Nike is a Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) Survivor 🐕 !

3 months ago he had a large 😣 painful lump on his knee ! Ultrasound revealed that Nike’s tumor was spreading to his lymph nodes & removing his leg was not appropriate treatment.

We referred Nike to Dr. Villamil a 🐶 Oncologist at Pet Cancer Group & he helped save Nike’s life !

Mast cells are a type of cell found throughout the body but particularly in the skin, subcutaneous tissue, liver, lungs, & digestive tract. Mast cells normally play a role in the body’s response to inflammation & allergens. A mast cell tumor (MCT) is a cancer that arises from mast cells. The most common site for mast cell tumors in dogs is the skin.

MCT’s are a very common skin tumor found in dogs. MCT’s are relatively uncommon in cats & are very rare in humans. They typically occur in older dogs but can be identified in dogs as young as 3 months of age. Male & female dogs are affected equally. Certain breeds of dogs like Boxers, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Pit Bull Terriers, Weimaraners, & Rhodesian Ridgebacks are more likely to develop mast cell tumors.

Unfortunately, mast cell tumors do not have a characteristic form. Their appearance can vary greatly & they can be big, small, firm, soft, raised, flat, covered with hair or ulcerated. They can be found anywhere on the skin’s surface: on a leg, the chest, head, or abdomen. An interesting feature of MCT is how they can quickly fluctuate in size. MCT’s can suddenly get smaller & then abruptly enlarge.

If you notice a new lump, bump, or ulcerated lesion on your pet have your veterinarian examine them as soon as possible! Since MCT do not have a characteristic appearance or texture the only way to accurately diagnose a MCT is by sampling the tumor. Because benign & cancerous skin lumps can appear similar, skin lumps should be sampled with a needle (aspiration) & cells examined under a microscope (cytology) to determine their significance. This procedure is easy, quick & well tolerated by most pets.