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Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas. Vascellari M, Melchiotti E, Bozza MA, Mutinelli F. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2003 Aug;50(6):286-91.

Fifteen fibrosarcomas, surgically excised from presumed sites of injection in dogs, and 10 canine fibrosarcomas excised from sites not used for injection were histologically and immunohistochemically compared with 20 feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas. Canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites were of grade I (3), of grade II (4) and grade III (8). Two fibrosarcomas from non-injection sites were of grade I, four of grade II and four of grade III. Feline samples were classified as grade I (2), grade II (4) and grade III (14).

All fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites of both species showed lymphocytic inflammatory infiltration located at the tumour periphery, while two canine fibrosarcomas from non-injection sites showed perivascular inflammatory infiltration within the neoplasm. All samples were immunohistochemically examined for vimentin, smooth muscle actin, muscle specific actin and desmin expression. All tumours were positive for vimentin. Ten canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and all feline samples contained cells consistent with a myofibroblastic immunophenotype. Aluminium deposits were detected in eight canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and 11 feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas by the aurintricarboxylic acid method.

The present study identifies distinct similarities between canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas, suggesting the possibility of the development of post-injection sarcomas not only in cats, but also in dogs.

(Cross-posted with permission from the VetPet list.)
 

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I think that means that dog (and cats) are more likely to develop cancerous tumours at vaccination sites?

I have heard of this happening in cats. One vet who gave us a speech said that it is now recommended to give some shots in the cat's leg, so that in case cancer develops the leg can be removed. :(
 

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The association of feline sarcomas (VAS) with injection (usually vaccination) sites is pretty well-established; an increased incidence of these tumors was noted following introduction of killed rabies and feline leukemia virus vaccines using aluminum as an adjuvant. The risk of developing a sarcoma increases with the number of injections received at a specific anatomic location. VAS frequency is reported to vary from 1 case per 1,000 vaccinations to 1 case per 10,000 cats.

While the above report of sarcomas in dogs is interesting, I can't draw any conclusions. (Disclaimer: I don't have the entire paper, and abstracts are sometimes misleading; reportedly, they're the only portion of peer-reviewed publications that *aren't* peer-reviewed.) For instance, the sarcomas are from "presumed" vaccination sites; this suggests that actual vaccination might not have been documented. Although cases from presumed vaccination sites and non-vaccination sites were studied, we don't know what percentages of overall sarcomas these two subgroups represent. We also can't tell from the abstract whether there were significant differences between the sarcomas from the presumed vaccination sites and non-vaccination sites.

I think it's interesting that some dogs have developed sarcomas in areas that are often used as vaccination sites, that share certain characteristics with feline VAS, but that's about all I can glean from this abstract. It raises the possibiity of VAS in dogs, but doesn't tell us anything about how common or rare it might be. I'll be keeping my eyes open for additional reports.

[ August 13, 2003, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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The following quote is from the full study text: "In both dogs and cats, the development of necrotizing panniculitis at sites of rabies vaccine administration was first observed by Hendrick & Dunagan (1992)."

Anyone who wishes to have a copy of the full study e-mailed to them as an attachment, please e-mail me at [email protected].

Kris L. Christine
[email protected]
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
http://www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
 

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I'm not aware of any sizable follow-up series that provide additional evidence for vaccine associated sarcomas in dogs, so the significance of the report is still unclear.

Having lost a cat to vaccine associated sarcoma, I'm not ignorant of adverse outcomes due to vaccination. However, I find cherry-picking of information for the purposes of fear-mongering to be irresponsible and deceptive. <_< Despite the lost of my cat, I continue to vaccinate my pets and to provide them with all necessary veterinary care. :)
 

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I'm not aware of any sizable follow-up series that provide additional evidence for vaccine associated sarcomas in dogs, so the significance of the report is still unclear.

Having lost a cat to vaccine associated sarcoma, I'm not ignorant of adverse outcomes due to vaccination. However, I find cherry-picking of information for the purposes of fear-mongering to be irresponsible and deceptive. <_< Despite the lost of my cat, I continue to vaccinate my pets and to provide them with all necessary veterinary care. :)[/b]

What's important is to make informed vaccine choices and to not redundantly vaccinate because there are significant adverse reactions associated with veterinary vaccines, they should be given only as often as is necessary to maintain immunity.

There is no law requiring veterinarians to report adverse reactions to vaccines, and estimates are that 90% go unreported.
 

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Any more information about whether the sarcomas were at vaccination injection sites versus other injections? I have been giving one of my dogs (Pearl) allergy shots in the same area for well over a year now, and I *think* they are doing some good. However, I've thought about stopping them on and off just because I'm not sure the effect is all that great, and if they increase the risk of sarcoma, I'd be more likely to give them up.
 

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Any more information about whether the sarcomas were at vaccination injection sites versus other injections? I have been giving one of my dogs (Pearl) allergy shots in the same area for well over a year now, and I *think* they are doing some good. However, I've thought about stopping them on and off just because I'm not sure the effect is all that great, and if they increase the risk of sarcoma, I'd be more likely to give them up.[/b]
Sorry, I don't have any information on allergy shots.
 
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