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Results of surgical excision and evaluation of factors associated with survival time in dogs with lingual neoplasia: 97 cases (1995–2008)

William T. N. Culp VMD, DACVS1, Nicole Ehrhart VMD, DACVS2, Stephen J. Withrow DVM, DACVS, DACVIM3, Robert B. Rebhun DVM, DACVIM4, Sarah Boston DVM, DVSc, DACVS5, Paolo Buracco DVM6, Alexander M. Reiter Dr med vet, DAVDC7, Sandra P. Schallberger Dr med vet, DACVS8, Charles F. Aldridge DVM9, Michael S. Kent DVM, DACVR, DACVIM10, Philipp D. Mayhew BVM&S, DACVS11, and Dorothy C. Brown DVM, DACVS12
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  • 1 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1H 3N2, Canada.
  • | 6 Department of Animal Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, 10095 Turin, Italy.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 8 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.
  • | 9 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 10 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 11 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 12 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical characteristics, treatments, outcomes, and factors associated with survival time in a cohort of dogs with lingual neoplasia that underwent surgical excision.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—97 client-owned dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with a lingual tumor examined between 1995 and 2008 were reviewed. Records were included if a lingual tumor was confirmed by histologic examination and surgical excision of the mass was attempted. Data were recorded and analyzed to identify prognostic factors.

Results—Clinical signs were mostly related to the oral cavity. For 93 dogs, marginal excision, subtotal glossectomy, and near-total glossectomy were performed in 35 (38%), 55 (59%), and 3 (3%), respectively. Surgery-related complications were rare, but 27 (28%) dogs had tumor recurrence. The most common histopathologic diagnoses for the 97 dogs were squamous cell carcinoma (31 [32%]) and malignant melanoma (29 [30%]). Eighteen (19%) dogs developed metastatic disease, and the overall median survival time was 483 days. Median survival time was 216 days for dogs with squamous cell carcinoma and 241 days for dogs with malignant melanoma. Dogs with lingual tumors ≥ 2 cm in diameter at diagnosis had a significantly shorter survival time than did dogs with tumors < 2 cm.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Similar to previous studies, results indicated that lingual tumors are most commonly malignant, and squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma predominate. A thorough physical examination to identify lingual tumors at an early stage and surgical treatment after tumor identification are recommended because tumor size significantly affected survival time.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical characteristics, treatments, outcomes, and factors associated with survival time in a cohort of dogs with lingual neoplasia that underwent surgical excision.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—97 client-owned dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with a lingual tumor examined between 1995 and 2008 were reviewed. Records were included if a lingual tumor was confirmed by histologic examination and surgical excision of the mass was attempted. Data were recorded and analyzed to identify prognostic factors.

Results—Clinical signs were mostly related to the oral cavity. For 93 dogs, marginal excision, subtotal glossectomy, and near-total glossectomy were performed in 35 (38%), 55 (59%), and 3 (3%), respectively. Surgery-related complications were rare, but 27 (28%) dogs had tumor recurrence. The most common histopathologic diagnoses for the 97 dogs were squamous cell carcinoma (31 [32%]) and malignant melanoma (29 [30%]). Eighteen (19%) dogs developed metastatic disease, and the overall median survival time was 483 days. Median survival time was 216 days for dogs with squamous cell carcinoma and 241 days for dogs with malignant melanoma. Dogs with lingual tumors ≥ 2 cm in diameter at diagnosis had a significantly shorter survival time than did dogs with tumors < 2 cm.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Similar to previous studies, results indicated that lingual tumors are most commonly malignant, and squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma predominate. A thorough physical examination to identify lingual tumors at an early stage and surgical treatment after tumor identification are recommended because tumor size significantly affected survival time.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Schallberger's present address is Department of Small Animal Surgery, Tierklinik Thun-Süd, Burgerstrasse 11, Thun, Switzerland.

Dr. Aldridge's present address is Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

Presented in abstract form at the 29th Annual Veterinary Cancer Society Conference, Austin, Tex, October 2009.

The authors thank Drs. Richard Walshaw, Julius Liptak, Maura O'Brien, Maurine Thompson, Stefan Scharvogel, Mark Rochat, Rowan Milner, and Craig Clifford for assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu).