Mast Cell Tumour, Chemotherapy & one confused & anxious mum

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Mast Cell Tumour, Chemotherapy & one confused & anxious mum

This is a discussion on Mast Cell Tumour, Chemotherapy & one confused & anxious mum within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi Everyone, I have a 7yr old Lhasa Apso cross Chihuahua called Tia. I'll try & give you a short version of my story but ...

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Old 02-17-2016, 03:20 AM
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Unhappy Mast Cell Tumour, Chemotherapy & one confused & anxious mum

Hi Everyone,

I have a 7yr old Lhasa Apso cross Chihuahua called Tia. I'll try & give you a short version of my story but will post the link for a longer version at the end.

September last year I took her to the vet & discussed a lump on her leg I was concerned about. The Veterinarian basically told me it was nothing to worry about, it would grow, but it would be fine.

Cut to January this year & after no longer feeling comfortable about it's growing & overall look, I took her to another vet for a second opinion. The tumour was completely excised but with very narrow margins. They graded it to a level 3 (the highest).

This has been an incredibly difficult time for me as I love my dog like a child & she brings such irreplaceable joy to my life.

Through this process I have dealt with 3 different vets which has been exhausting. I just wish someone would give me a clear answer. I'm sick of thinking that things are quite positive only to keep being knocked down. In saying that though, I have an appointment with the vet that excised Tia's tumour to go through his thoughts on further treatment, prognosis etc. Besides this tumour, she is otherwise in very good health & she is still playing & carrying on like normal, so fingers crossed I finally hear some good news from the Vet this Friday.

In the meantime, I have a few questions as this has been a very difficult & confusing time for me.

1. Has anyone ever had a dog with a grade 3 Mast Cell Tumour? More specifically, one that had the tumour excised, with narrow margins & no metastases? What was the prognosis?

2. Did you decide to put your dog through Chemotherapy? How much more time did that give you until they succumbed to their illness?

3. How do you get through the heartache of losing your beloved pet? I can't even fathom that concept at the moment. Tia is my first pet so I've never had to deal with that loss yet. She is/has been such a big part of my life, that every time I imagine her not being in it, I just bawl my eyes out constantly.

4. Does anyone have any ideas on how to raise money to help for the cost of treatment?

We were given a cost of $6000 for the Chemotherapy & $600 a month for pills there after. We were hoping that the vet that misdiagnosed her would help us with the cost of her treatment but were told yesterday that they have decided not to help us.

Thanks in advance for any help you provide or questions you answer. Also, not sure whether it makes any difference but I'm located in Brisbane, Australia.

Last edited by QuestsMom; 02-18-2016 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Removed fundraising
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:53 PM
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Fundraising on this site is not allowed.

For myself, I would not put a dog through chemotherapy. I think it's quite cruel knowing what humans go through and doing it to a dog. Except for maybe an infant you can work with a human to tell them what they are going through, etc. I've watch humans deal with chemotherepy and it's just nasty stuff. I love my dog way too much to put her through that and not be able to "explain" the reason why she's in such pain and suffering.

Best of luck, hopefully the tumor is not cancer.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:53 PM
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Dogs don't all react badly to chemo. Depends on the drug, the type of cancer and the dosage.

Yep, fund raising is not allowed here. I hope everything works out for you and your dog.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:03 AM
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Did the first vet do an exray?
why did he not discover the tumor?

I'm asking because our vet did an exray and said there was nothing wrong with the lump on the leg
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:16 AM
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Grade 3 mast cell tumors have a relative poor prognosis as far as curing them is concerned, though there are way many worse tumors your dog can have. Size is somewhat important (grade 3 mast cell tumors can sometimes be enormous), and if they were able to remove the whole thing, that is at least a good start (wide margins are always better, but not always possible). 95% of the mast cell tumors I have seen were grade 2. Grade 1s are very rare and I have seen only 1 or 2 of those in all my life... grade 3s a somewhat rare, too, but way more common than grade 1s in my experience.

Mast cell tumors usually spread to the spleen, though can to the liver as well... either way, radiographs, though always recommended with cancers, rarely pick up anything with mast cell tumors.

