Namaste! Well, we took the dogs in for their yearly. I had noticed what I thought was a bug bite on Mali’s side and decide to ask the vet about it. She took a look and decided to do a quick needle aspirate on it. A few minutes later she came back with the news that it was a Mast cell tumor. She sent us home with a script for prednisone and a date for surgery.
Our tummies were all fluttery, but we took solace in the fact that we caught this early and it is a fairly treatable cancer. We started Mali on the drug right away. Within two days it had shrunk to almost non-existence! Hoorah!
As anyone who has ever gotten short term prednisone knows, there is a taper period where you decrease the dose. We were two days into the dose reduction when it started coming back, seemingly more aggressively than before. We got in contact with the vet and she had us change the dose back for the higher amount. After several days of it not reducing the tumor size we moved the surgery date up.
The surgical treatment of mast cell tumors is fairly straightforward – scorched earth. Cut out as much surrounding tissue as possible to get nice clear, cancer-free margins. So, this is what we got from a tumor that was about the width of my finger!
The pathology report came back and said the the bottom margin, toward the rib cage, has a really small margin, but the rest look clear. We can only hope that there isn’t a recurrance.
Getting her home post-surgery and staying up to comfort her was a whole other story that I think I will save for another time. This whole experience has reinforced the idea that we have to remember that although they may not understand sometimes, our fur babies look to us for comfort when they are in pain.