"Ranger" Hewitt pre amputation
"Ranger" Hewitt post amputation
"Since Ranger's surgery, his spirit is back and that's what we were really hoping for, he obviously feels so much better to have the tumor gone. We agonized over what to do for him, and now know we made that right decision." - Stephanie H.
Ranger developed a tumor surrounding the tarsal joint of his right rear leg, which was invading local bone and causing him significant pain. Based on the biopsy report, a diagnosis of sarcoma was made. Different types of sarcomas can affect the joint, and each carries a different prognosis.
Tumors arising from the joint capsule itself, synovial cell sarcomas, may have a good prognosis after amputation, with one report indicating a median survival time (MST) of greater than one year; whereas, a histiocytic sarcoma affecting the joint could result in a very short MST after amputation.
Since, the features of Ranger's tumor were potentially attributable to either of these origins (or an altogether other type of soft tissue sarcoma), immunohistochemistry was ordered.
This led to a diagnosis of a high grade peripheral nerve sheath tumor - a type of soft tissue sarcoma not commonly associated with joints. Based on the information provided by this diagnostic test, Ranger's owners elected to pursue amputation for him. Amputation is well tolerated by most dogs, particularly those who are already not using a painful leg.