Mast Cell Tumours

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Post by Lis on Mon Apr 15 2019, 14:04

Hi everyone

I haven't posted on here for some time but have always loved the posts, advice and info on our beloved staffies.

The weekend before last I took by beloved boy to the vet for his annual health check and booster. Whilst there I asked the vet to check a lump under the skin on his chest near his shoulder which to me felt like a fatty lump. Given he is 9 now and the vet had said before he will probably get a few lumps and bumps as he gets older I didn't worry too much. On inspection the vet asked me how long it had been there. I then panicked as I noticed it a short time before Christmas but it has been there under a year. He aspirated it and my world fell apart when he came back into the room and said it was a Mast Cell Tumour (MCT). I was a bit dumbfounded at first although the word "tumour" had me in turmoil and the first thing I said was "I want it out, now!". There were also a couple of other raised areas on his leg which look like kind of insect bites. Just a raised area still covered in fur, no redness and I can roll it between my fingers and it doesn't feel like a mass. The vet said it was still a 'lump' as such and then said as he was now booked to have the lump in his chest removed he would check those out also.

When I left I just sat in my car, did the worst thing ever and looked at the internet, and then sobbed... how could this be happening? He's happy, healthy and full of beans and showing no signs of illness or ill health. I spent the rest of the weekend in tears and the best part of last week worrying myself stupid about grades etc. as once removed it will be sent off for testing... I do not want to hear Grade 3 Sad

Since then though I've also found a small round peppercorn sized lump just below his hock in his front leg which I will tell the vet about when I take him in tomorrow morning (dreading it). I've now convinced myself they are all MCTs and cannot even bear to think about losing him. 9 isn't old for a Staffie and he literally is my life Love Struck

I feel sick with worry. I am dreading taking him tomorrow as he hates the vets and trembles whenever we go (due to him having ACL surgery twice it's not his favourite place obvs) and I will feel cruel leaving him behind... I'm going to be in bits.

I've heard that although Staffies are prone to MCTs most tumours are low grade... well I hope so for my boy. I still can't believe this is happening. I've always kept him so healthy avoiding too many chemicals and such like and giving him a healthy diet.

Have many of you had similar experiences with your fur babies? I've seen a couple of previous posts but not much about it on this forum.

I really don't know how I am going to get through tomorrow nail biting and then waiting for the results. I can't bear the thought of further treatment like radiation or chemo Crying or Very sad

I'm devastated this is happening Crying or Very sad

Thanks everyone x
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Post by Nifty staffy on Wed Apr 17 2019, 19:18

Hi Lisa, hope it went as well as possible for you both yesterday.
I don’t have any experience to share but I would say that you shouldn’t beat yourself up over this.

You probably decided not to take your boy to the vets sooner as it’s a source of stress for him, as you say. Would it make a difference if you had been sooner ? Maybe yes but maybe no.
Given that we can’t turn back time, no point in letting the “could have’s” get you down.

As you said, your boy is healthy despite a few lumps. That’s already a very good sign whatever the results of the tests. Thinking of you, do let us know how it goes Smile


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Post by gillybrent on Wed Apr 17 2019, 22:42

Only just seen this - how did it go?

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Post by Lis on Wed Apr 24 2019, 16:22

Thanks to Nifty Staffy and Gilly for your kind replies.

The op went really well thank you, after a very anxious and emotional day after dropping my poor boy off at the vets. I hate when you have to leave them them, I feel so mean! Sad Anyway, the good news was that all the other lumps and bumps they checked out when he was under were all benign... HUGE relief!! They did say to just keep a close eye on them anyway for any changes, which of course I will do. So the vet only had to remove the one MCT thank goodness!

It has now been a week since the op and he is healing very nicely. He is back to his normal bouncy self and full of beans and is only wondering why his walks came to an abrupt halt bless him, but due to where the incision/stitches are he can't wear a collar or harness as both press/pull on the wound. The vet said 7-10 days so I will wait until my vet gives the green light as it is still swollen under the skin due to the amount of tissue they took away to hopefully make sure we get clean margins.

Thankfully it was such a lovely weekend over Easter he got to enjoy lots of time chilling in the garden donning his own special T-shirt to protect the incision from the sun and also stop him scratching it lol!

We still haven't got the biopsy results but they said by the end of the this week. There is a bit of a delay because of Easter. I'm absolutely dreading the call and what they are going to say. I hope no news so far is good news! Keeping all fingers, toes and paws crossed for a positive result. I'll let you know.

Many thanks, Dizzy's mum xx
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Post by Nifty staffy on Wed Apr 24 2019, 19:17

That’s great news so far, I can fully understand your relief !
Wishing Dizzy a very speedy recovery to get back to his favourite walks


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Post by Wally Walter on Fri May 10 2019, 16:50

I adopted a 10 year old Staffie a year ago, he arrived with a mass cell tumour on one of his hocks, thankfully my vet have a consultant who he saw, I was given 3 options, to remove his leg, to have the tumour removed but that will involve skin grafts and there is no guarantee they will take or wait and see.  I asked the vet what he would recommend and was told it was a very slow growing tumour and he has seen many dogs with one of these go as old dogs who died because of other reasons he would wait and see which I am doing.  If it does start to speed up the leg can be removed quickly but he doesn't think it will come to this.

I used to have a Staffie, another old rescue, who had tumours taken off her 5 times, it was the same consultant as Walter is with now.  She had serious breathing problems and had to have a tracheotomy, he removed several tumours even  with it.  He said that if the margins are big enough, eventually these tumours stop coming up, he was right, they stopped with Ellie.

Yes it is very worrying when we are told a dog has a tumour, I now have one with lymphoma, she was given 2 to 3 months 5 weeks ago and I have put her on golden paste, instead of deteriating she has become more lively but will never be the hooligan she was.   I have also put Walter on golden paste at the same time and he is a lot better.  

Keep an eye on her, check her regularly and if any lumps appear, get them taken of as quickly as you can.

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Post by gillybrent on Fri May 10 2019, 18:36

Thanks for your input Wally Walter.

May I just say that, on its own, golden paste will not cure cancer, and will certainly not be any use with Lymphoma.

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