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Cancer Surgery for Dogs Duluth MN

The best time to obtain clean margins during surgical excision of a malignant tumor is the first time. The most aggressive, i.e. mitotically active, cells are not located in the main, visible or palpable mass, but within its "legs" or tentacles.

PetCare of Duluth
(218) 461-4400
2701 W. Superior St, Suite 102
Duluth, MN
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affordably prices vaccines, flea/tick prevention, heartworm testing and prevention and microchipping
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Wed & Th 10-6, Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-2

Grand Ave Veterinary Clinic
(218) 628-0301
5503 Grand Ave
Duluth, MN

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Twin Ports Equine
(218) 878-1411
247 Erickson Rd
Esko, MN

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Barrington Oaks North Animal Clinic
(763) 634-7377
32233 124th Street NW
Princeton, MN
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Monday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital
(651) 691-7262
4545 Hodgson Rd
Shoreview, MN
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Monday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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Westside Pet Clinic
(218) 722-2527
1810 W Superior St
Duluth, MN

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Country Pet Clinic
(715) 399-8776
4712 S Mertes Rd
Superior, WI

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Shepherd, Jennifer, Dvm - Cloquet Animal Hospital
(218) 879-9280
122 2ND St
Cloquet, MN

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Cold Spring Veterinary Clinic
(320) 774-0533
111 South Red River Avenue
Cold Spring, MN
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VCA Cedar Animal Hospital
(612) 567-4393
3604 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN
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Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

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Cancer Surgery Never as Good as First Time

Nasal fibrosarcoma in an 8-year-old German shepherd. Photo courtesy of Dr. Phil Zeltzman
Music critics claim that Sade’s song “Never as Good as the First Time” applies to personal relationships. We beg to differ. She was clearly referring to cancer surgery.

The best time to obtain clean margins during surgical excision of a malignant tumor is the first time. The most aggressive, i.e. mitotically active, cells are not located in the main, visible or palpable mass, but within its “legs” or tentacles. This is why it is so important to obtain clean margins the first time around.

Dirty margins will require radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a more aggressive excision to prevent a recurrence. Re-excision is always more complicated because it is difficult, if not impossible, to know how invasive we should be. The original tumor may have seeded cells in multiple tissue planes during the first attempt.

One easy way to think of the cancerous mass during the first excision is to consider it as grossly infected (read: covered in pus). Therefore, it shouldn’t come in contact with healthy tissues. Gloves, instruments and drapes should be changed before closing the surgical site.

It also is important to remove tumors en bloc. In other words, the main mass should not be shelled out with the intention of removing more tissue afterward.

Mast cell tumor on the hock of a 6-year-old boxer. Photo courtesy of Dr. Phil Zeltzman
The deep margin ofte...

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