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Mast Cell Tumor


Guest SalPal
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Guest SalPal

Our Sally was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor back in February. It was a marble-sized lump on her front right leg. We had some bloodwork done, and her chest was also x-rayed to see if the tumor had spread. The vet removed the tumor, and the pathology report came back saying the margins were clean and classified it as a "grade II" tumor. She had a follow up appointment last month and was given a clean bill of health. The vet actually said her prognosis is quite good because the tumor was located in a spot on her leg with very little blood flow (meaning the cancerous cells wouldn't have traveled much).

 

Has anyone else had any experience with a mast cell tumor? If so, did the cancer return at any point? We are constantly checking her for new lumps, but is there anything else we should be doing for prevention/detection?

 

 

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Guest jsk4x

Five years ago, our golden retriever developed this at the age of 14. We had an operation to remove the tumor. I don't remember what level the tumor was or whether the margins were clean. I suspect they were not as the vet recommended chemo. We opted not to do the chemo due to her age. The cancer returned in various places on her body. I remember the front paws being particularly affected. She would chew her paws and toes continuously. About 8-9 months after the operation, we had her put to sleep.

 

Sorry that the story is rather depressing. It sounds like you pup's diagnosis is better. We didn't want to put a 14 year old dog through chemo. The surgery bought her time with a decent quality of life.

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Mast cell tumors or MCT's as they are called can be tricky creatures. Grade 1 tumors are for the most part are considered not a threat--remove them and problem solved. Grade 2 tumors can seem to go "either way". Some can be aggresive and some can behave much like a grade 1 tumor. To make matters more complicated the grades can be a judgement call--meaning it depends on the opinion of the pathologist. Grade 3 and 4 tumors are really much more of a concern with some having a pretty grim prognosis. In Sally's case it's great news that the vet got clean margins and as of today you haven't found any new lumps or bumps. If you do find a another bump definitely have it aspirated for your own peace of mind. :P

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Guest benson

We have a retriever mix with recurring MCTs. I found Buttercup in the pound a little more than 2 years ago the day before they were going to put her to sleep. From the pound I took her to my vet to be vaccinated, bathed and get the general once over. It was after that when I discovered she had all kinds of lumps on her. The vet who removed two of the lumps said he knew right away she had MCTs as he had just put his own retriever to sleep 2 weeks prior when her MCTs spread internally. She was 14 yrs old. Buttercup was estimated to be about 3 when I rescued her.

 

The pathology report confirmed it was MCTs which were Grade II (without clean margins). We couldn't remove all the tumors at once because I would have ended up with a patchwork quilt dog. She wasn't a candidate for radiation due to the number of tumors. The only treatment we opted for was prednisone. Two years and two more surgeries later she is still with us. Since her first surgery she has had 7 more tumors removed but they are in different places each time. She still takes prednisone daily along with milk thistle for liver support. Her most recent x-rays show clear lungs and abdomen. She is the world's happiest dog.

 

If you Google "Mast Cell Tumors" you'll find lots of information. As for prevention I'm not sure there is any. I've read that grain based diets feed cancer. I'm not sure about that but we switched all of our dogs over to a raw diet. If it's true then we've taken one more step in helping Buttercup. Early detection and removal is always a plus. Look Sally over on a regular basis and address the lumps as they occur. Hopefully the one you had removed in February will be the only one she'll have.

 

edited for spelling.

Edited by benson
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My Jack Russell has had mast cell tumors. Her first one was on her inner leg, a grade II. It too was removed with clean margins and no further treatment. She gets checkups every 3-6 months with blood tests, ultrasounds, etc, and she's had 2 more tumors, but both of those were grade I, which they almost consider as nothing -- they just remove them and try to get clean margins. Ruby had her first tumor 2 1/2 years ago, she's still going strong. I'm sure she'll continue to get these little bumps, but we get them checked out as soon as possible.

 

As far as prevention, I don't know of any. Just do a good overall body check on Sally regularly and have any bumps checked out, that's what we do.

 

Best of luck to both of you!!! :)

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