Treatment by digital amputation of subungual squamous cell carcinoma in dogs: 21 cases (1987-1988)

Maura G. O'Brien From the Departments of Surgery (O'Brien, Berg) and Pathology (Engler), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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John Berg From the Departments of Surgery (O'Brien, Berg) and Pathology (Engler), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Stephen J. Engler From the Departments of Surgery (O'Brien, Berg) and Pathology (Engler), School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Summary

Malignant digital tumors were diagnosed in 62 dogs during a 1-year period. Twenty-one (33.9%) of the dogs had subungual squamous cell carcinoma. Each of these dogs had involvement of single digits. Sixteen (76.2%) of the dogs with squamous cell carcinoma were large-breed dogs, and 15 (71.4%) had predominantly black coats. Labrador Retrievers (n = 5,23.8%) and Standard Poodles (n = 3,14.3%) were the most commonly represented purebreeds. None of the dogs had evidence of metastases prior to treatment. All 21 tumors were treated by amputation of the involved digit. Histologic evidence of neoplastic bone invasion was found in 15 of the 21 amputated digits (71.4%). Local tumor recurrences were not observed. Only 1 dog developed documented metastatic disease; this dog was euthanatized because of pulmonary metastases 5 months after surgery. At the time of this report, 9 dogs (42.9%) were alive with no evidence of disease (median, 26 months after surgery), and 11 dogs (52.4%) had died or were euthanatized (median, 20 months after surgery). The cause of death in 7 dogs was known to be unrelated to squamous cell carcinoma, and the cause of death in 4 dogs was unknown. The 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 76.2% and 42.9%, respectively.

Summary

Malignant digital tumors were diagnosed in 62 dogs during a 1-year period. Twenty-one (33.9%) of the dogs had subungual squamous cell carcinoma. Each of these dogs had involvement of single digits. Sixteen (76.2%) of the dogs with squamous cell carcinoma were large-breed dogs, and 15 (71.4%) had predominantly black coats. Labrador Retrievers (n = 5,23.8%) and Standard Poodles (n = 3,14.3%) were the most commonly represented purebreeds. None of the dogs had evidence of metastases prior to treatment. All 21 tumors were treated by amputation of the involved digit. Histologic evidence of neoplastic bone invasion was found in 15 of the 21 amputated digits (71.4%). Local tumor recurrences were not observed. Only 1 dog developed documented metastatic disease; this dog was euthanatized because of pulmonary metastases 5 months after surgery. At the time of this report, 9 dogs (42.9%) were alive with no evidence of disease (median, 26 months after surgery), and 11 dogs (52.4%) had died or were euthanatized (median, 20 months after surgery). The cause of death in 7 dogs was known to be unrelated to squamous cell carcinoma, and the cause of death in 4 dogs was unknown. The 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 76.2% and 42.9%, respectively.

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