If you can afford chemo, and the tumor has already been excised, I would recommend it.. as someone already mentioned, most dogs do very well with chemo with few getting very ill if at all. I would have to look up how successful chemo is with this particularly form of cancer, but I think there is definitely hope. Cost to me sounds about right.

Good luck with it all.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:09 PM
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Each dog, like each human, react differently to any treatment, including chemo. Your dog may have a very light and manageable reaction to chemo, if she needs it. If she were mine, I would definitely go for whatever treatment she needed and continuously re-evaluate. If it got to the point that there was no quality of life, then there would be some difficult decisions to make, but you are not at, and hopefully wont ever reach that bridge.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for your responses.

Yes the tumour was completely excised with very narrow margins, however he also cauterised the area inside in case there were any tumour cells in the surrounding tissue. The tumour was located just above her ankle so it was too difficult to take wider margins.

When I took her to the oncologist a couple of weeks ago, she did an xray, ultrasound of her liver & spleen, aspirated the spleen & aspirated the draining lymph node behind her knee & it seems that it has not spread, although she said there were a couple of mast cells in the lymph node, which she said were normal & only a problem when there is multiple bunched together?

Either way, when I took her to the Vet that excised it last Friday, he was quite happy with her progress & her wound has healed quite nicely. He seems to be more optimistic about her prognosis & has recommended that we start her on Palladia as precaution.

Has anyone had any experiences with Palladia before? Did you find it to be quite beneficial?

Thanks,
Dani
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lzrddr View Post
Grade 3 mast cell tumors have a relative poor prognosis as far as curing them is concerned, though there are way many worse tumors your dog can have. Size is somewhat important (grade 3 mast cell tumors can sometimes be enormous), and if they were able to remove the whole thing, that is at least a good start (wide margins are always better, but not always possible). 95% of the mast cell tumors I have seen were grade 2. Grade 1s are very rare and I have seen only 1 or 2 of those in all my life... grade 3s a somewhat rare, too, but way more common than grade 1s in my experience.

Mast cell tumors usually spread to the spleen, though can to the liver as well... either way, radiographs, though always recommended with cancers, rarely pick up anything with mast cell tumors.

If you can afford chemo, and the tumor has already been excised, I would recommend it.. as someone already mentioned, most dogs do very well with chemo with few getting very ill if at all. I would have to look up how successful chemo is with this particularly form of cancer, but I think there is definitely hope. Cost to me sounds about right.

Good luck with it all.

Hi, thanks for your response! I did a general reply to everyone on the post but do you know much about Palladia?
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:24 AM
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Cancer

Hi! I've read the postings on this forum in the past but have never registered to be allowed to post anything. I just enjoy reading about dogs, issues, answers, etc. However, your post caused me to go through the process of being allowed to say something here - your issue is personal to me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer, just over a year ago. I had the tumor out and then refused any conventional care. There is much more success and good health with alternative care. Your baby needs Vitamin C, the best diet you can afford (I cook brown rice, carrots, and ground turkey every week for my two beagle's breakfast) and some other immune boosting therapies. But Vitamin C is the biggest factor. Cancer cannot live in oxygenated tissue. Vitamin C provides lots of oxygen. I would grind several morning, noon and night and add to the food for a couple of weeks. This will probably cause a little diarrhea so then something with fiber will need to be added to help with that. There is a book, "The Nature of Animal Healing" by Martin Goldstein and chapter 8 is all about cancer. Cancer is not the "boogey man" it has been made out to be. I am cancer free and I basically ate my way out of it. This after my surgeon wanted to lob off both of my breasts etc. Chemo does the opposite of what your dog needs. It will further diminish his immune system. You need to boost the immune system and then his body will take care of the free radicals causing the cancer. The liver needs to be made healthy. Essiac tea (comes from Native Americans in Canada and info suppressed about it in the U.S. because it is so successful!) is available on the internet. Flor-Essence is one of the names it is sold under. Great product, probably saved my life. Don't do chemo! Read the book. Your baby will be fine. I've been there. Just use common sense and take a leap of faith. Oh, and this will cost a small fraction compared to what you've been advised to do. Praying all turns out well.
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