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Senguy00

Stage 2 Mast Cell Tumor - Need Advice

16 posts in this topic

Senguy00   

Hi everyone,

My 8 year old dog had a tumor removed from her rear leg. Its a grade 2 mast cell tumor. She had a scan yesterday and they said it didnt look like any major organs were affected. She did however say its a grade 2 and at the higher end. She said if I leave it as is my dog will probably be dead in 6 months. She said with chemo I will get an extra 6-12 months. We kind of decided on oral chemo. While there they found some other small growths. One was another mast cell tumor. She recommended all of these growths be removed and when healed we start chemo.

I love my dog to bits. This year I have had two dogs die, a cat diagnosed wirh renal failure and now this. I dont want my dog to suffer. She hates going to the vet now and she gets very scared. I hate seeing her like that. When we get back home she goes back to her old self again after a short time.

I suppose I just want to get some advise. Should I treat her? Am i just prolonging her suffering? Currently she seems healthy and is showing no signs of il health. She just hates the vet and hates needles. Could she get used to going? Is it going to just keep getting more and more stressful? Im also worried about when I finally do have to get her put tp sleep. I dont want her to be scared and upset. Any advice would be appreciated. I need to make a decision in a day or so.

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Ollie had grade 2 MCT - removal with no clear margins.

It was also in his lymph system.

We did one round of chemo and also treated holistically - supplementing with herbs and vitamins. Changed his diet to as natural a diet as possible.

His dx was 12-18 months with chemo.

He lived 6 years after the initial dx.

Ollie didn't suffer, chemo for dogs, is nothing like chemo for humans - they simply don't give them the doses they give humans because of the costs involved in bone marrow transplants.

Chemo, isn't designed to 'cure' cancer in dogs - it simply buys them more time.

As for hating the vets, you could try desensitising her - take her to the vets and weigh her, get them all to give her a favourite treat and leave. Make it a quick happy visit.

Do this as often as you can - so she doesn't relate going there with bad things.

We gave Ollie his wings back in October 2011. It was quiet, peaceful and our vet gave him an anesthetic that made him go to sleep - we cuddled him and cried for a while and then the vet came back and administered the final injection - he passed while he was asleep in my arms.

It wasn't stressful for him at all - some vets will come to your home to do it, if that makes it easier for all of you.

Only you can make the call to put her to sleep if she is suffering.

Ol got sick a few times with other things - it is always stressful when they are sick.

We made an effort to take him for his usual walks, play games with him (he was 8 years old when dxd) - we didn't change his routine at all (apart from the vet visits)..

Good luck, it is a crappy disease.

I have a thread here with Ollie's story - there are loads of us that have nursed MCT dogs for many years past what the vet and oncologist suggested (they always go by what the books say).

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Senguy00   

Thank you so much for the reply. That is very encouraging and makes me feel much better about moving forward. Can you tell me what diet and suppliments you used?

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puglvr   

Try Robert McDowell's Herbal Medications as a way of supplementing. You can call them and they will advise you.

I am using Mast Cell Remedy and Maratime Bark for my boy who had a low end Grade 2 MCT Tumour removed last November. Clear Margins

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We actually had a holistic vet.

Robert McDowells is fine, if you know what you are doing and what you need.

We used the services of All Natural Vet Care in Sydney - our vet used to liaise with them (by sending our test results) and the oncologist in Brisbane (we are in Canberra)..

We used 1000mg a day Vitamin C (human chewable tablets), fish oil (1000mg a day), Lymphodran, Anti Ox, Five Mushroom Drops (5 drops twice a day), we also had 2 lots of Chinese herb mixtures made up for Ollie.

Diet - all meat was cooked while he was on chemo and after the chemo finished, cheeky lad wouldn't eat raw meat again.

He had yoghurt, cottage cheese, human meat (kangaroo mostly), sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli, carrot etc and I used to cook it all up into a meatloaf.

He also ate fruit.

Each dog is different and our holistic vet suggested the diet for Ollie back then.

There has been some great improvements in available drugs for MCT now as well - Palladia comes to mind.

