Pet Cancer Surgery & Staging



Oncologic surgery includes any surgical procedure used for the treatment of cancer

Application of Surgery in Treatment of Cancer

  • Cancer is as common in dogs and cats as it is in people. At PetCare, we have extensive experience performing surgical procedures to address cancer within the chest or abdominal cavities, or affecting muscles, skin, and bone.
  • Benign tumors and less complex malignant tumors are often successfully treated with surgery alone.
  • However, in patients with more advanced or complex cancer, treatment typically includes a surgical procedure to remove the primary tumor followed by additional treatment(s) to address residual or metastatic disease.
  • Many patients are referred to PetCare for large tumors affecting the limbs of dogs and cats. Amputation is often recommend for such tumors; however, in many patients, we have the ability to perform complex reconstructive wound closure techniques utilizing skin grafts, skin flaps, and even microvascular skin transfer that provide wound coverage and spare the limb. Recently, we have successfully performed limb-sparing techniques for treatment of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in the front leg of dogs.


  • Staging is the process used to determine the extent of tumor spread within the body.
  • Staging is an important part of pre-operative planning used to determine the best course of treatment for any given cancer.
  • Common staging procedures include blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT Scan), and surgical biopsy.
  • Once the location and type of tumor are known, your surgeon can make recommendations and discuss the options regarding the best course of therapy for you and your pet.
  • In advanced or complex cases, we often make arrangements to collaborate with PetCare’s board-certified oncologist in determining the best course of action.

Post-Operative Recovery

  • Following surgery, most patients will spend 1–2 nights in the hospital with the remainder of their recovery in the comfort of their own home.
  • Dogs and cats are amazing patients when it comes to recovery from oncologic procedures. Most patients are feeling well within 4–7 days and have fully recovered from their procedure by the time the incision has healed in 2 weeks.

If you have questions about oncologic surgery for your pet, you can schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons or oncologist at PetCare by calling 707-579-5900.