My 11 year old female Yorkshire Terrier was diagnosed via a needle biopsy to have a mast cell tumor on the chest. Surgical removal to biopsy it was recommended to further diagnosis and recommend treatment. Since that visit, I had her hair cut (since it was very long and difficult to find the original mass) so I could body check her. I found two more lumps on her chest that seem suspicious to me. If these are cancerous, it is a huge area that they will have to cut out of her chest. Are there more tests that can be done prior to surgery to see just how wide spread her cancer is? What is the protocol to follow once finding a mast cell tumor by needle biopsy?
Also, she has developed several benign warts over the last 2 years on her body. Are these precursors to cancer?
Finally, we have always used Frontline Plus on her for tick defense but now I am concerned about using this chemical. Can this cause cancer? Should we try to find a natural approach to kill and repel ticks now that she has cancer? Do you have any recommendations?
I'd appreciate your help very much. Thank you.
P.S. My Yorkie is currently showing no signs of ill health from the cancer. It was a fluke that it was found since she was at the Vet to check her teeth.
You've taken the first important step in treating your dog -- going in and having a needle biopsy to obtain a diagnosis. I would call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.
The other two lumps are probably not mast cell tumors, but I would suggest a fine needle aspirate of these as well prior to any surgery. Grading and staging a tumor can help determine whether or not further treatment is required post surgery. Staging for mast cell tumor can be done but will most likely not change the treatment protocol.
Frontline has not been demonstrated to increase cancer risk.
If she isn't showing any signs of ill health, that's great! You don't want to wait until her system is weakened to seek further treatment. Best wishes to you and your little dog.
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