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Comparing the Use of Fluorescent Dyes in Surgery to Previously Reported Methods for Improving Lymph Node Staging in Dogs with Oral Cancer


To evaluate agreement between imaging and intraoperative techniques for identification of sentinel lymph nodes. A secondary objective is to develop a protocol for these techniques in veterinary patients with oral tumours.


In the field of veterinary oncology, identification of metastatic disease is critical for determining the extent of disease, prognosis, and for developing treatment plans. For many cancer types, metastasis occurs via the lymphatic system and the status of the draining lymph nodes is an important part of the pre- and intraoperative evaluation. The sentinel lymph node (SLN) is the primary lymph node draining the tumour and although one might expect that it is the first lymph node downstream from the tumour, this is not always true.  Failure to identify and assess the sentinel lymph node can lead to incomplete treatment, worse prognosis and poor patient outcome.  Currently in veterinary patients, there are not good protocols in place to identify sentinel lymph nodes. The development of these protocols could help us to decrease the number of lymph nodes we remove, in addition to ensuring we are accurately evaluating the most important lymph node for making follow-up treatment recommendations.


  • Cost of 30 mins of anesthesia
  • A more detailed CT scan will be performed to aid with tumour evaluation at no additional cost

Samples required:

  • Preoperative CT scan images
  • Lymph node histopathology

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of an oral tumour
  • Must be undergoing CT scan for surgical planning of tumour and lymph node removal @ OVC HSC
  • Surgery must occur at OVC HSC within one week of CT scan


  • Dr. Michelle Oblak (PI)


Vicky Sabine (PhD), Clinical Research Coordinator, OVC
Email:; Work Cell #: 226-218-0338

Funded by OVC Pet Trust.

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