Squamous cell carcinoma and fibrosarcoma are the most common oral tumors in cats. They are typically locally aggressive and recur after surgery. This study evaluated 42 cats treated with mandibulectomy to determine morbidity and survival times.

Squamous cell carcinoma Fibrosarcoma Osteosarcoma
(n = 21)(n = 6)(n = 6)
Died of disease, 12 2 1
Survival rate: 1 year, % 43 67 83
Survival rate: 2 year, % 43 67 83

Diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma was associated with a poorer prognosis. Cats were often dysphagic or inappetent right after the surgery (76%), and a few (12%) never regained the ability to eat. Despite morbidity, 83% of the owners were satisfied with the outcome.

COMMENTARY: The results of this study are more encouraging and the success rate seems well ahead of general experience with this procedure both in terms of recurrence rate and the percentage of cats that learned to eat. The study suggests that cats will do better if they are carefully selected for confirmed osteosarcoma or fibrosarcoma in which the tumor is confined to only one mandibular ramus or the tumor is very rostral. Clients should still be well prepared for the possibility of permanent tube feeding.

Outcomes of cats with oral tumors treated with mandibulectomy: 42 cases. Northrup NC, Selting KA, Rassnick KM, et al. JAAHA 42:350-360, 2007.