Your Comprehensive Guide to Soft Tissue Sarcoma in Dogs
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs. 47% of deaths in dogs are related to cancer, especially when the dog is over 10 years old. There are many types of cancer that your dog can develop, soft tissue sarcoma is one of them.
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a variety of tumors from the mesenchymal cells. These tumors can grow anywhere but you can usually find these tumors on the dog’s head, trunk, or neck. They’re firm tumors that are located under the skin.
Even though it’s uncommon for these tumors to venture to other sites, it’s still important for you to know about soft tissue sarcoma in dogs and your treatment option.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma in Dogs: What Is It?
Soft tissue sarcoma is malignant cancer.
It’s characterized by a combination of tumors that form from the skin and the subcutaneous connective tissue. They usually form from the muscle, fat, fibrous connective tissue, cartilage, the pericytes of small blood vessels, and the nerves.
These tumors appear discrete but are actually invasive to the surrounding tissue. This is why local regrowth is common, even after both successful holistic and surgical treatment.
Soft tissue sarcoma has a low chance of spreading, especially if they’re at the low or intermediate levels. If you don’t catch cancer until it’s at a high level, there’s a good chance it will spread.
Is Your Dog At Risk?
Soft tissue sarcoma has no breed or gender preference. Most senior dogs become at-risk for developing this cancer. It’s common to spot the first signs of STS when they’re older and even middle-aged.
STS can either grow slowly or quickly. Low-to-intermediate STS tumors usually show no change. They become more susceptible to change or spread once cancer reaches a high level.
How STS Is Diagnosed
If you find a tumor, there are a few tests your vet can run to diagnose STS. The most common one is taking a fine needle aspirate to confirm the STS. This is a non-invasive and easy test.
If this test doesn’t work, your vet can do a biopsy. Biopsies also help identify which type of STS your dog has, if necessary.
After your vet diagnoses STS, they need to identify the state the cancer is at and if cancer spread. They do this with a combination of tests:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Chest radiographs
- Blood work
- Evaluation of regional lymph nodes
From here, your vet can recommend the next best course of action.
The STS prognosis depends on the grade of cancer your dog has.
Your dog has a good chance of recovery if the cancer is low-to-intermediate level. You can choose surgical options and there are holistic treatment options available.
Your dog may also need radiation therapy to destroy cancer from the local area.
Since these tumors are invasive, there’s a good chance they will regrow without proper surgery.
High-grade STS is more challenging. The median survival time is one year. Treatment will help increase your dog’s chance of survival.
Your dog will likely need chemotherapy to prevent the spread of STS. Chemotherapy along with holistic treatment will help destroy cancer and will prevent your dog from experiencing negative symptoms.
STS Holistic Treatment Options
There are more effective holistic treatment options available for a myriad of cancers, including STS. Here are the options your dog has and how they compare to conventional treatment.
Many vets are recommending a specific diet for dogs with STS.
This helps strengthen the dog so the body can fight cancer and prevent its growth. Conventional treatments will not only destroy cancer but will also destroy your dog’s overall health and will weaken their body.
There is no proven anti-cancer diet for dogs. However, it’s essential your dog is fed a well-balanced diet and they receive their key nutrients in order to stay strong throughout their treatment.
First, don’t feed your dog any food or scraps with toxic and harmful ingredients. Dogs can’t eat grapes or garlic. In addition, certain foods pose a greater risk of developing Campylobacter or Salmonella.
While you shouldn’t completely cut out carbohydrates, cutting back on carbs help prevent obesity and cuts back on the glucose the tumor uses.
You should also add these nutrients to your dog’s diet:
- Healthy fats (unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.)
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) from dairy products
- Supplements (find dog-specific supplements for omega fatty acids, green tea, and antioxidants such as vitamins E, C, and A)
Always talk to your vet about starting an anti-cancer diet for your dog.
Many vets are utilizing the power of Chinese medicine to help control cancer. Acupuncture is a powerful tool. Acupuncture is mainly used to treat dogs with inflammation and pain-related ailments such as arthritis.
Acupuncture can’t cure cancer but it can comfort your dog and treat their symptoms. Invasive treatments come with a whole range of side effects. This includes nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, and vomiting.
Acupuncture can help ease these symptoms so your dog can comfortably continue their treatment.
Medicinal mushrooms have been a popular cancer treatment option for dogs. Different mushrooms can help different types of cancer. For soft tissue sarcoma, it’s recommended your dog takes reishi mushroom.
Reishi mushrooms, in particular, are high in alpha and beta glucans.
This helps modulate the immune system. This helps slow cancer cell growth and can even kill cancer cells (more research needs to prove this). Reishi mushrooms also help treat many chemotherapy side effects.
Keep in mind, you should buy the whole mushroom and not just the mycelium. Mycelium has lower medicinal properties as opposed to the whole mushroom.
Herbal Chemotherapy Agents
If your dog has high-stage STS, they can benefit from herbal chemotherapy agents. The most common examples include Essiac and Neoplasene.
