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J Vet Intern Med. 2005 Sep-Oct;19(5):720-4.

Canine digital tumors: a veterinary cooperative oncology group retrospective study of 64 dogs.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.


We compared clinical characteristics and outcomes for dogs with various digital tumors. Medical records and histology specimens of affected dogs from 9 veterinary institutions were reviewed. Risk factors examined included age, weight, sex, tumor site (hindlimb or forelimb), local tumor (T) stage, metastases, tumor type, and treatment modality. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to determine the effect of postulated risk factors on local disease-free interval (LDFI), metastasis-free interval (MFI), and survival time (ST). Outcomes were thought to differ significantly between groups when P < or = .003. Sixty-four dogs were included. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) accounted for 33 (51.6%) of the tumors. Three dogs presented with or developed multiple digital SCC. Other diagnoses included malignant melanoma (MM) (n = 10; 15.6%), osteosarcoma (OSA) (n = 4; 6.3%), hemangiopericytoma (n = 3; 4.7%), benign soft tissue tumors (n = 5; 7.8%), and malignant soft tissue tumors (n = 9; 14%). Fourteen dogs with malignancies had black hair coats, including 5 of the 10 dogs with MM. Surgery was the most common treatment and, regardless of the procedure, had a positive impact on survival. None of the patient variables assessed, including age, sex, tumor type, site, and stage, had a significant impact on ST. Both LDFI and MFI were negatively affected by higher T stage, but not by type of malignancy. Although metastasis at diagnosis correlated with a shorter LDFI, it did not have a significant impact on ST. On the basis of these findings, early surgical intervention is advised for the treatment of dogs with digital tumors, regardless of tumor type or the presence of metastatic disease.

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