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Cancer Surgery for Dogs Missoula MT

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.

Ancare Veterinary Clinic
(406) 728-0408
1440 S Russell St
Missoula, MT

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Weber, Margaret, Dvm - Ancare Veterinary Clinic
(406) 728-0408
1440 S Russell St
Missoula, MT

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Missoula Veterinary Specialty
(406) 541-9805
1914 S Reserve St
Missoula, MT

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Missoula Veterinary Clinic
(406) 251-2400
3701 Old Us Highway 93
Missoula, MT

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Billings Animal Family Hospital
(406) 545-7311
1321 N 27th Street
Billings, MT
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Card, Shoni L, Dvm - Pruyn Veterinary Hospital
(406) 829-8150
2501 S Russell St
Missoula, MT

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Emergency Animal Clinic
(406) 829-9300
1914 S Reserve St
Missoula, MT

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Four Paws Acupuncture Clinic
(406) 542-3838
2625 Connery Way
Missoula, MT

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Bluemountain Veterinary Hosp
(406) 251-4150
4646 Buckhouse Ln
Missoula, MT

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Animal Center Veterinary Hospital
(406) 430-1090
1301 Cedar St
Helena, MT
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

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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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