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Dave73   

I have a GSD that has terminal lung tumours and at the moment no one has given her the memo about the tumours. She is full of energy and is showing no clinical signs. She is fighting Heamangiosarcoma but for 12 months she was in remission when she was diagnosed and after a amputation of her left hind leg we were given 12- 24 months with a full chemo attack 5 injectable sessions then chemo tablets every other day. Since it has gone to her lungs she is on Palladia and the herbs help her tolerate it.

Our girl is the same at SASH she hates it but once in the car she is fine, but she secretly loves the oncologist there.

Our RR had Mast cell grade 1 but he was given 5 years without chemo and only surgery (near his eye) he is 9 months post surgery and is great no signs of recurrence at the site or any organs. Both mine go to All natural vet at Russell Lea and I really think the natural stuff helps with the side effect of the chemo. Also diet is huge no carbs as Mast Cell feeds of it actually all cancers do lots of meat (cooked)beef mince, kangaroo and chicken mince, green leafy veges like Kale, bok choy, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber , sweet potato, red capsicum red kidney beans, Fish oil tablets and dates they help with the red blood cells so the natural vet says.

Edited by Dave73

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cavNrott   

When a dog is having chemo, check with the oncologist before giving Robert McDowell Supplements. Some are contraindicated with chemo meds. I was advised by the oncologist not to supplement my dog with Maritime Pine Bark.

My dog was taking various medications prescribed by the oncologist, one being a chemo tablet. The oncologist advised me not give my dog McDowell supplements while she was taking the chemo tablet.

Always check with the oncologist before giving any supplements.

I'm so sorry to those who have dogs with a malignancy. I know exactly how devastating it is for you.

My dog Sophie's journey is in the palliative care forum in the Unwell Rotties thread. When she was diagnosed she had a very poor prognosis of just 3-5 weeks. With the chemo tablet and various supplements that were ok'd by the oncologist, Sophie lived happily for exactly a year after diagnosis.

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Senguy00   

Thank you for the advise. My poor dog is going in tomorrow to get some other growths removed. One of them is another small mast cell. They will start the chemo about 10 days after the surgery. I have just left a message for my vet to ask about using the supplements while she is on chemo. I am pretty sure she is going to be on Palladia. I was so upset it kind of went over my head. Will double check that. I really appreciate the help I have received here. I will keep everyone posted on how its all going.

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Senguy00   

Hi everyone,

My vet does not seem very interested in suppliments at all. I have been giving her a hight protin diet. My poor dog has kennel cough now... Going in tomorrow to get stitches out. So scared. She has about 6 wounds to have stitches removed. Vet called and said she is negative for the c-kit mutation. Dont know if its good or bad. The plan was to put her on palladia. Will palladia possibly work on a dog which has tested negative to the c-kit mutation???

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Senguy00   

I just don't know what to do. The vet said chemo in IV form would be better (vinblastine) but she hates needles and would need to be sedated and muzzled. I am going to make a decision in a couple of days. At the moment I keep changing my mind back and forth. I don't want to make her scared or uncomfortable but at the same time I don't want her to pass any earlier than necessary. I really hate this situation!

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I just don't know what to do. The vet said chemo in IV form would be better (vinblastine) but she hates needles and would need to be sedated and muzzled. I am going to make a decision in a couple of days. At the moment I keep changing my mind back and forth. I don't want to make her scared or uncomfortable but at the same time I don't want her to pass any earlier than necessary. I really hate this situation!

Do you like the Vet?

Could you consider sitting down with them and talking to them about all of your concerns?

Or do you not feel you have that type of relationship?

Would you consider a 2nd opinion?

What I dont like is that fact you are worrying so much yet not appearing to have the support of the professionals. For a lot of us on this forum, we have had back up & comfort from our Vet.

That has made our path much much easier.

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I just don't know what to do. The vet said chemo in IV form would be better (vinblastine) but she hates needles and would need to be sedated and muzzled. I am going to make a decision in a couple of days. At the moment I keep changing my mind back and forth. I don't want to make her scared or uncomfortable but at the same time I don't want her to pass any earlier than necessary. I really hate this situation!

