The decision to perform surgery on a pet with cancer is often a difficult one. Tumors are often very advanced by the time of diagnosis by a veterinarian. Knowing if/how far cancer has spread (i.e. “staging”) is critical to make the right choice for the pet. Abdominal ultrasound, chest X-rays, blood work, etc. can all be used before surgery to ensure the absence of spread. Management of tumors by an experienced surgeon is very important because an aggressive surgical approach is often the necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for the pet. The best chance to remove a tumor is the first attempt and surgery is often considered the most important component of treatment in dogs and cats suffering from solid tumors. That being said, a complete evaluation of the pet and the disease process is important because pre/post-operative treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, etc. is also critical before any definitive treatment is undertaken. This requires a wide breadth of knowledge and a team approach.
The VVS team (both Internal Medicine and Surgery specialties) have a wealth of experience and expertise in treating cancer in dogs and cats. Decisions and recommendations are made only with the animals best possible quality of life in mind.