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mast cell tumor stage 3

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mast cell tumor stage 3
  • Hello, I'm new here. I need some help on what to do about my dog, she is a english cocker spaniel, age 10, her name is Matilda. I brought her to the vet 2 weeks ago because she had what looked to be a boil on her belly. when the vet saw her he said it was a tumor that had to be removed. so we scheduled surgury to have it removed, once it was removed it was going to the patholoist to see if it was cancer. the surgery went well, she was back to her old self again within 2 days, until i get the dreaded phone call from the doctor himself,saying that is was a mast cell tumor stage 3. my heart sunk! he referred me to an ongolist, but i can not afford chemo or radiation at this time.he said she would only live up to 6 months without treatment. so i did some research on this type of cancer. alot of websites say to switch to a no grain diet and fish oil, or flax seed oil. they all state that there better for dogs with cancer. I was wondering if anyone here has tried these on there dogs and if it was succesful in keeping your dog healthy.I would be grateful for any information that you have on this type of cancer. I'm totally clueless. Thanks...Paula

  • I'm really sorry about Matilda's diagnosis of cancer. It's the absolute worst phone call you could ever imagine, so my thoughts are with both of you. There is quite a bit of information on cancer diets out there and one of our members (Callie) knows more about the specifics. To be honest, I think that anything we can do to be proactive is helpful for us and for our dogs, so I'd definitely give it a try. Was your vet able to give you a prognosis of how much time chemo and/or radiation would buy for Matilda? Sometimes if it's in the advanced stages, it really won't help that much. We lost our lab to nasal cancer, so I know how scary and heartbreaking this is, but there are a lot of supportive folks on this forum to help you along.

  • Hi Paula. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. My dog was recently diagnosed with a Nerve Sheath tumor so I know how devastating this kind of news is.  If you google Cancer Diet Canine you should find a homemade diet that was recommended to me. It is basically ground beef, liver, rice with some additives - low carbs, high protein. If you search my posts you will find a link and some great advice from a member named Callie. I'm sure she will post on your thread once she sees it.

    You and your dog are in my prayers.

  •  Hi -- I had an English cocker who had cancer -- actually there is a whole LOT you can do, but yes, first do a cancer diet.

    Essentially a cancer diet generally has NO grain carbs.  Grain carbs feed cancer and help it grow.  So you can use veggies (either pureed or cooked and mashed -- which is what I do for MY dogs) and meat.  Sweet veg like sweet potato are different than grains -- it's the particular kind of carb that is the problem and grain carbs are the ones that feed cancer.

    Orange veggies and cruciates like broccoli are high in anti-oxidants and will help the body fight back.

    If you will email me (right across from my name where you see the post you'll see a button "contact" -- click it and  choose "email" -- I can't attach anything to a PM and what I'll send you is an attachment) I will send you Dr. Clemmon's cancer diet that he gave me for my cocker.

     Also -- the thing you truly might STRONGLY consider is TCVM.  Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.  If you go to http://www.tcvm.com (it's not letting me "Make" a link for some reason) -- on the left side is a locator that will help you find someone near you who does TCVM.

    Acupuncture and Chinese herbals can help enormously in helping cancer not grow -- Back when we had Muffin he had a mast cell right under the prepuce area and they couldn't get enough tissue TO get "clear margins".  So we did chemo -- the TCVM even helped with that -- unbelievably lhe didn't have bad side effects or anything.

    However -- what I wasn't prepared for was the fact that the TCVM just plain helped the cancer not grow - it was amazing.  Between the cancer diet AND the Chinese herbs they really help control mast cell. 

    Realize -- Stage 3 sounds HORRIBLE.  But we ALL have Stage 1 mast cell in our bodies!! YES WE DO!!!  At Stage 1 they aren't even cancer.  Stage 2 is "beginning" and Stage 3 is more advanced.  But it *sounds* like you missed the first two entirely and you didn't. 

