Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) comprises 17-25% of oral tumors seen in the dog and is generally very locally invasive with approximately 10-30% cases developing metastatic disease. It is often seen in older (8-10 years), large breed dogs and no sex predisposition has been reported. Prognostic factors include location of the tumor and size of the tumor at surgical removal. Tumor location is prognostic in dogs with SCC with evidence of tumor in the tonsils or caudal tongue having a poorer prognosis and increased risk of metastasis. Bone involvement with canine SCC is frequently detected. SCC of the maxilla (upper jaw) or mandible (lower jaw) in dogs is typically a locally invasive disease with a low metastatic rate. Approximately 10% of dogs will have metastasis to regional lymph nodes and approximately 3-36% will have spread to the lungs so continued monitoring with chest x-rays every 2-3 months is warranted. The treatment of choice SCC of the oral cavity is surgical excision of the affected portion of the jaw (maxillectomy or mandibulectomy). Prognostic factors include location of the tumor and size of the tumor at surgical removal. Dogs with tumors less than 2 cm have median survival times of greater than 68 months overall when treated with surgery with wide margins. Previous studies have shown that if the tumor is 2-4 cm, the median survival is approximately 28 months and if the tumor is greater than 4 cm survival times were around 8 months. Radiation may also be used as a local therapy. Patients with metastasis or disease spread can be treated with a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, piroxicam, or a combination of piroxicam and carboplatin chemotherapy. Patients treated with piroxicam alone have been shown to have a response rate of 17% and a progression free interval of 180 days. When piroxicam is combined with carboplatin chemotherapy, the response rate increases to 57% and the progression free interval is approximately 335 days. However, Carboplatin and Piroxicam can have effects on the kidneys so continued bloodwork and follow-up is always warranted in these cases.
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Randhurst Animal Hospital
212 East Rand Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Veterinarians serving Mt Prospect, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Glenview, Morton Grove, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Palatine and surrounding areas
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