate between neoplastic and non-neoplastic masses. Biopsy provides a definitive diagnosis. General staging as well as CT scan or MRI are recommended since these tumors have a tendency to be locally invasive and metastasize. The treatment of choice is usually surgical excision. If complete excision is not possible, adjunct radiation therapy may be pursued.

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