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To characterize survival times, disease-free intervals, and prognostic variables in ferrets with pancreatic beta cell neoplasia.


Retrospective study.


20 ferrets with histologically confirmed pancreatic beta cell tumors.


Medical records of ferrets with pancreatic beta cell tumors were reviewed. Variables such as age, sex, duration of clinical signs, existence of other neoplasia, single versus multiple masses in the pancreas, benign or malignant histologic features, and the type of treatment used at redevelopment of clinical signs were examined to determine their relationship to survival times and disease-free intervals.


Duration of clinical signs prior to diagnosis and initial surgery was inversely correlated with survival time and disease-free interval. Overall median survival time for all ferrets with pancreatic beta cell tumors was 483 days. Median disease-free interval for ferrets that had abdominal surgery for pancreatic beta cell tumor removal was 240 days. Distant tumor metastasis was not found in this group of ferrets, but local tumor recurrence was common. In 4 ferrets that had a second celiotomy, removal of recurrent pancreatic tumors did not prolong survival but did result in a second disease-free interval.

Clinical Implications—

Pancreatic beta cell tumors should be considered in ferrets over 2 years of age that have clinical signs of seizures, episodic lethargy, ptyalism, ataxia, and hind limb weakness. In the study reported here, complete surgical excision of the tumor resulted in temporary resolution of clinical signs in ferrets; however, redevelopment of clinical signs at a later time was common. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1737–1740)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate prognostic factors associated with outcome of dogs with multiple cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCTs) treated with surgery with or without adjuvant treatment.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—54 dogs with a minimum of 2 simultaneous, histologically confirmed cutaneous MCTs that had been excised and had adequate staging and follow-up data.

Procedure—Medical records from 1998 to 2004 were examined. Outcome was assessed with the Kaplan-Meier product-limit method and log-rank analysis. Prognostic factors evaluated included signalment; number, histologic grade, location, size, local recurrence, and de novo development of MCTs; quality of surgical margins; clinical signs at the time of diagnosis; and use of adjuvant treatment.

Results—Medical records of 54 dogs with 153 tumors were included. Median follow-up time was 658 days. Median disease-free interval (1,917 days; range, 11 to 1,917 days) and median survival time (1,917 days; range, 14 to 1,917 days) were not yet reached. The 1- year and 2- to 5-year survival rates were 87% and 85%, respectively. The overall rate of metastasis was 15%. Factors that negatively influenced survival time in the univariate analysis included incomplete excision, local recurrence, size > 3 cm, clinical signs at the time of diagnosis, and use of adjuvant treatment. Presence of clinical signs at the time of diagnosis was the only negative prognostic factor for disease-free interval detected in the multivariate analysis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that multiple cutaneous MCTs in dogs are associated with a low rate of metastasis and a good prognosis for long-term survival with adequate excision of all MCTs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate clinical characteristics, outcome, and prognostic variables in a cohort of dogs surviving > 1 year after an initial diagnosis of osteosarcoma.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—90 client-owned dogs.

Procedures—Medical records for an 11-year period from 1997 through 2008 were reviewed, and patients with appendicular osteosarcoma that lived > 1 year after initial histopathologic diagnosis were studied. Variables including signalment, weight, serum alkaline phosphatase activity, tumor location, surgery, and adjuvant therapies were recorded. Median survival times were calculated by means of a Kaplan-Meier survival function. Univariate analysis was conducted to compare the survival function for categorical variables, and the Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate the likelihood of death > 1 year after diagnosis on the basis of the selected risk factors.

Results—90 dogs met the inclusion criteria; clinical laboratory information was not available in all cases. Median age was 8.2 years (range, 2.7 to 13.3 years), and median weight was 38 kg (83.6 lb; range, 21 to 80 kg [46.2 to 176 lb]). Serum alkaline phosphatase activity was high in 29 of 60 (48%) dogs. The most common tumor location was the distal portion of the radius (54/90 [60%]). Eighty-nine of 90 (99%) dogs underwent surgery, and 78 (87%) received chemotherapy. Overall, 49 of 90 (54%) dogs developed metastatic disease. The median survival time beyond 1 year was 243 days (range, 1 to 1,899 days). Dogs that developed a surgical-site infection after limb-sparing surgery had a significantly improved prognosis > 1 year after osteosarcoma diagnosis, compared with dogs that did not develop infections.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the present study indicated that dogs with an initial diagnosis of osteosarcoma that lived > 1 year had a median survival time beyond the initial year of approximately 8 months. As reported previously, the development of a surgical-site infection in dogs undergoing a limb-sparing surgery significantly affected prognosis and warrants further study.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To describe outcomes for small-breed dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.

Design—Multi-institutional retrospective case series.

Animals—51 small-breed dogs.

Procedures—Records from participating Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology members were searched for dogs that weighed ≤ 15 kg (33 lb) with a histologic diagnosis of appendicular osteosarcoma. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to determine median survival times (MSTs), and Cox regression was performed to identify variables associated with survival time.

Results—Tumors were most commonly located on the humerus (n = 15) and femur (14). Of the 51 study dogs, 9 were treated nonsurgically, 16 underwent amputation of the affected limb only, and 26 underwent curative-intent treatment, with MSTs of 112, 257, and 415 days, respectively. The MST did not differ significantly between dogs in the amputation-only and curative-intent groups. For dogs in the nonsurgical group, MST decreased significantly as the tumor histologic score increased. For dogs in the amputation-only group, MST decreased as body weight increased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For the small-breed dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma of the present study, tumor histologic grade and mitotic index were subjectively lower and MST following amputation of the affected limb without adjuvant chemotherapy was longer, compared with those for similarly affected larger dogs. Results indicated no significant advantage in MST for dogs that underwent curative-intent treatment versus dogs that underwent amputation only, and further investigation of the importance of adjuvant chemotherapy is warranted.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association