    The Chinese herbs are not nearly as expensive (no testing -- they have a whole different way of treating).  Essentially the Chinese word FOR cancer is "stagnant blood" -- so it's their theory that if you keep the blood moving properly thru the body and use acupuncture to help move the energy thru the body (what the Chinese call "chi" -- say cheee) you can help the body help itself.

    That and doing a cancer diet can really truly help SO MUCH.  I know exactly how blown away you are.  And let me say that Muffin did NOT die of cancer.  We did do chemo and frankly we did it too long and the chemo damaged his kidneys.  We discovered MONTHS later that the tumor we originally found on the prepuce wasn't even the primary tumor (the originating one) -- but rather it was a TOE (yep, his entire toe was a tumor).  But all the Chinese herbs, the acupuncture and even the chemo literally almost got rid of all the cancer even in that primary one (when we found it they removed it but frankly could barely even find cancer cells in it at all).

    That's when I finally realized that the TCVM had done SO MUCH.  Muffin lived over 2 years and 1/2 beyond finding that first tumor and like I said, I lost him to renal failure (which was the fault of the chemo NOT anything else). 

    Mast cell spread like wildfire otherwise -- so even if you start tomorrow on a cancer diet and then see if you can get her to a TCVM vet to help with herbs and acupuncture it will help a great deal  and it's not nearly as expensive as something like chemo or radiation. (and btw -- if this is on Matilda's belly you probablyl can't do radiation anyway -- too many organs exposed)

    Email me and I'll help you all I can.  In fact, I'll send you my phone number and we can chat if you want.  I know EXACTLY how you feel --

    Don't know why but this is still my alltime favorite Muffin the Intrepid picture.

  • Thanks so much, My vet said she would have about 1-2 yrs with treament, but he couldnt be sure, he said I would have to talk to the oncologist.


  • Hi Paula,

    Let me be very clear about cancer in dogs..... you can not cure it. You can cut it out and pray for zero remission and that nothing had already started in another part of the body but Cancer is cancer. Not what you wanted to hear right ? But it does not help to have folks BS you , it really does not....

    Now that the worst thing you can hear is out of the way let me follow up with this.  Some cancers are waaay worse than others. I lost a beloved male at 12 to liver cancer ten days after it was found. He went down hill quickly, unable to rebound, unable to try ... there had been Zero signs prior to diagnosis, no lumps , bumps or weakness...then one morning he refused food. Ridgebacks in my 30 years have NEVER refused food. We rushed him to a vet, ( we were out of state.... and there it was) ...we had the rest of our trip with him and on our way home had family meet us for the grandkids...we went to the vet and eased him acrossed. The pain was enormous. I tried to learn everything  I could and contacted specialists , oncologists and holistic therapists.... His mate, my Soul Puppy, Jasmine, lived almost 2.5 years after a really odd cancer developed on her...we went grain free and YES that makes a huge difference, Zero wheat, rice and corn... (Potato and oatmeal are Okay ) Both of my dog's cancers were really unusual. thought to be more environmental than genetic they crushed my world.

    We have been in our breed for 30 years . In that time there have been 3 dogs , pups we bred , with grade 2 mast cells. All three had them removed. One had chemo and radiation ( yes his momma is very wealthy) but he is the ONLY one who has had a reassurance. When we talked, at length I told her at 9.5 years IF he was mine I would not even opt for additional surgery.  Quality of life is far more important than worry over lumpy and bumpy dogs :0}    he is living the life of Riley in NYC... a litter mate was diagnosed, grade two and it was removed , zero reassurance. His oldest brother a boy just turned 11 was just diagnosed with mast cell grade 2 .  IT was bizarre a great breeding ( actually a repeat breeding) and of the 28, puppies 3 developed mast cell...the rest have been great. ( And yes I would know, we paid for the vet checks to assure they were healthy and fine.)

