I have been asked this question many times. I’m going to let Mick Morrisey (from the yahoo VAS support group) answer this question:
“The short answer is “yes,” but it’s not nearly as much of a threat to them as it is to cats and ferrets.
Several years ago Dr. Kevin Hahn, an oncologist who used to participate in [the yahoo VAS support group] cited a couple of papers in the veterinary literature that he said provided the “smoking gun” for proof of VAS in dogs.
Vaccination Sarcomas in Dogs
It appears that VAS in dogs is real but very rare.
Yeah, I know, some sources still say it’s “rare” in cats, too! But I think it must really be rare in dogs.
Consider this: there are almost as many pet dogs in the US as pet cats, and there are actually more dog owners than cat owners. Studies have shown that dog owners, on average, give their pets twice as much veterinary care as cat owners. With that in mind, consider that feline VAS has been known for over twenty years and has featured prominently in the veterinary literature for almost all of that time. There’s been a tremendous amount of research, largely funded by the vaccine manufacturers; there’s been a highly publicized VAS Task Force, and at least one company (Merial) has spent untold amounts of money to develop a VAS-safer vaccine (PureVax.) There is a Feline VAS Support Group and if you Google Vaccine Associated Sarcoma you will get a page after page after page of hits for websites about VAS, VAS research, and individual people’s sites about their VAS cats.
Now consider how much you’ve read or heard about VAS in dogs – almost nothing. There’s been very little in the literature, almost no awareness in the veterinary community, and hardly anybody has read or heard about a case of canine VAS. Surely if dogs were getting VAS in any numbers we’d see all the same responses in the veterinary community, in the pharma industry, and among the dog-owning public that the discovery of feline VAS produced. And since dogs are the larget commercial market, I’m quite sure that we’d have seen something like PureVax for dogs many years ago. But we don’t see any of that stuff happening about canine VAS.
So I believe that canine VAS must be really rare.
If I had a dog I would determine a vaccination program based on limiting vaccines to those that provide protection against serious diseases that pose a real threat to the pooch but that would minimize the number and frequency of vaccinations, just as I do for my cats. I would do that not just because of the apparently minor threat of canine VAS, but because of the much more serious threat of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. That’s a nasty and usually fatal reaction that some dogs have to vaccinations, where they become severely allergic to their own blood. And I would take the same approach with any pet of any species, because vaccination is a complex medical procedure that could have all sorts of side effects that we’ve never even heard of yet.”
Here are the the rule of threes by Dr. Dennis Macy as to when to remove a suspicious lump:
3) = if the lump is still there three months later regardless of biopsy results, REMOVE it. He said lumpectomy is fine for those (e.g., not radical removal).
2) = if the lump is EVER 2cm or larger in any dimension (width, length, height), at any time, REMOVE it.
1) = If the lump is GROWING AT ALL after one month, remove it.
Hope this helps! A big thanks to Mick for letting me repost his comments!
Check out Chicken on Facebook and be sure to “like” her page!
Chicken the Cat on Facebook