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Mast cell tumor
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Mast cell tumor

My 10 year old dachshund, Sienna, had 7 benign tumors removed three weeks ago.  Last week I noticed another lump on her (chest area).  When I took her to the vet's today to have the stitches removed I showed him the lump.  He aspirated it and all of the aspiration showed mast cells.  We have *another* surgery scheduled for her tomorrow morning.

The vet was very apologetic - he said they went over her very carefully looking for additional tumors and didn't see any (it was very near where a lipoma was removed - very near the incision) and they looked all around when they had her opened to remove the lipomas.   I told him I just felt it last week myself and I've been paying very close attention to her incisions and it wasn't there prior to that.

Her tumor - from the surface area, is about 1" x 2" and she has lost 2lbs in a week.

I realize that we are looking at serious, aggressive cancer.  I don't know that she could handle chemo either.  We will know more after the surgery, of course, but with the size of this tumor and how fast it has grown, (not knowing the spread, of course) what have you seen in your practice regarding the outcome of mast cell tumors that are this aggressive?  I don't want to make her suffer but she seems to be enjoying life right now; I just want to make sure we give her as many good days as possible and that we have a good idea of .

My brain is a bit fried, sorry, I lost my other dachshund in December to diabetes so this was a huge sucker punch.

Thank you for your help.
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234713_tn?1283530259
Once the biopsy is returned please let us know the grade of the tumor.  Many mast cell tumors of low grade can act like benign tumors and have an optimistic outcome.  Even if the mast cell is a higher grade it does not have to mean a death sentence for your dog since traditional chemotherapy and radiation, along with holistic forms of herbal chemotherapy can do wonders.
12 Comments
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165308_tn?1323190145
My heart breaks for you.  You definitely have been hit with a double whammy.  I am so sorry for what you and your dog are going through.  Hang tough and know that there are people here who care about you.  Please keep us posted.  My fingers and toes are crossed.  
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158939_tn?1274918797
Thanks suzi-q.   She knows she is dying too.  She just has wanted to cuddle with me and sleep very close.  She is breaking my heart.
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165308_tn?1323190145
I really have no words that I can say.  I truly feel terrible.  Please take comfort knowing that you have done everything for her.  Obviously, she loves you so unconditionally and takes solace being close to you knowing that you will do the right thing.  What will be the next step?  Is the surgery today?  My heart and prayers go out to you and Sierra.
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158939_tn?1274918797
Surgery is today - we just dropped her off at the vet's.  I've asked him that if it has spread too far (they have to take a lot of extra tissue with Mast Cell Tumors because they spread so quickly) to just close her back up.  It is so close to her heart and lungs.  She can't handle chemo and they couldn't do radiation because it is too close to vital structures.  If it has spread I just want to bring her home and make her as comfortable as possible.  Argh!!!
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165308_tn?1323190145
Well, please post to let us know.  Hang in there.  Thinking of you.

Suzi
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82861_tn?1333457511
It's awful that we have to go through this with our pets, but it's part of life, and part of enjoying having them in our lives.  You're making great decisions for Sienna under some terrible stress, and you deserve applause for that.  As hard as it is to accept, sometimes death really is the right and good thing to happen.  I know you'll make whatever time you have left with Sienna really count for you both.  Blessings,  Jen
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158939_tn?1274918797
Just brought her home from the hospital.  The tumor was just under about 1" in size and went deep - very close to her jugular.  The vet had to take quite a bit of tissue and muscle but he thinks he got clean margins - although it is impossible to know for sure until pathology comes back.

The histology report won't be back in until Tuesday (at least).
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165308_tn?1323190145
Well, so far so good.  I am glad that they think they got it all out.  I will be sending good thoughts your way!  Hang in there!!  I am rooting for you and Sierra.  
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158939_tn?1274918797
The vet called tonight and just received the pathology.  What looked like mast cells on the biopsy turned out to be basal cell carcinoma and a lot of inflamation (inflammation).  The tumor had clean margins.  Phew.
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172023_tn?1334675884
That's good news!  I'm so glad.  
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234713_tn?1283530259
I am very happy for you and Sienna!  Congratulations!
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This Forum's Experts
234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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