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symptoms, survival and operation cost

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symptoms, survival and operation cost


Il canine mastocytoma it is a tumor of the skin, which originates from the uncontrolled replication and division of mast cells.

Currently, experts have not yet identified a precise cause; they believe, however, that environmental and genetic/hereditary factors play an important role in the appearance of the neoplasm.

An interesting aspect is that some dog breeds are more at risk.

Generally, mastocytoma appears as a lump, bump, or wart on or just under the skin, with a firm consistency and variable size.

For a correct and accurate diagnosis, a biopsy is essential; other tests – including ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging – allow us to understand whether the tumor has spread to other tissues or organs.

For less aggressive (low-grade) mast cell tumors, surgery is the most appropriate treatment; for medium-high grade tumors, however, surgical therapy may be insufficient (which is why the vet will have to resort to chemotherapy) or even be inapplicable (which is why radiotherapy will also become a therapeutic option).


Mastocytoma in Dogs: what is meant?

Il mastocitoma It’s skin cancer more common in dogs.

Also known as mast cell tumor, canine mast cell tumor is a neoplasm that originates from the mast cellswhich are a class of White blood cells.

This is a serious tumor, which can also cause death of the animal.

Mastocytomas can present as single or multiple masses; 60-70% of dogs that develop it, however, have only one tumor (i.e. a single tumor mass).

In dogs, mastocytomas predominantly affect the skinbut they can also affect other organs including: spleen, liver, intestine and bone marrow.

Is Canine Mastocytoma a malignant tumor?

Canine mastocytoma is always a malignant tumor; However, it is not always a neoplasm that causes disseminated metastases in other organs or tissues.
The ability of a mast cell tumor to metastasize depends on the tumor grade e how long it has been in the development site (due to missed diagnosis and late treatment).

What are mast cells?

Produced since bone marrow and present in many tissues of the bodyi mast cells they are cells of the immune system, belonging to the lineage of White blood cells.

Mast cells release various chemical mediators; among these, it is worth mentioning thehistaminea substance with vasodilatory action which, during the inflammatory response, has the purpose of attracting other immune cells (eosinophils, monocytes, neurotrophils and T lymphocytes) and platelets.

Mast cells, however, are also involved in allergic responses: an exaggerated release of histamine, in fact, is responsible for the so-called anaphylactic reactionwhich is associated with symptoms such as itching, hives, runny nose, watery eyes, in milder cases, and dyspnea, a sense of suffocation, dizziness, in more severe cases.

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In mast cells, histamine is contained in granules located in the cytoplasm; this explains why the process of releasing this mediator is called degranulation.

This review of mast cells and the histamine they contain is important, because, as will be seen later, mast cell tumors can also cause massive degranulation of histamine.

Did you know that…

Mast cells belong to the cellular category of nucleated polyform granulocytes, just like eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils.


How are tumors formed?

Tumors are the result of an accumulation of genetic mutations that are specifically of interest stretches of DNA responsible for the production of growth and division regulatory proteins mobile phone. For example, genes from which proteins are derived that serve to block cell division are involved.
This explains why tumors are cell masses that grow and divide without any control.

What causes Mastocytoma in Dogs?

Mastocytoma in dogs develops as a result of a abnormal division and tumor transformation of the mast cells.

Currently, the precise cause that triggers these processes (anomalous division and tumor transformation) is unknown.

Generally speaking, few tumors arise from a single cause; it is easier, however, for them to have aorigin multifactorial.

In the case of mastocytoma, experts believe that they contribute to the appearance of the neoplasm environmental factors e genetic/hereditary; Unfortunately, however, more detailed information on this matter is not available.

Risk Factors for Mastocytoma in Dogs

Any dog ​​can develop mastocytoma; however, data in the literature say that this tumor is more frequent in breeds:

Boston Terrier;
Bull Terrier;
Labrador Retriever;
Golden Retriever;
Ridgeback rhodesiano.

It should also be noted that another important risk factor is the presence of mutations in the KIT gene, a gene from which a protein involved in cell replication and division derives.

Finally, age also seems to have a certain influence: mastocytoma, in fact, mainly affects middle-aged dogs.

Symptoms and Complications

Mastocytoma in Dogs: how does it manifest itself?

Canine mastocytomas can present as bumps, warts o lumps on or just under the skin; they can also appear as ulcers.

Typically, they are skin masses compact and solitarywhich do not cause particular symptoms.

They may vary in size and color.

Some are a slow growthwhile others a rapid growth; It can also happen that a slow-growing mastocytoma suddenly and for no reason becomes fast-growing.

