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Discussion Starter #1
My 6 1/2 yr old female boxer mix recently had a small ( pea size ) lump removed from her side that turned out to be a mast cell tumor.   When the surgery was scheduled it was felt to be a minor procedure involving removal of a cyst.  However, when the area was being prepped for surgery the lump was aspirated and the vet was able to indentify that it was most likely a mast cell tumor and she removed a wide margin around the lump.  The pathologists report indicated that it was a Grade 2 tumor but reported that all of the margins were clean.  Just to be cautious, the vet prescribed a regimen of prednisone and benedryl for 30 days.  This has been completed and I am now in the process of weaning her off of the prednisone.  

I have two questions.  First,  in a case such as this,  do you think that the 30 day regimen is long enough?  I have seen some articles on the internet that recommend 6 months.  Second, I am wondering what type of diet would be best now that she has a history of mast cell tumor?  

Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Sorry about what you are going through right now with your girl. I don't know about the prednisone question. I never had a dog on that. I'm sure someone else will have a better idea on that.
As far as the diet, I would avoid all foods with artificial preservatives, like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin which have been linked to cancers.
I hope your girls prognosis is a good one and that she comes through this just fine. Please keep us updated.  :wink:
 

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[quote="tootsie\";p=\"18122":311ynq89]As far as the diet, I would avoid all foods with artificial preservatives, like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin which have been linked to cancers.
I hope your girls prognosis is a good one and that she comes through this just fine. Please keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the well wishes and advice.  I was devastated when I got the call from the vet tech during the surgery to prepare us.  Not to mention when we picked her up and saw the incision.  Her incision was 7 inches long with 15 staples and a drain hanging out of each end.   We slept on the floor with her for 3 weeks to keep her from jumping up on the bed and to make sure that she didn't get too active.   She goes in tomorrow to have the last of the staples removed.  So far so good.  

We have a little brindle boy that we got from rescue a year ago.  He's about 2 1/2.  He loves Dixie and seemed to understand that he can't be rough with her for now.  He has been so gentle and looks at her with his worried face.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The pred is 20 mg.  She was on 2 daily for 30 days, then one daily for 7 days and now 1 daily every other day for the last week.  3 more tabs to go and we will be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Advice Re Mast Cell Tumor - Update on Dixie

Well here's the latest on Dixie.  The last of the staples were removed yesterday and the last scab in the middle of the incision fell off.  Under the scab is an area where one of the underlying stitches worked through.  It's dry and does not appear irritated but looks funny.  Just a little piece of blue thread sticking up.  The vet said to watch it in case it starts to break down around it but that it would likely dissolve without any problem.  

During the last couple of weeks I noticed a small bump on her right shoulder.  The vet said it looks like a skin tag and she isn't too concerned about it.  Said just to watch it.  I want it removed but she prefers to wait and not disturb it since Dixie still has prednisone in her system and we should observe it further for any changes, growth, etc.  So I will watch it and worry.  

Otherwise she is doing great.  Energy level normal and back to all of her tricks and sassiness.

I will try to post some pics of Dixie and her brother Champ.  He has been sooooooooooooo  good through Dixie's ordeal.  He knew immediately when we brought her home that the rough play was over for a while.   We rescued him a year ago and think he's about 2 1/2.   He's been so good for Dixie who is very VERY spoiled.  

Sorry this is so long.
 

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Try not to worry to much.....There are many skin tags, moles and warts that are not anything at all.  As dogs grow older they will get more and more of them.

I am glad she is doing better.  :D
 

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So glad to hear she is doing better.  Champ sounds like such a good dog; can't wait to see pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just an update on Dixie.   Her incision is now fully healed and the thread/stitch that had worked through and was sticking out finally dissolved and dropped off.   Looks like she will be left with a little pucker on each end of her incision due to the large amount of tissue that was removed and she may have a little bald spot right in the middle where the hair won't grow back close enough to cover it.  This is the spot that pulled open a bit and the last spot to heal.  Overall I'm really pleased with her progress thus far.  

To date there has been no change in the "skin tag" discovered on her shoulder.  I am watching that very closely and check both of my furbabies daily now for lumps, bumps, or anything.  

I still feel that the "skin tag" needs to be removed.  I do agree with the vet that as long as there are no changes we can wait a while. So I watch it and will wait until the pred is out of her system for a while.  

Now that she is well and off of medications I am changing their diet over to Canidae All Life Stages based on recommendations seen on this site and follow up research on the internet.  This is a much higher quality food than what I was feeding....due to my ignorance.

I'm still trying to figure out how to shrink my photos so I can post pics of Dixie and Champ for all to see.  Also, how to create a signature and add an avator.   As soon as I can get it figured out I'll post some pics.

Thanks again to all for the feedback and encouragement.

Hugs to all!!
 

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Great news, glad to hear that Dixie is doing well. Give that sweetheart a hug for me. Good choice on food by the way.  :)
 

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So glad to hear the good news.
 

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Listen, Lucy, I really wouldn't be too hard on yourself about being "ignorant" about the type of food you were giving her.  There is such a huge amount of food out there (and particularly in the US, from what I gather) that it is so hard to know whether your food is good or bad unless you get advice from someone else.  I was feeding Tink Hill's Science Plan, which I thought was a really, really, good food until people here pointed me towards better ones.  And then even within the good foods it can be really hard to find one that agrees with your dog and that they'll do well on.

I think everyone here will agree that food is one of the hardest things to get right, and we all know that no-one is being wilfully harmful to their dog by feeding something that mightn't be so brilliant.  Don't be so hard on yourself!
 

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Glad to hear Dixie is feeling better. Try not to worry too much about the new skintag. I know that's a lot easier said than done. I had 4 lumps and tags taken off of Buster at one time and they were all benign. Just keep a close watch on it.
Relax and have fun with Dixie and Champ, life is too short to worry all the time!  :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello All,

Dixie is doing really well.  Her incision is completely healed and she is actually very proud of her "bo bo" and quite willing to display it to anyone who wants to take a look.    Here's a picture of her showing it off.

So far so good on the skin tag.  No changes since I first found it so still in the watch and wait stage.  I am still feeling like I would rather have it removed but will defer to the advice of my vet for now.

Thanks again for the advice, encouragement and well wishes for Dixie.
 

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The incision looks like it healed really well.  Gald you are doing better Dixie.
 

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Looks like she's smiling at her "battle scar"....Glad to hear that Dixie is doing well. Keep us posted on her progress, she's such a sweetheart....
 

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So glad to hear that your girl is doing well and she is lucky to have such a devoted mom to look after her.
 
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