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sweetiesmom09

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Hi.  I brought my approximately 9 1/2 yo rescue dog Blaze (Pit/Shepherd mix) to his regular vet yesterday to investigate a small pea-size lump on his left hip.  He has had it for about a week.  The doctor examined it and said it could be a cyst or even possibly something to do with a hair follicle but could also be a mast cell tumor.  He said it was hard to tell for sure, but that on the favorable side, no hair loss or ulceration had occurred and the lump had not changed in size so far.  Nonetheless he suggested doing a needle aspiration.  We should get the results back early next seek (although he cautioned that a negative result might not be conclusive since it's possible to miss cells on a lump that small).  

Anyway, I want to be prepared in case it's positive, as I know I'll want to move forward with the surgery to have it removed and graded as soon as possible.  My vet seemed very knowledgeable in discussing mast cell tumors and the possible surgery but I'm not sure whether I should be taking Blaze to a specialist right from the beginning if he needs surgery or have my vet do the surgery and wait until we have it graded before going to a specialist.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this or absent that, any thoughts as to whether one vs. the other is better.

Thanks for any help.
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Tankie12

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sorry, it’s news none of us wants to hear. The great thing is it’s small and you’re waiting for results. He’s correct you may get a false negative. When he removes it (if you have him do it)I’m sure he will take a good portion of the surrounding area to retest if your first came back negative. When my girl had chemo for lymphoma it was a opthamoligist that did it. She’s a specialist but not in oncology. Protocol does vary between Vets. I’d read up and find a Veterinary Oncologist in your vicinity and schedule a consultation. You and your Vet are on top of this and doing all you can right now. I wish you the best of luck🐾 ,,,,,
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sweetiesmom09

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks so much for replying.  I've been through cancer with another dog but it was much more straightforward.  No, it's never easy, no matter how it happens.  I'm trying to stay upbeat and hope for the best.  Can I just clarify a few things you said.

It seems like you are suggesting that if you were in my situation, you would have a surgical oncologist remove the lump and surrounding margins.

It also sounds like you are saying even if we get a negative, you would consult with an oncologist and possibly have it removed and tested, rather than watching it for signs of change, as my vet thought we might want to do.  It's a hard decision to make either way, because surgery has its own risks of course, but so does waiting.

I have a neighbor friend whose dog had a mast cell tumor removed a few years ago (turned out to be grade 1 and she is doing great, so there are some happy stories).  I know she was very satisfied with the oncologist she used at Penn, which is near where we live.  I can ask her who she used.  
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Tankie12

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Reply with quote  #4 
It’s such an important matter I don’t want to stear you to much. I’m not a Vet, but I can give you my experience dealing with lymphoma and other non-cancerous tumors. The Vet who’s involved now could easily remove it, I’m sure he’d make large enough margins around it. You have to remove enough surrounding tissue, into the “cancer free” areas, if it is cancer. If the histo comes back negative I’d get it removed anyway. As small as you said, pea size, sedation would be minimal. If your boy is on the laid back side ask if they can remove it with a local. Its a good idea to have that sent out to make sure it was excised with healthy tissue even if you get positive results for cancer. They’ll know for sure if they need to remove more tissue. That’s what our Vet did for Tankie’s sister when she had a growth removed from her gums, as well as her spleen. Tankie’s labs always came back negative although 3 specialists believed it was lymphoma. She had every symptom. She improved with chemo and remained in remission. She did not die from cancer. She was also one of the exceptions.
It’s obvious how devoted you are to Blaze, I’d go to Penn if you have that choice. Best wishes for Blaze and you!❣️,,,,,

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sweetiesmom09

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you so much.  Your advice based on your experience is good and I will certainly take it all into account when I speak to the vet next week.  Blaze is pretty laid back and he loves going to the vet.  He's so friendly and he loves all the attention he gets.  He waited over a year to be adopted and I think he's making up for that time by trying to make friends with everyone he comes in contact with.  I just want to do the right thing to give him the best chance of getting through this.  Thanks again.  I'll post next week and let you know what the results were.
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Tankie12

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Reply with quote  #6 
By the way, he’s very handsome❣️,,,,,
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sweetiesmom09

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks.  If you are referring to the picture under my name, that's actually the other dog that I had who died of cancer back in 2012, Sweetie.  She was a really beautiful Akita mix and truly one of the most amazing dogs I've ever had (and I've had many).  I'll have to figure out how to post a picture of Blaze.  He is quite handsome, but that's not him.

Thanks again for your words of advice and support.
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