Treatments for Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs
Mast cell tumors in dogs are unfortunately common. A form of cancer, the impact it has on a dog can range from slight discomfort to a shortened life expectancy. To help you better understand mast cell tumors, we will be discussing what it is, common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Plus learn about the potential use of hemp oil for dogs with mast cell tumors.
What is a Mast Cell Tumor?
A mast cell tumor consists of a type of white blood cells known as mast cells. These tumors often form nodules or masses in the skin. They can also form in other areas of the body, such as the spleen, liver, intestine, and bone marrow. Mast cell tumors in dogs are surprisingly common. They account for 20 percent of all tumors in dogs. The underlying cause of these tumors is unknown, but they can arise from any skin spot on the body. Also, mast cell tumors occur in some dog breeds more than others. This includes Boxers, Bull Terriers, Boston Terriers, and Labrador Retrievers.
Long before your dog is diagnosed with a mast cell tumor, they are likely to exhibit symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes – Most easily detected around the jaw, shoulders, armpits, and behind the legs.
- Lumps & bumps – Once a month feel all over your dog’s body for any abnormal lumps or bumps. Check for lumps or bumps that appear suddenly. They can be big or small and can rapidly change in size.
- Lesions – Can vary in appearance and can involve the skin or subcutaneous tissue. Look for redness, bruising, and fluid build-up.
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic weight loss or gain
Aside from knowing these symptoms, it is key that you take your dog to the vet for regular wellness exams. Acknowledging symptoms of a mast cell tumor is essential for early detection. The sooner it is caught, the sooner treatment can begin and the more likely treatment is to be successful.
Diagnosing a Mast Cell Tumor
If the veterinarian thinks that a dog has a mast cell tumor they will have to confirm it. To diagnose it, they will conduct a variety of tests. This may include blood and urine samples, an abdominal ultrasound, chest radiographs, biopsies, and more. These tests will help provide a clear picture of the presence of a mast cell tumor and how severe it is. Specifically, whether the mast cell tumor is confined to one area or has spread to multiple areas throughout the body. With this information, a vet can determine a prognosis for the animal and come up with an individual treatment plan.
Treatment Options for Dogs with Mast Cell Tumors
The treatment options available for a dog with mast cell tumors will depend on the tumor grade.
Low-grade mast cell tumor.
Low-grade mast cell tumors in dogs can often be cured when removed completely with surgery. If a tumor is unable to be completely removed, it can also be treated with radiation therapy. The survival rates for a dog with a mast cell tumor is very high.
Mast cell tumors that have spread to local lymph nodes.
If a mast cell tumor has spread to local lymph nodes, they are often treated with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Prognosis with this diagnosis is still good.
High-grade mast cell tumor.
A high-grade mast cell tumor is when the tumors have spread to multiple areas of the body. Although survivable, the prognosis for a dog with diagnosis is guarded. Treatment usually entails surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Even with treatment, a dog may only survive for weeks to a few months.
For many pet owners whose pet has been diagnosed with a mast cell tumor, a large concern is pain or discomfort. Although the tumors themselves are not typically painful, the treatment methods used can be. Hemp oil for dogs is a natural way to boost overall wellness and to support a variety of systems throughout the body. At Frenchie Fries Co. we strive to deliver the very best via our hemp oils and chews. THC-free, all-natural and made with whole-plant hemp, we ensure the highest quality product. Specially formulated to support a better life for your pet, you’ll love these tasty treats as much as they do! Check out our products today and be sure to visit our blog for other helpful information.