Essiac is a formula that contains slippery elm, burdock root, India rhubarb root, and sheep sorrel. Neoplasene can only be used on prescription-basis and a recommendation by a veterinarian.
More pet owners are implementing the cannabinoid CBD into their pet’s healing regimen.
More research has to be done on its benefits for dogs, especially in cancer research. But research has been positive, showing CBD oil can reduce pain and calm dogs.
Keep in mind, veterinarians can’t write a prescription and some local and state laws prevent vets from recommending cannabis products.
Make sure the CBD oil you give dogs is only made with hemp oil to ensure there’s no trace of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.
You can also use essential oils to treat your dog’s cancer. The best option is Boswellia sacra, commonly known as frankincense.
While research is limited, this essential oil can fight inflammation and be able to destroy cancer cells. However, it hasn’t been found to destroy cancer cells in dogs or specifically soft tissue sarcoma cancer cells.
Artemisinin is a substance derived from the Artemisia plant.
It has several therapeutic properties but its been in the media for its cancer-killing benefits. Research has been positive and many studies have been safely and effectively done on dogs.
While it’s not proven it can treat soft tissue sarcoma, artemisinin is a good option if your dog can’t have conventional treatment or pet owners want a holistic cancer treatment alternative.
In addition, you can use artemisinin with chemotherapy.
STS Non-Holistic Treatment Options
Even though holistic medicine is increasing and becoming a more effective treatment option, there’s a chance your vet will recommend aggressive treatment measures to destroy cancer. Here are some advanced treatment options.
This helps prevent and/or delay tumor growth. Radiation is also another option if the tumor is too large and surgery isn’t an option. Radiation is focused on onsite tumors and your dog will receive most side effects in that one area.
This is the measure that most vets try before radiation or chemo.
Surgically removing the tumors will help remove the tumor and all of the cancerous tissue to prevent the regrowth and spread of cancer. It may take a couple of operations before your vet can remove all of the tumors and tissue.
Keep in mind, these procedures are very invasive. If the surgeon doesn’t remove all of the tissue, there’s a good chance the tumor will regrow.
Fortunately, no further treatment is usually required unless the tumor grows back or cancer spreads.
Chemotherapy is usually only used for high-grade STS. This prevents and/or delays cancer spreading. The vet can use chemotherapy alone or with other treatment methods.
Heal Your Dog With Holistic Medicine
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs. There are many types of cancer, including soft tissue sarcoma. It’s important to understand soft tissue sarcoma to prevent and treat it.
While many vets will recommend conventional treatments, it’s also worth looking into holistic treatment. More research is showing herbal treatments are not only effective but can help benefit your dog’s health in the long-term.
Are you looking for holistic and herbal medications for your dog? You came to the right place! Visit our product recommendations page if you’re unsure what you need.
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My beautiful1 yr old charcoal labrador has soft tissue sarcoma. She got the first lump at 6 months. Was treated by vet for 3+ months as bump on head. had 2 biopsies came back negative. When removed by surgeon, found aggressive STS. She acts/ eats healthy but now original lump has grown back + 3 more. All on head & chest. Looks awful but she doesn’t know she’s sick. Vet says there is nothing they can do. Looking for a trial or someone that might like to examine her for research. She weighed 40 lbs when first occurred… ow is 80 lbs of muscle and energy. We are devastated to lose her. Would take any suggestions.
Our Advanced Immune Gold is a comprehensive program of supplements and foods, along with email tech support. I will email you the details.
My 15 year old maltese has been diagnosed with STS grade 2 He had the lump removed from leg not knowing it was STS until results came back
I’m so afraid of any raditation or chemo due to his age, I was hoping to find a more gentle approach of treatment he has a very sensitive tummy
Can you recommend anything natural.please
I was reading about essiac tea, I ordered some capsules from Canada, waiting for delivery
I hope you might know if this could help and so you have any other recommendations?
My boy is my life I’m just shattered please help me
I know how devastating it is when your animal gets an illness. Im sorry that you are going through this but luckily you have found vitality science. We would never promise to cure cancer but we can promise that we will be an integral part in helping the immune system become more intelligent and support your furbaby as it goes through this process. I would recommend The Advanced Immune restoration Protocol for dogs https://vitalityscience.com/product/advanced-immune-restoration-dog/ . Because you are in Canada and due to the pandemic your shipping may take a few weeks. In the meantime I would highly recommend going to a farm feed store or ordering from amazon Fenbendazole which is the active ingredient in panacur C. And, purchasing some CBD oil. The combination of fenbendazole and CBD oil will block the cancer receptors. Kind of like plugging up a hole in a dam. This will give the animal some time until out products can arrive. When they do continue with the cbd mixture. The fenbendazole dosage is 1g per every 10lbs of the animal once a day with CBD oil. There is a great site called https://cbddosagecalculator.com this will help you determine the amount of CBD oil. By doing this and the Vitality Science Protocol you will have great success.
Please let us know how else we can help.
