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Mast cell tumor advice </3

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by meganclarke, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. meganclarke

    meganclarke PetForums Newbie

    Feb 17, 2021
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    Our precious little boy, darcy, who is an 8 year old lhasa apso, has been diagnosed with mast cell cancer on his spine which has spread to his lymph node. we are all beyond devastated and trying to weigh up our options to give our precious boy the best quality of life he can for as long as possible. we have been offered surgery to remove the primary spine tumor and the spread to the lymph node (where they would have to operate through the stomach for the lymph node) however he would still need treatment, like chemo, after this (he could have a year however anymore time beyond this isn't promised) or to not have surgery and try different treatments to try and shrink and stop the spread further (we've been told this could give him a few months to a year). Darcy is still himself, eating perfectly well and currently he's not detoirating at all and we want him to be pain free and happy for as long as possible. Please if anyone has any advice and their doggos have gone through anything similar? And to know more about the danger of this kind of surgery or the only treatment option. Our hearts our so broken and we are lost with what to do
  2. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

    Dec 28, 2009
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    I am sorry to hear about Darcy's diagnosis. Trouble is with these things so many variables, i.e. costs, dogs age, chances of success and of course that different tumour types and dogs all individuals.

    I think with the surgery I would be wondering how tough the surgery / recovery would be for him, and if there are any risks (i.e. with being on the spine) and the specialist may be able to advise how successful that has been in past cases and would the surgery remove it all (suppose you won't know re clear margins until they go in?).

    I have had a dog have radiotherapy for a brain tumour before, and he had no side effects, we had to go to Cambridge vet school for 6 sessions I think weekly and he was anaesthetized for about 5 mins and was fine. He lasted for about a year after that but other dogs on the same protocol lasted about 6 months, hard when they are all individuals.

    Another of my dog had metronomic chemotherapy (small amounts of chemo every day for ever) and she had no side effects until she picked up the main side effect of those drugs which was hemorrhagic cystitus which knocked her about alot. This was for a tumour on her trimenigal nerve in her face - interestingly that never got any worse and was considered one that was not known for spreading, yet 4 months after stopping the chemo we found an 13 x 8cm tumour in her tummy which was what finished her off.

    One thing the vets say with radiotherapy or chemo in dogs in that as they can't consent the radiotherapy and chemo options are alot milder than in humans, so they tend to hold it at bay / knock it back again but likely will not cure it - they will not give the really strong doses like humans get, who can agree to the bad side effects for a hopeful greater end picture.

    Another dog (3 out of 4 of my dogs have had tumours) had a mast cell tumour, and we caught it early as was very noticble as was on a baldy patch on his skin, and he had surgery to remove it, and they got the margins and was graded as a low spread and all been OK since.

    Can you think of a list of questions and have another chat with the oncologist through the options?
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