Walter, the adorable French Bulldog, was presented to Mallard Point Veterinary Clinic after being relinquished to a local rescue organization. On presentation Walter had a large mass approximating 6cm in diameter on his left front shoulder. The mass was ulcerated, bleeding, and was affecting his overall health.
It was elected to have the mass removed and subsequently biopsied, knowing that due to the size of the mass and its invasive nature it may not be able to be completely excised. Removal was challenging, but little Walter did very well! The mass was subsequently biopsied. While awaiting the biopsy results, Walter found his forever home! Walters new owner was made aware of his condition and the possible outcomes that the biopsy results might bring in as well as potential for complications down the road. The biopsy results revealed that Walters mass was a mast cell tumor.
Mast cell tumors can affect both cats and dogs, and are very aggressive in their nature. Usually, mast cell’s in the body help to defend against parasites, but occasionally things go haywire. It’s when these cells begin to act abnormally that their internal components meant to protect against bodily invaders begin to affect surrounding tissue. More often than not resulting in skin tumors, especially in canines. One of the most common breeds associated with this types of tumors are boxers. Once the tumor is identified, it can than be staged. Staging determines the extent of the tumor throughout the body, and usually requires further diagnostics. Some of these diagnostics include: radiographs, blood work, and possibly aspirations from lymph nodes.
Walter was worked up further, and the remainder of his lab work came back clear. However, as time progressed Walter began to show recurrence of the growth. Since the mass was recurring, Walter referred to an oncologist to pursue additional forms of treatment.
Many different forms of treatment can be performed on mast cell tumors in conjunction with surgery. Some of these options can include radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. Walter was felt to be a good candidate for chemotherapy, which his new owner was willing to pursue
After beginning his treatment, Walter has shown improvement and his mass is in remission at this time. It is always important that any mass or growth your pet may have be checked out and biopsied to determine how serious that growth may be.