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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28934
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My name is ***** *****. My 3 year old female labradoodle was

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****. My 3 year old female labradoodle was diagnosed with a stage 2 spindle cell tumor on her rump and underwent surgery early this month. The tumor was incompletely excised (I understand this is common) The vet has suggested radiation therapy followup. The nearest facility and frequency (3 times/wk for 7 wks) makes this almost impossible. Without radiation, I am told and have read that recurrence occurs in any where from 30 to 80% of dogs. That is a wide range. What is the average? A second surgery would be required if recurrence occurs. What is the average life expectancy following a 2nd surgery? She is in overall great shape and fed a good diet. Are there any supplements that might help? Desperately looking for answers. Thank you.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: That is pretty much it. The suggestion for radiation is 3-4 weeks post surgery, but I have read that later might be better. As I mentioned, radiation may not be a realistic option (would require 16 hours/week travel and treatment time for 3 visits/week). I want to give her the best chance for a normal life expectancy following the tumor removal without radiation.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is***** and I am licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question, but first I would like to ask you a few questions so that I am well informed about your pets’ situation and can give you the best advice possible.

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Have you already consulted with an oncologist?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'll follow up for Dr. Holloway for you. Dr. Holloway was referring to the need for an oncologist (please see here: because although many animals with fibrosarcoma - a common spindle cell tumor - are successfully treated with wide surgical excision of the tumor. Animals with tumors that are difficult to treat in this manner (oral sarcomas, grade 3 sarcomas, nonresectable tumors, etc.) should be referred for consultation with a specialist (surgeon, oncologist, or radiation oncologist) to develop a multimodality treatment approach. Spindle cell tumor is not a diagnosis or specific type of cancer. They can be sarcomas or carcinomas and an oncologist can evaluate the histopathology (biopsy report) more fully in order to determine your dog's prognosis at this time or following a second surgery.

There are no supplements known that reliably address these tumors. I understand your concerns at this time. Unfortunately, I can't answer your questions with the degree of accuracy you're looking for. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.