Treatment considerations and options for dogs diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma

According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, one in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer at some point. Fortunately, veterinarians have never had more knowledge and technologies within arm’s reach to treat these cancers. Additionally, Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming works with clients in and around Jacksonville, Florida, to minimize or eliminate the risk factors associated with many cancers. 

Soft tissue sarcoma represents a relatively common type of cancer, accounting for 15% of all canine skin tumors. In addition to the skin, this group of malignant cancers can arise in the fat, muscle, cartilage, and other subcutaneous connective tissues. 

As with other cancers and conditions, treatment starts with our veterinarians using their diagnostic expertise and advanced tools to confirm the presence of STS, as well as its “grade.” Soft-tissue sarcomas are often graded “low” or “intermediate” and are unlikely to spread. 

Surgical removal of the tumor is generally recommended for STS. The prognosis is good for those patients whose tumors are entirely removed with “clean” surgical margins. STS tends to regrow. So, it is critical to remove all the cancerous cells adequately. Radiation therapy may follow the surgical removal of low-grade tumors. In doing so, STS regrowth may be prevented or delayed. Additionally, treatment with radiation may be appropriate for those bigger tumors that are not good candidates for surgical excision. Side effects are also limited to the treatment site. 

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UF College of Veterinary Medicine reports that around 85% of patients treated this way (surgical excision and radiation) were cancer-free three years after treatment. For patients with high-grade tumors, chemotherapy may be recommended. Most side effects are mild and self-limiting and rarely require aggressive supportive therapy. Chemo can also prevent or delay the spread of STS. 

Soft-tissue sarcoma may present as either soft or firm lumps. These tumors can grow quickly, limit movement, and cause pain. But most dogs have no tumor-related signs until after STS has grown. With regular wellness exams at Bluestar Veterinary Hospital, we can identify potential and intervene with possible trouble signs early before the cancer has spread. Call 904-720-4272 to schedule an appointment today.

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Meet Dr. Venkat Gutta Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming

Dr. Venkat Gutta
Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming

At Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming, Dr. Venkat Gutta provides high-quality and modern veterinary services to all your furry friends! At Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team are committed to providing your pets with both a full-service Veterinary Hospital and a modern grooming salon (St. Johns location only) for dogs and cats. Our primary commitment is to provide your companion animals with the highest quality medical care. Dr. Gutta strongly believes in treating your four-legged companions as family members and providing them with excellent yet affordable veterinary care. At Bluestar, we also think that it is important to educate you, as a pet owner, and ensure that the unique needs of you and your pet are met at all times. Through Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team serve clients in Durbin Crossing, Jacksonville, St Augustine, St Johns, CR 210, and other areas. Whether it is pet vaccinations, surgery, techniques, advanced diagnostic testing, or even flea and tick control products, we give you access to the best and most cutting-edge treatments and technologies. At Bluestar, we believe that your pet is the STAR!