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Fibrosarcoma in dogs… What it is, and how serious is it?

OK, we’ll admit that nobody really wants to hear the word “fibrosarcoma” when it comes to talking about their pet, but the truth is, given all the things that could potential wrong with an animal, being diagnosed with “fibrosarcoma” certainly isn’t the worst!

After all…

Fibrosarcoma is technically a cancerous tumor so it’s not like you shouldn’t be concerned, it just that these “types” of cancerous tumors aren’t super aggressive.

Meaning that…

There is a really good chance that your dog is going to be able to survive this diagnosis and that he or she will go on to live a long and happy life.

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what Fibrosarcoma in dogs is and hopefully shed some light on what it might be like to own a dog who is suffering from this condition.  So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Fibrosarcoma in Dogs

Fibrosarcoma is a tumor in the connective tissues or under the skin aka in the fibers. And while it is technically a malignant or cancerous form of cancer, we don’t want you to get too upset right off the bat!

This is because…

This is a type of cancer that usually takes a very, very long time to spread. If you’ve spotted a possible tumor, then you should not worry just yet. Metastasis in fibrosarcoma often takes a very long time – which is good for your dog’s prognosis.

Types of Fibrosarcoma

The thing to understand about fibrosarcoma in dogs is that there are a lot of different types which can also indicate the severity.

For example…

Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) and mouth caner in dogs are also referred to as fibrosarcoma. This is why one of the first things your veterinarian is going to ask you if you tell them that you suspect that your dog may be suffering from a fibrosarcoma is…

“Where do you believe your dog’s fibrosarcoma is?”


The symptoms associated with bone cancer or osteosarcoma will likely be worse than a fibrosarcoma that is located just below the skin. The important thing to understand however is that all “sarcomas’ are malignant, so even though some may not be as “serious” as others only a veterinarian should decide how and when your dog should be treated.

Symptoms of Fibrosarcoma

For the purpose of symptoms and clinical signs, we’ll speak about the most common type of fibrosarcoma: that just below the skin. These may include:

  • Lump under the skin, in soft tissue or on a bone (this is the most common).
  • Pain near or of the lump.
  • Swelling in area of the lump.
  • Problems with motion (normally happens when the lump grows near a joint).
  • Neurological problems (there are many; again, this can occur depending on the area of the lump).
  • Swollen lymph nodes near lump.

Diagnosis for Fibrosarcoma

The only way to get fibrosarcoma diagnosed in your dog is to see a veterinarian. The vet will normally do a biopsy of the lump to see if it is fibrosarcoma or another type of cancer.

The biopsy will…

Enable your vet to see the cancerous tissue and tumor cells under a microscope During this, he/she may determine it to be spindle cell sarcoma or something else.

Treatment Options for Fibrosarcoma

After your vet has established that the tumor type is fibrosarcoma, then there are some options. In most instances, surgery is enough. Surgical removal of the tumor gets rid of the cancer and your dog is fine.


In “advanced” cases, your vet may recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy or perhaps even limb removal in order to save the life of your pet!

We should also point out that…

Radiation and chemotherapy treatment techniques when required are quite lengthy and difficult treatments for your pet to go through. Luckily, this is usually not necessary with basic fibrosarcoma but we do like to point this out to you as an added incentive to get you to visit your veterinarian the moment you suspect something isn’t “right”.

This could not…

Only save you pet a lot of pain and suffering, it could also save you a whole “bunch” of money!


It’s important to know that if your dog gets develops a fibrosarcoma once, then you should keep a vigilant watch for any new growths. This means your dog is susceptible and it will probably recur.

The first step: visit the veterinarian!

As you may have gathered, we’re not vets or doctors. We know some stuff about fibrosarcoma and other diseases and types of cancers, but we’re definitely not experts – and we surely aren’t trying to diagnose, treat or cure your dog.


If you suspect your dogs or cats to have any health problems, you should take him/her/them to the vet! That’s the only way to get the right diagnosis and treatment for the problem.

Costs of Going to the Vet

The reason you’re not taking to the vet right now could be due to the costs – and you’re right. If you’re dog has cancer (even one that could be called “less serious” like fibrosarcoma), diagnosis and treatment can get pretty expensive. Biopsies, surgery, follow-up visits and more – it all adds up. You’re probably looking at a total vet bill of more than $1500 (it could be way more if your dog requires radiation).

This is why…

We always like to recommend any pet owner to always try to bring their pet to a trained veterinarian the moment that they suspect that their pet may be having a “medical issue” because early diagnosis always increases the likelihood that your pet will recover quickly and…

“Will generally reduce the cost of treatment as well!”

And since…

We’re talking about the cost of veterinarian care, we should also take a moment and recommend that you check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article where we discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a pet insurance policy on your pet.

“Spoiler Alert”

Having a qualify pet insurance policy in place if and when your pet becomes sick or injured could save you a bundle of money.  So, what are you waiting for?  Check it out and see if a pet insurance policy might be right for you!

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