    The thing about Mast Cells, they were once thought to be a total death sentence.... not so much any more. In younger dogs it is a Huge worry. In older dog's  it is more about quality..... as long as it is not in a place where the dog will have problems eating or pottying leave them alone.   It can be a signal that we would rather ignore but we can instead use to prepare ourselves...  They do not rupture or erode, they can get bigger but changing her diet and spending time with her is far more useful than the radiation and chemo.  We stress the need to dose the dog with a large Benedryl dose before aspiration or manipulation/removal.  Most vets now do this as the benedryl is believed to inhibit the release of histamines from the tumors.

    When my girl was diagnosed I refused to freak out.  Her cancer was disfiguring and she was a proud show champion of great grace and elegance. I promised her I would do everything I could but when the time came she could count on me.  then I prayed that I could follow through.

    I did.

    I took thousands of pictures and we continued to be inseparable.  We had over 2 years.  She had several surgeries even though she was older but her tumor was positioned where it was necessary for her comfort.  She never spent a night away. We were together .

    That is what will always count. Please keep in touch...this list will help you more than you can imagine.

    Bonita of Bwana

    pictures of my fur kids can be found on my profile



  • aw hes so cute, thanks for all the info, i will contact you soon~Paula

  •  Hi, Paula.  First off, I just wanted to let you know that I'm so sorry to read about your dog's diagnosis.  I have two dogs that have history of mast cell tumors, so I can relate to what you're going through.  With our one pug we just had the tumors completely excised with clean margins as they popped up and she lived a perfectly normal life and ultimately died of something unrelated.  Hers were all grade II tumors.  With our other dog, he had one fairly large Grade II mast cell tumor under the skin in his groin that was incompletely removed (i.e. dirty margins) so he had one month of radiation therapy.  He was very young when diagnosed (just 1 year old), but that was almost 6 years ago and he has not had any recurrence of that tumor or any new ones since. 

     As far as cancer goes -- while it's all bad, mast cell tumors are actually a type of cancer that can have a decent progosis.  Also some of the treatments for mast cell tumors can be curative like in my dog's case who is now 6 years post treatment.   What I can tell you from my experience is that there's a great deal of difference between a Grade III mast cell tumor and a Stage III mast cell tumor.  You had indicated in your post that your dog's tumor was stage III, but did not say anything about grade.  Grade is very predictive of tumor behavior (i.e. how aggressive the cancer is) and also of long-term survival.  Grade III tumors are the most aggressive (they are graded on a scale of 1 - 3) and tend to have a very poor prognosis regardless of the treatment that you choose.  Stage III means that there were multiple large and or deep tumors with or without lymph node involvement.   Stage III tumors can often be treated pretty successfully for a fairly long time with medication.  I understand that you don't have the funds to pay for chemo. or radiation right now.  I totally understand because it can be very expensive.  However, prednisone is a fairly inexpensive drug that can be used to control mast cell tumors for a considerable amount of time.  It's not considered chemo, per se, but has a similar effect on the cancer.  You might want to talk to your vet about that option.  However, before you do any of that, I would suggest that you find out both the tumor Grade and Stage, because this will determine your dog's prognosis with and without treatment.

     I wish you the best of luck through all of this.  I know just how scary it can be.  Please keep us posted.  

  • Hi Paula,

    Get some Cansema Black Salve right away. Order it immediately. Read all about it on the website. It works very well, and is a miracle. Have an open mind about holistic options, and put it on your dogs tumor, (or where the tumor was) and it will remove any underlying cancer in the spot.  Please order it as quickly as possible, as it seems like time is of the essence.  This is a wonderful and all natural product, and it WORKS!   Good luck with your baby.   Take Care.

  • Hi Bonita,

     In younger dogs it is a Huge worry. In older dog's  it is more about quality..... as long as it is not in a place where the dog will have problems eating or pottying leave them alone.  

    I read your email message to Paula, regarding her dogs Mast Cell Tumor Stage 3, and was wondering how come it is huge worry.  I have a 1 year old boxer that may have stage 1, and I am very worried after reading these messages.