Could Neurogenic KCS & Soft Tissue Sarcoma be related?

Question: 

My 10 year old Maltese was diagnosed by Ophthalmologist with Neurogenic KCS in the left eye. Then he developed a lump that came up suddenly on the top/back left side of his head. The lump was removed and the lab report came back as Soft Tissue Sarcoma - Grade 1. Could these two things (Neurogenic KCS & Soft Tissue Sarcoma) be related?

Answer: 

First of all I am very sorry you are having problems with your dog. I know how concerned you must be. I will try to answer some of your questions, however I do encourage you to seek a consult with a veterinary oncologist who can work with you and your vet to figure out what is going on and what options are available.

Neurogenic KCS is an unusual disorder in the dog and many times there is no explanation for why dogs get this problem. It is often idiopathic in the sense that no one finds an underlying reason for the problem and it is simply treated symptomatically which is indeed a solution. It would however require ongoing medications unless it resolves which sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

The soft tissue sarcoma while located on the same side as the KCS may or may not be related to the KCS As I did not examine your dog, I do not know how deep the tumor extended prior to surgery, if at all. Fortunately most of the time Grade I tumors are less aggressive,  both locally and they have a low (< 10%) chance of spreading elsewhere in the body (metastasis) but individual tumors may behave more aggressively than the grade would suggest. As such staging tests including lymph node aspiration, chest radiographs and possibly a CT scan/ MRI might be needed to determine the extent of involvement of the soft tissue sarcoma. As I said, most grade I tumors can be removed surgically. With complete margins, the cure rates can be > 95%.  I do not have the biopsy report but margin evaluation will be one of the things the oncologist will be determining, in consultation with your vet and the pathologist of record. 

Linking the two disorders together cannot be done at this time, but I do recommend further evaluation. Try not to worry but I would seek a consult with a veterinary oncologist for the above reasons. Good luck

 

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