Clinical outcome of 42 dogs with scapular tumors treated by scapulectomy: A Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology (VSSO) retrospective study (1995–2010)


  • Presented in part at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Symposium, Chicago, IL, November 3–5, 2011; 1st Veterinary Society Surgical Oncology meeting, Fort Collins, CO, May 24–25, 2012; and 21st European College Veterinary Surgeons conference, Barcelona, Spain, July 5–7, 2012.



To report signalment, clinical signs, preoperative staging tests, histologic diagnosis, surgical, and oncologic outcomes including postoperative limb use, in dogs with scapular tumors treated by scapulectomy.

Study Design

Retrospective case series


Dogs (n = 42) with scapular tumors.


Medical records (1995–2010) from 6 hospitals were searched for dogs with scapular tumors treated by scapulectomy. Data retrieved were: signalment, weight, percentage of scapula removed, histologic diagnosis, postoperative limb use, adjunctive therapy, disease free interval (DFI), and survival time (ST). Individual variables were modeled with a Cox proportional hazard model accounting for censoring to determine risk factors for decreased DFI and ST. For categorical variables, Kaplan–Meier survival plots as well as mean and median survival times (MSTs) were calculated.


Subtotal scapulectomy was performed in 18 dogs (42.9%). Osteosarcoma (OSA) was diagnosed in 27 dogs (64.3%). Limb use was evaluated immediately after surgery in 41 dogs. Information on limb use at other times (1, 2, 3, and >3 months) postoperatively was also available for some dogs and was good to excellent overall. Only adjunctive chemotherapy had a positive significant effect on DFI (P = .00011) and ST (P = .0003).


Canine scapular tumors can be treated effectively by scapulectomy and limb use is fair to excellent for most dogs. OSA was the most common scapular tumor. Overall prognosis for scapular OSA is similar to appendicular OSA at other sites and use of adjunctive chemotherapy prolonged the overall DFI and MST.