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Mast cell tumour

(7 Posts)
OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 26-Oct-12 17:21:57

Took our 9yo Lab to the vets yesterday as we found a lump on his side. Vet said it wasn't attached and was quite soft so unlikely to be anything sinister. She drew a sample out of it anyway to be sent off and said she'd let us know when results were back.

Vet has just called and said results are showing it to be a mast cell tumour. Apparently these are strange acting and can sometimes spread easily into the stomach and other places and sometimes not. It releases histamine which can irritate the stomach lining and she asked if he was ever sick. He does have the odd day when he is sick but I tend not to think much of it as he has always done this - being a Lab he eats everything he finds (his current favourite activity is munching through blackberries straight from the hedgerow, thorns and all hmm) and even had a sock removed from his bowel a couple of years ago!

Anyway, I feel a bit floored by the diagnosis after having come away so reassured last night. They want him in on Tuesday for an op to remove the tumour. It's a big op as they will need to remove a lot of surrounding tissue to ensure they've got it all. Vet didn't really give much away on the phone so I've no idea what his chances are. Hopefully they will fill DH in better on Tuesday when he takes our boy in.

Anyone with any experience of this? Any tips for his recovery? He is an outdoors dog - he was a gun dog before he came to us and it was all he knew and just wouldn't settle indoors. He lives in our lean-to which
Is fully double glazed with a radiator in it, tiled floor and he has free access to a garden just for him (plus walks at least once often twice a day). We shut the door at night and when very cold. I'm concerned about how to keep the wound clean, I'd happily bring him indoors to recuperate but I'm not sure he'd be comfortable. I'm going to thoroughly disinfect the room whilst he is at the vets but not sure this will be enough?

Sorry to ramble, I'm more done by it than I anticipated. He's such a lovely boy, the most gentle (and utterly stupid!) dog I've ever met sad

NittyNuttyNoo Fri 26-Oct-12 18:04:27

There are different grades of mast cell tumour. Is he insured? Is so it might be worth asking to be referred to a specialist.

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 26-Oct-12 18:27:21

Yes, he is insured thank god. Despite DH deciding he wanted to cancel it when the renewal came through last month and we now pay £60 a month!

Luckily DH is crap at getting round to doing things grin

Will see what they have to say on Tuesday, will definitely consider asking for a referral.

Have been googling and from what I can make out it all depends on the grade of it. Grade 1 has excellent prognosis providing they remove all of it - as it's on his side there is a far better chance of this than if it was on his leg for example as they can go wider into the tissue to ensure its all gone. Grade 3 not so good. Path results of the tumour will tell
Us which grade.

zonedout Fri 26-Oct-12 18:57:06

So sorry to hear about your lab's diagnosis. These things are always an awful shock and very upsetting and worrying. Just wanted to offer you a story of hope and positivity;

My standard schnauzer had two mast cell tumours removed when she was very young. The first one was on her thigh and was a grade 3. They removed a huge area and she came home with drains and on strict cage rest. It was a very big op and she took a long time to recover due to various complications. The second one was, more worryingly, on her chest about a year later. This one was a grade 2 but they couldn't take as much surrounding tissue from that area. Both times it was very much a wait and see thing as the vet had no way of knowing whether the tumours had spread in the crazy way that mast cells do. I must say they weren't that optimistic owing to how aggressive the first one was and how little tissue they could take with the second.

Suffice to say my mast cell girl is lying next to me now, not far off her 15th birthday grin

I hope your lovely boy has many many years of healthy life ahead of him once the mast cell tumour has been removed. smile

Nigglenaggle Fri 26-Oct-12 20:26:04

As you are insured chemotherapy afterwards will be an option if necessary (if they dont quite get all of it - the lab will be able to tell them) - they will use lower doses than with people and the aim is to avoid side effects completely, although it isnt always possible, but it may help stop recurrence. It may be grade 1 they have no way of knowing so far so try not to worry.

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Fri 26-Oct-12 22:34:13

Mast cell tumours are strange ones- they all feel different and can behave in a range of ways when it comes to growing/ metastisising etc. As its on his side they have a good chance of getting good margins, and with complete excision the prognosis is pretty favourable. You will know more once it is removed and graded, but try not to worry too much in the meantime. Your vet might not have gone into much detail because sometimes we don't know ourselves until the pathology report. Here's hoping it all goes well.

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 27-Oct-12 11:28:23

Thank you everyone for all the advice and reassurances. He looks so well in himself that I'm hoping that's a good sign. He certainly has a good appetite still and will still walk for miles although some days he turns back and wants to come home.

My MIL is very upset, she considers him to be her grand-dog bless her and she lives next door and is always bringing him treats and will often take him for walks. She is actually trying to persuade FIL to agree to have him stay with them to recuperate - I have young DCs which, as him being in the house will be a novelty, I fear won't give him any peace and quiet to recover - but he has had a few 'goes' at FIL in the past (he really doesn't like men although I would say FIL provoked him by trying to stroke him when he was already barking at him) so understandably FIL isn't keen. Poor MIL was just about to have some chicken for her tea last night when I rang her to tell her the news, she promptly ditched her meal and brought it round for the dog to eat instead! I dare say our boy will eat better this weekend than FIL will smile

Just tried ringing insurance company but they're only open Mon-Fri, I'm certain he will be covered though.

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