More aggressive mastocytomas typically appear as large, hairless sores.

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Sometimes, trauma and manipulation can trigger the degranulation process by the mast cells that form the tumor; degranulation can have various consequences:

It can induce swelling e redness local, which alters the appearance of the mastocytoma. It can result in one systemic spread of the substances contained in the granules, which can in turn determine ulcers at the gastric or intestinal level. It can cause a strong allergic reactionlife-threatening.

Below, the article reports what symptoms gastric/intestinal tract ulcers and strong allergic reactions can cause.

Symptoms of gastric/intestinal ulcers

Gastric/intestinal ulcers resulting from cutaneous mast cell tumors typically present with:

Symptoms of allergic reactions

The strong allergic reactions induced by mastocytomas manifest themselves with:

Although rarely, these reactions can also cause the death of the animal.

Complications of Canine Mastocytoma

Some dog mastocytomas can spread to lymph nodesat the spleen et al liver. This in turn can cause a peritoneal effusion which manifests itself as a swollen and rounded belly.


Mastocytoma in Dogs: how to recognize it?

The simple observation of the skin lesion (objective examination) does not allow us to recognize a mastocytoma.

For a safe diagnosis, the biopsythat is, the laboratory analysis of a sample of cells taken from the tumor.

In most cases, sample collection is done via a technique known as fine needle aspiration.

The Laboratory tests under the microscope allow the veterinary pathologist to establish various aspects:

Whether or not it is a tumor; If it is a tumor, what is the stage and grade; If it is a tumor, what is its aggressiveness (it is a characteristic deducible from the stage and grade).

Once the tumor is identified, the veterinarian carries out other diagnostic tests, including test of sentinel lymph node, X-ray, ultrasound, CT/MRIwhich allow us to clarify whether or not the mastocytoma has spread to other organs or tissues of the animal’s body.

Sometimes, your vet may also prescribe a cytological examination; however, biopsy is more helpful and informative.

Did you know that…

A low-grade mastocytoma is a less aggressive tumor, while a high-grade mastocytoma is a very aggressive neoplasm.
Biopsy reveals the grade of mast cell tumors.

How to detect a dog’s mastocytoma?

Mastocytomas might appear as meaningless nodules or bumps; for this reason, especially for owners of breeds at risk, veterinarians recommend periodically observing the evolution of any lesions and, always from time to time, subjecting the animal to specialist visits.


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How to cure Matocytoma in Dogs?

Therapeutic management of canine mastocytoma depends on the grade of the neoplasmin other words from his aggression (remember that the grade is a tumor characteristic identified by biopsy).

For low-grade mastocytomas, the surgical removal represents the most suitable and most successful treatment. Thanks to surgeryIn fact, the probability of these tumors returning is very low.

However, the case of medium-high grade mastocytomas is different: in such circumstances, surgery may not be enough or may not be applicable.
If that’s not enough, the vet must associate her with chemotherapy; if it is not applicable, he must tack on the combination chemotherapy-radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy: what is it?

The chemotherapyinstead, consists of oral or intravenous administration of drugs (so-called chemotherapy) capable of killing all rapidly growing cells, including tumor cells.

Radiotherapy: what is it?

The radiotherapy involves exposing the tumor mass to a specific dose of high-energy ionizing radiation (X-rays), with the aim of destroying the neoplastic cells.

Canine mastocytoma and post-operative recovery

In case of low-grade mast cell tumors, post-surgical recovery (wound healing) requires about 2 weeks; During this time, your vet may prescribe painkillers and the use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from licking the wound.
After the indicated weeks, the animal can return to its normal activities; in the meantime, however, it is necessary to subject it to periodic checks to identify any recurrence (very rare, if the tumor is low grade).

In the case of medium-high grade mast cell tumors, recovery times they’re not that different; however, please note that they are probably needed other treatmentssuch as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
In addition, periodic monitoring of the animal’s condition becomes even more important, since the risk of recurrence is higher.

Mastocytoma in Dogs: cost of the operation

The costs of surgery to remove a dog mast cell tumor can vary from 500 to 1,000 euros.


Mastocytoma in dogs and survival

Dogs with low-grade mastocytomas, operated on promptly, can likely hope to have a normal life expectancy.

High-grade mastocytomas, however, can drastically compromise the survival of the animal, even when subjected to the necessary therapies:

In case of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, life expectancies from diagnosis vary from 10 months to 2 years; Without therapies, the average survival from diagnosis is about 4 months.


Mastocytoma in Dogs: How to Prevent It?

Canine mastocytoma is a tumor that, as long as the causes are unknown, will remain impossible to prevent.

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