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Hi all. I stumbled on this group while searching for information on MCT. My 7 year old chocolate lab/hound mix (Bonnie Bon Bon) developed a large MCT in her pad of her foot I noticed sunday evening while doing our weekly nail clip. It was not there the previous week (or at least not anywhere near that size) since I check my dogs over thoroughly when I do the weekly clipping/teeth brushing. This is the second MCT diagnosis, the first being January of 2017 on her chest. She had surgery that time and everything came back good - low grade and clear margins - yet here we are again.
This one has me worried. Needle biopsy came back "low grade" but I do not see how we can get clear margins on her foot. My vet says he believes he can but I still have this gut feeling that I cannot shake. She is scheduled for removal surgery 9/28. Nothing is being done in the meantime. All the reading I have done in the past few days there have been dogs on prednizone for shrinking. Ultrasounds to check spleen and elsewhere for spreading. None of these have been mentioned to me. I have another appt. prior to the surgery and I will ask the questions but I would appreciate any input from those who have been through this. She also has a small (pea size) growth on her ribs that we have not tested but will remove as well when we do this surgery. I am worried with several of them now, and my concern of not getting margins on the foot, should I consider amputation?
I am very worried about my girl and want to make sure I am doing what is best for her. I cannot seem to get a photo inserted here of the MCT on her pad but it is attached to her large pad as well as the thin skin between her pads.
I appreciate any and all input - Thank you!
25 April 2007
Bonnie Bon Bon and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need to be approved so post away. I'm in the Tripawds Chat Room right now if you want to stop by. Back here in a sec with some thoughts...
25 April 2007
Mast cell tumors are tricky. They're like playing whack-a-mole! Oftentimes it does lead to amputation, and oftentimes there are many surgeries that happen before, when clean margins aren't obtained.
My main question is: is your vet an oncologist? With mast cell cancer you really want to be sure you're taking the right approach, and vet oncologists are the way to go with this disease. If at all possible please get another opinion from a vet oncology specialist. If you don't know of one, let us know and we can help you located one near you.
In the meantime if you haven't seen this interview with one of the leading specialists in Mast Cell Cancer I encourage you to listen:
and this one from Morris Animal Foundation
Many members here have dealt with it, so stay tuned for feedback from them OK?
Thank you Jerry! I had read the second link but will certainly read the first as well. I am reading everything I can - not sure if that is good or bad! I have an excellent vet I trust but he is not an oncologist. We have a specialty vet hospital with a highly recommended oncologist here in Connecticut so after reading this I have made an appt there for a second opinion next week and we will go from there.
I am hoping someone on here has experience of MCT in the pad/foot
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome.
I'm sorry you are dealing with mast cell cancer but very glad you have decided to see an oncologist. Our oncologist called mast cell the most frustrating cancer she dealt with, she had two Bostons who had multiple MCTs so she also 'walked the walk'.
My first two pugs had multiple MCTs, Maggie lost her left rear leg to her second MCT although it was in her knee not on her foot. Like Bonnie, Maggie had a MCT removed from her side with clean margins and the path report was grade 1. I thought we were done with cancer but not so! You can read Maggie's story and about her amp and treatment if you are interested, the links are in my signature below.
What I know about MCTs is that dogs that have two tend to keep getting them, I don't know the exact stat. It was certainly true in my case, Maggie had tumor recurrence in different spots after her amp and Maggie's little sis Tani had something like 12 MCTs over the course of her lifetime.
Another good reason to see an oncologist- I don't think they can tell the grade of a tumor with a needle aspirate. I was always told that a needle aspirate can tell if there are cancerous mast cells, but only with a biopsy of the tumor can a grade be determined. Also- anytime we did a needle aspirate on a tumor the pugs were put on benadryl and pepcid. Benadryl to help with the allergic type reactions that MCTs can cause and pepcid to protect the stomach. We generally did not do abdominal ultrasounds when removing cutaneous MCTs from Tani as she got older. Honestly I can't remember if it was because of the nature of the tumor or because I declined because I was not pursuing aggressive treatment. We did do US with Maggie before her amp surgery and then every 3 months afterward. This is a good question for the oncologist.
