Roscoe came to us with a malignant spindle cell sarcoma. It’s a soft tissue tumor that is locally invasive but often does not spread to vital organs like the lungs or liver. These tumors can be caused by a number of factors, but exposure to toxins, like cleaning agents, second-hand smoke, and other chemicals seem to be some of the leading causes. Surgical removal when the tumor is small is usually the first line of defense, but in Roscoe’s case, removal is not possible. Fortunately, Roscoe is a good candidate for chemotherapy/hyperthermia treatments (the same treatments that Momma Pepper received for her thyroid tumor). Roscoe started his treatments in March and the tumor is starting to shrink!!
Chemotherapy/Hyperthermia involves heating the tumor and injecting the chemotherapy drug, carboplatin into the tumor. The heat not only drains the blood supply from the tumor, but also helps to concentrate the carboplatin to make it more effective. Each round of treatment involves two consecutive days. On the first day, Roscoe received both hyperthermia and carboplatin, and on the second day, just hyperthermia. Two rounds of treatments, approximately one month apart are needed, initially. The wonderful thing about this therapy is that there are little to no side effects and it’s very easy on a dog’s system. Except for having to miss breakfast for two days in a row, Roscoe had no complaints at all and loved everyone at the oncology clinic!