My smaller dog, Jack Russell/ chihuahua mix, just had a soft tissue sarcoma removed by our vet. Paying thousands of dollars for doggy chemo is just not part of our budget. She has recovered well, sleeps a lot but goes for walks in the morning and seems to have energy enough. I am making treats for her and using mushroom powder with Organic peanut butter, no sweetener or salt, oatmeal, some turmeric, some ground flax seed and some chia seed. Do you have recommendations?
HI Brooke, I am sorry to hear about your pup. I will email you our PDF with our recommendations. Thank you for writing in.
Can you please email possible help as far as supplements for dog with soft tissue sarcoma? It is on the front leg and impossible to remove all. Vet got what she could and sent for biopsy. Grade I. Can not afford radiation tx as cost too much and would have to travel hundreds of miles. Dr also removed one on hip with good margins. Dog acts completely normal. Pit/lab cross weighing 88 pounds. 10 years old. Thanks for any help. There are no holistic vets in my region.
Best answer: Is soft tissue sarcoma in dogs painful?
Early in their development, they are rarely painful but in time, can cause severe discomfort. These tumors are malignant, meaning they can spread to other locations. The good news is that this tumor, while locally very aggressive, rarely spreads to other locations. Most commonly, sarcomas spread via the bloodstream.
What does a soft tissue sarcoma feel like on a dog?
WHAT ARE THE CLINICAL SIGNS? Soft tissue sarcomas typically grow under the skin. They can feel soft or firm and are usually attached to underlying structures. While the tumor may feel well defined, they are highly invasive and send microscopic extensions in all directions.
How long did your dog live with soft tissue sarcoma?
The average survival time is 6-12 months following the appropriate therapy. Palliative therapy can be used in lieu of aggressive/curative-intent treatment options in cases where the tumor is not considered to be operable.
Are soft tissue sarcomas painful?
A soft tissue sarcoma may not cause any signs and symptoms in its early stages. As the tumor grows, it may cause: A noticeable lump or swelling. Pain, if a tumor presses on nerves or muscles.
How aggressive is sarcoma cancer in dogs?
They are a relatively common form of cancer diagnosed in dogs. Unfortunately, sarcomas can also progress to a malignant form of tumor and can become quite aggressive when left undiagnosed or untreated.
How fast does sarcoma grow?
Synovial sarcoma is a representative type of slowly growing highly malignant tumor, and it has been reported that in synovial sarcoma cases, a substantial proportion of patients have an average symptomatic period of 2 to 4 years, though in some rare cases, this period has been reported to be longer than 20 years .
Is soft tissue sarcoma curable in dogs?
Soft tissue sarcomas that are low to intermediate grade and can be removed completely with aggressive surgery have an excellent long term prognosis. Control rates for low grade soft tissue sarcomas that are incompletely excised and followed by radiation therapy are also very good.
Can a soft tissue sarcoma burst?
Conclusions: Tumor rupture was associated with decreased DSS and DRFS in stage III sarcomas. It also predicted early metastasis and directly impacted patient’s survival. Additional procedures should be investigated to avoid tumor rupture.
How can I shrink my dogs tumor?
An injection of calcium chloride solution has been shown to reduce the size of benign tumors in dogs. Other chemical solutions have also been used successfully in canine and human patients.
Can CBD Oil shrink tumors in dogs?
CBD is a great supplemental treatment for dogs who are undergoing traditional treatment regimens. While CBD isn’t a cure for cancer, it may slow the growth of cancer cells while also working in tandem with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Most importantly, CBD can improve your dog’s quality of life.
What does sarcoma pain feel like?
Symptoms of soft tissue sarcomas
For example: swelling under the skin may cause a painless lump that cannot easily be moved around and gets bigger over time. swelling in the tummy (abdomen) may cause abdominal pain, a persistent feeling of fullness and constipation.
Does sarcoma spread quickly?
Most stage II and III sarcomas are high-grade tumors. They tend to grow and spread quickly. Some stage III tumors have already spread to nearby lymph nodes. Even when these sarcomas have not yet spread to lymph nodes, the risk of spread (to lymph nodes or distant sites) is very high.
Do cancerous tumors hurt?
Cancer lumps usually don’t hurt. If you have one that doesn’t go away or grows, see your doctor.
Should I have my dogs sarcoma removed?
Soft tissue sarcomas that are low to intermediate grade and can be removed completely with surgery have an excellent long-term prognosis. Following complete removal, the majority of these tumours will be cured.
Why do dogs get soft tissue sarcoma?
Most seem to be caused by a complex mix of risk factors, some environmental and some genetic or hereditary. “For most cases of soft tissue sarcomas, no direct cause has been determined for their development.” For most cases of soft tissue sarcomas, no direct cause has been determined for their development.
Can a soft tissue sarcoma in dogs be benign?
Soft tissue sarcomas are not only not benign; they invade into surrounding body tissues very aggressively, meaning that surgery to remove the mass must be aggressive in order to achieve local cure of the cancer.