From your description it might be hard to get clean margins on the foot- another good question for the oncologist and maybe a surgeon. I would also have a needle aspirate done by the oncologist when you see them on the lump on her side. Knowing if you have multiple MCTs might change the treatment decisions.
I know Angel Izzy had a MCT between the pads on one foot. Izzy was already a Tripawd due to OSA so amputation was not an option. Here is a link to the posts she started, you might find some helpful info there on the treatments they tried. Amy posts as izzysmomma if you want to send her a PM- I know she would be happy to help.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Thank you Karen!
I am worried about a possible amputation for Bonnie as I am unsure how the rest of her body would handle it. I run a lab rescue and Bonnie was rescued at two years as a feral dog on the streets of GA. She came to me to foster and never left. She had severe atrophy in her left rear leg and a limp. I had xrays done on both hips and legs and it seems she had been hit before, possibly several times. She had three old breaks in the back right leg - one up high in the hip area. The breaks were all "healed" so we worked on water therapy and daily walks to build up the muscle there - assuming some day we may need to do some surgery if it got to the point that it bothered her bad enough. She was on Metacam for a period of time but since the muscle was built back up it rarely bothers her (only if she has excessive play or every once and a while if she lands wrong when she is being a crazy girl and jumping all over with her but down. Except when she goes potty - when she poops she lifts that leg - either out of habit or because it wont bend the way she needs it to (it does not seem to be pain driven). It is the opposite side of her MCT but essentially an amputation could leave her with only two "good" legs. Has anyone had this issue?
Karen, I also am aware that grading cannot be done without a biopsy - another reason I want a second opinion about the treatment plan before we move forward. I do know why cytology said low grade - I am assuming an experienced guess - not something I am willing to be my girls life on! And by low grade is that 1? 2?
Thank you all for your input!
22 February 2013
Just want to add a "welcoming hug" to you. You jave fotten such excellent adcice from Karen and Jerry! And we often refer to Karen as our MCT expert, so you are clearly getting some great information.
Glad youre fetting a second opinion and you jace yiir questions lined up. Izzy's Mom will probably pop on and give you her experience. And we can tell you, Miss Izzy never met a challr she couldn't overcome!! Okay, old age can't be beaten, but we all know that.
We'll watch for your updates!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
PS. Should amputation be the solution, yes, ma y tripawds have had various challenges vefore surgery...arthritis...bad hips...bad knees, etc. The Orthopedic Surgeons all felt they could still do very well as a trilawd...and they did.
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
Just wanted to update everyone. Bonnie went to an oncologist as recommended. She is highly recommended and was very thorough. She recommended a couple of things - 50 mgs of Benedryl twice a day for life in the hopes to shrink the original tumor and possibly help prevent further as she has had four now. She also suggested removal surgery and she also had both surgeons at their practice look at it. They both agreed her outside toe on that foot had to go, as well as most of her large pad and some of the adjacent toe's smaller pad. This is precisely what my vet recommended so we booked surgery. All went well with the surgery (a week ago today) and she is healing well. Monday is our first bandage change and given she is much more herself and wanting to run and play, I am pretty certain it is healing well (I have not seen it yet).
Unfortunately pathology came back today as Grade 2 (was praying for 1!) and "neoplastic cells extend to the submitted proximal and interdigital margins" - so margins are dirty. I am devastated. I have sent the results to the oncologist who will consult with my surgeon as to where to go next. We could take one more toe but he is not sure that would do it and I hate to put her through another immediate surgery if we are going into it unsure (although I know it is all unsure!). I am trying to stay positive but I am a wreck!
I appreciate all of your input!
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