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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have experience with Mast Cell Tumors?

Today Soames, our 6 year old red Dobe, was diagnosed, via fine needle aspiration, with a 12mm Mast Cell Tumor on his right buttock. To prevent a potential anaphylaxis reaction, he was given Benadryl (IV), and will continue with 25mg po (twice a day) until Monday when he is scheduled for a tumor excision. I know his prognosis will be determined once the tumor is graded.

In the meantime, we are naturally worried; especially so, as we lost Sasha, our 4.5 year old, on February 1st.
 

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Yes, it's VERY common in my other breed and a common cancer. I know MANY vizslas who had had grade 1 and grade 2 removed (some without full margins) that lived full lives with no other treatment. Usually if you catch it early and get clean or close to clean margings, it is all you need to do. If you haven't seen the incisions, be prepared he may look like Frankenstein. This is because the need clean margins though. Think 3-4" long or so.

Eta - I lost a Vizsla to lymphoma. After she was diagnosed my other one had a tumor on her spleen that had to be removed. Talk about FREAK OUT. Turned out to be nothing. Then last May they thought she had a mast cell tumor also...talk about FREAK OUT...and again turned out to be nothing. May you have the same GOOD LUCK :)
 

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Sorry to hear about your boy. I hope it's not major low grade fingers crossed...

Like Adara said be prepared for an incision WAY bigger than what the bump looked like...

My vet thought Jones had a Mast Cell Tumor (ended up as nothing) but this lump was probably the size of a pencil eraser, the incision was at least 2 inches...

These links are from Jonesy's surgery... (not going to post them just incase squeamish people)
A couple days after
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/JaxomWolfe/Surgery/IMG_8093.jpg
a week or so after
http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac324/JaxomWolfe/Surgery/IMG_8170.jpg

If you go through that whole album of photo's be careful, that is what happens when you lose the leash and stitches get ripped out...
Surgery Album
 

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My RIP Min Pin had mast cell tumors all over her body and turned out to be stage II mammary cancer. She lived for 3 1/2 years after her diagnosis and ultimately, it was Cushings combined with Diabetes that took her life.

I hope this doesn't scare you and I will be praying they are benign.

Best wishes...
 

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My Emmy has had two mast cell tumors removed. One when she was 3 or 4 and the other this past July (9 yrs old). She has been prone to fatty tumors and other bumpies since she was 2 yrs old. She is almost 10 now and still going strong. :) As long as the margins were wide enough you SHOULD be fine. I haven't personally heard of animals with higher stages of MCTs come in (while working at a vet's). And check out any future bumps of course, in case.I also was advised to do Benedryl but I am so bad at being consistent with meds so wen i remember i give it to her.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Soames had surgery on Monday (23rd) to remove the tumor. The surgeon removed quite a swath of tissue and sent it to a pathologist. We just got the results: Grade 3 tumor.
While this is the worst possible grade of mast cell tumor, the biopsy found no evidence of lymphatic or vascular activity. The margins were clean.
Because it is grade 3 mast cell malignant tumor, however, the laboratory recommended a "staging" test for metastasis, which is done at Michigan State University. Evidently, it is a highly sophisticated (and expensive) test, which we immediately agreed to. It may take a number of days to get the results, as the sample must be shipped to Michigan from Washington, and the test involves staining, etc. So, we will sit on our hands for a while, except to pray--a lot.
As some of you know, we lost our 4 1/2-year-old female, Sasha, to complications of IMHA on February 1st. Ordinarily, Anne and I are optimistic about our dogs' welfare, but our spirits have been tried lately. It's stunning how quickly our rich, sometimes complicated, lives can be reduced to these painful simplicities.
Steve
 

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Good vibes going out to you, Anne and Soames. Hoping for a full recovery for Soames. So sorry for your loss of Sasha. Seems like your plate is way too full right now. I hope better days are coming.
 

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Drats!! Sorry to hear that. The Mast Cell yahoogroup is a really supportive and friendly group if you need more info/want more advice, etc. My friend has a crested with systemic grade 3 and it's been over a year so far. He is not a candidate for any treatement other than pred and bendryl too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I joined two Yahoo groups: 1) canine-cancer and 2) canine mast cell tumor. The messages I've received from there remind me of the wonderful messages on dobermantalk.com. As things progress: test results, oncology examination, etc., I'll add to this thread. As dog owners, we need to know more about this pernicious disease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We will want to consult an veterinary oncologist. Can anyone recommend an oncologist in the Seattle/Tacoma area? Or any area in Washington State, for that matter. We live somewhat remotely ( 2-2 1/2 hour drive to Seattle).
We've accumulated some Internet references, but it would be great if anyone has any personal references.
Thanks,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update

Sorry, I've been caught up with mast cell tumor forums that I neglected to update this forum.

We've found an oncologist for Soames, who has been treating him for a few weeks. Soames will receive his fourth infusion of chemotherapy next Tuesday. He then will receive chemo every other week thereafter for two months. He is also on a prednisone-taper schedule that will continue for the duration of his chemotherapy.

The Bad: Grade 3 mast cell tumors are the most aggressive type. Survival periods after detection are considerably less than grade 1 and grade 2. Every case is different, of course, so we will be vigilant (e.g., checking him daily for growths, taking his temperature, etc.) He will probably get Xrays, ultrasounds, and blood tests every 3 months for the rest of his life.

The good: The surgical removal of the grade 3 mast cell tumor was clean; the margins showed no lymphatic or vascular activity. The surgical site healed perfectly. Follow-up Chest X rays and full body ultrasound revealed no other tumors. The current chemotherapeutic process will, hopefully, kill any cancer cells hidden in the blood and/or organs.

He is bounding about. If his belly weren't shaved for the ultrasound a few weeks ago, you would not know anything was going on with him. He is typically Soames: happy, playful, loving--in short, a beautiful Doberman Pinscher.

I will try to update more often. We all should know more about mast cell tumors.

Steve
 

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Thanks for keeping us posted and adding in all the education bits. I agree that it is important for all to know. Sending you prayers for many more happy years with Soames.
 

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Thanks for the update. And it really IS good news they got the whole tumor with clean margins :) Hope you continue to get good news!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update-Chemotherapy over

I've kept this thread going with updates because mast cell tumors are a serious threat to our dogs' lives. Soames was diagnosed with a grade 3 mast cell tumor, which is the most deadly grade.

Soames finished his chemotherapy this morning. The oncologist also discontinued the prednisone. So far, we've been fortunate: Soames' abdominal ultrasounds have been clean throughout the process and there are no detectable new growths on his body. He showed no discomfort during the chemotherapy sessions, which lasted 3 months, and other than the increased urination and appetite, owing to the prednisone, and his shaved belly, owing to the ultrasounds, one would never know anything was going on with him.

We must inspect his body closely and obtain ultraounds regularly for the next 2 years. Hopefully, Soames will be one of the lucky ones, as the disease is most unforgiving.
 
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