Total scapulectomy for the treatment of chondrosarcoma in a cat

Publication date 1st August 2012
Authors Ben S. Clarke, Laurent Findji

Study design

Case Study


A 10-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair cat was admitted for treatment of a mass affecting the right scapula


A firm soft tissue mass located over the craniolateral aspect of the right scapula was evident during palpation. The mass extended close to the shoulder joint but did not cause lameness of the affected limb.


Examination of a biopsy specimen obtained from the mass ndicated chondrosarcoma. Total scapulectomy was performed to allow wide excision of the tumor. Weight bearing on the operated limb was tolerated 12 hours after surgery. Six months after surgery, limb function was assessed and considered excellent. The owner reported that the cat had its typical amount of activity and was able to jump and play normally. No recurrence of the tumor was evident 6 months after surgery.


On the basis of the functional outcome after surgery, total scapulectomy may be a viable limb-sparing technique for the treatment of local neoplasms in cats. Subtotal scapulectomy has been reported previously, with a good to excellent clinical outcome expected. Total scapulectomy associated with only a fair clinical outcome has been reported previously, which has led to the general recommendation that scapulectomy be performed with preservation of the shoulder joint. The information provided in this report revealed that total scapulectomy can be associated with an excellent outcome in a cat.