I understand what you are saying here. I have a dog that is so terrified at the vets that it makes me cry. I dread taking her and I will wait a few days to be sure that she needs to go. I often wonder what I would decide if ever I was in your situation. Not stressing my dog would be very high on my agenda. Personally I find it very difficult coping with her stress, but perhaps that is my issue and is not the way to go.

I really don't have any advice to give. I just wanted to say I appreciate your dilemma. You have to decide what is right for you and that may not be what others would do in your situation.

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kayla1   

Sorry to hear about your girl.

Perhaps consider consulting a specialist oncologist, if you haven't already. An oncologist will be able to provide you with all the relevant info and a plan so that you're not left wondering about what to do.

One of my dogs had major surgery earlier this year to remove a soft tissue sarcoma. The surgery was done at a specialist centre and he stayed there for three nights afterwards. I was so worried about leaving him there because he is very anxious when at the vets, but fortunately all the staff were excellent and he even became good friends with one of the vet nurses. So if you need to take your girl in regularly for treatment, it would be better to go somewhere that you feel comfortable with.

Also you could try asking here

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I just don't know what to do. The vet said chemo in IV form would be better (vinblastine) but she hates needles and would need to be sedated and muzzled. I am going to make a decision in a couple of days. At the moment I keep changing my mind back and forth. I don't want to make her scared or uncomfortable but at the same time I don't want her to pass any earlier than necessary. I really hate this situation!

First, not high protein diet, just low carb (things like rice, grains and cereals need to be removed) - yes this increase the proportion of protein but it doesn't have to be just high protein.

Ollie diet was kangaroo, beef, chicken, fish (fresh and tinned) with carrots, cauli, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, peas, beans, apple, strawberries, watermelon, yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs etc. No grains.

A diet too high in protein can actually be an problem for kidney function - if you aren't sure how to do this, try a commercial grade food like Vets All Natural or BARF patties or a good commercial kibble that is grain free.

A lot of vets are not interested in supplements - not your problem.

See a good holistic vet to work out a supplement plan and ask your vet to fax or email through the test results to either you (so you can pass them on) or directly to the holistic vet - remember, this is your dog and you are paying for the treatment (mine told me directly I was wasting my money - I said, it is mine to waste!)...

Now the vinblastin is not that hard to give. It is given via a drip - the dog stays the day (I used to drop Ol in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon).

They may have to muzzle while they put the canula in but after that, your dog will just lay down at the vets and probably sleep the day away.

Surprisingly dogs do much better when we are not around because we stress, so they pick up on it and then they stress.

I know it is hard but having been exactly where you are, I can tell you that the best thing you can do for your dog and you, is just take a breath because she will be fine at the vets with you not around to worry about her not liking needles etc - she picks up on the way you feel about it.

Ollie had vinblastin every third week for 6 months, it (along with the supplements and diet) let him live 6 years after being diagnosed.

He was MCT grade 2, no clear margins and it was already in his lymph nodes - he was given 12-18 months and he lived 6 years.

It took me a good 6 months to just realise that every time he went down hill was because he was picking up on me and how I was reacting to news and test results.

When I decided to just enjoy each day, take him for a walk every single day, take him to the shop each day, play a game in the back yard with him each day and do the treatments when we had to - it all changed.

Instead of freaking out (and I freaked out a lot), I enjoyed my boy and accepted that he might not be here as long as I want him to but I was going to make every day that he was here, worth it.

Take a breath, enjoy your dog, so she can enjoy her time left with you :)

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Chemo in dogs is not like it is with humans. If you use a vet oncologist wherein they would do all the necessary diagnostic testing they will also know what should be done to avoid any adverse side effects. My dog had no side effects at all with chemo.

As for supplements you should always ask the oncologist prior to giving them anything as some supplements can interfere with chemotherapy.

There is also a trial at Gatton University for Mast Cell Tumour. I do also know that there should be an announcement soon out of NSW on a further trial for this. Not sure on time frame as there is certain procedures that have to be followed so that trials can go ahead and sometimes this takes a while.

Gatton Trial

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