Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of cryosurgery for treatment of skin and subcutaneous tumors in dogs and cats.
Study design: Prospective study.
Animals: Dogs (n=20), cats (10).
Methods: Cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors were treated by liquid nitrogen cryosurgical spray (1 cm from target tissue at 90 degrees until a 5-mm halo of frozen tissue was achieved) for 15-60 seconds. Malignant lesions had 3 freeze-thaw cycles benign tumors, 2 cycles. The second or third freeze cycle was performed after complete thaw of the preceding freeze. Wounds healed by second intention. Follow-up was weekly for 1 month and then twice monthly until wounds healed, and final outcome was determined by telephone interview of owners.
Results: Tumor size ranged from 0.3 to 11 cm diameter with 28 (60%) being 0.3-1 cm; 8 (17%) 1.1-3 cm, and 11 (23%) >3.4 cm. Complications included edema, erythema and for extremity lesions, pain and lameness. Treated lesions (n=47) had an overall remission of 98% (mean follow-up, 345+/-172.02 days [range, 150-750 days]). One malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor recurred 7 months after cryosurgical treatment.
Conclusion: Cryosurgery is an efficient method for treatment of skin and subcutaneous tumors in dogs and cats.
Clinical relevance: Cryosurgical ablation is an effective means of treating small cutaneous or subcutaneous tumors in dogs and cats, especially in older animals where wound closure or cosmetic outcome might limit surgical excision alone.