Damn Cell Damage.

I've had a little bit of personal drama that has consumed my mind lately.  Riding feels almost like an afterthought, though it's still happening on the regular and both boys have been pretty good.



One of the things that is consuming me is my eldest dog, Scarlette.  When the hubs and I woke up on Wednesday, he noticed that there was blood on the bedroom floor.  I did a quick exam on all three girls and found what appeared to be a hot spot on Scarlette, on her left hind.  I didn't think more of it than that she needed to be clipped, cleaned, and prescribed something from the vet.  It did strike me as odd, though, since she's currently taking a low dose of Apoquel, which is a medication for allergies.  Shouldn't itch if you can't feel the itch.



The vet squeezed her in later that day.  When I showed the spot to the tech, she was immediately alarmed more than a hot spot warranted.  Had I actually touched the spot?  Nope.  Under the blood was a hard mass.  She has a fatty lipoma on her right hip, which is soft and rather malleable.  I racked my brain quickly with the possibility of a fatty lump exploding, of an abscess being that firm, and finally, you know, all the horrible things it could be if it weren't a run-of-the-mill lipoma.



They aspirated it and the vet came in personally to give me the news:  everywhere she looked, she saw lymphoma cells.


Lymphoma is cancer.  I cried.

Fortunately, we sent off another aspirate to Antech and their pathologist said that it wasn't lymphoma (yay!), but it was still cancer (boo!).  It's a mast cell tumor, so the plan is still about the same:  we're gonna hope to take it out and we're gonna hope that it isn't anywhere else.  Instead of a 4-6 week survival rate, she'll continue being her spry self for as long as possible.  She'll have chest rads on Wednesday to look for more masses internally and to make sure her heart is game for anesthesia.  Then we'll schedule the procedure.  The mass will be sent off for a histopath and they'll determine what grade it is and if they got a clear enough margin.



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17 comments

  1. Oh I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm sending you hugs and all the positive thoughts.

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  2. Sorry about the cancer. :( Hoping they get clear margins and everything will be on the up and up after!

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  3. Sending positivity your way. I'm sorry you have to go through this.

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  4. On no Scarlette, so sorry to hear this. Hoping the absolute best for your fur baby :) hugs!!

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  5. Oh I'm glad it's not lymphoma! How scary. When you posted that picture on instagram it definitely didn't look like lymphoma to me, but then again I'm still figuring out how to read cytology. Fingers crossed removal goes smoothly!

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    1. I'm so far removed from vet med now, I had to take her word on it. I sent the cytology to a vet tech friend of mine who confirmed "something weird", but not necessarily lymphoma. Evidently spindle mast cells and lymphoma cells look similar?

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  6. I'm so sorry... cancer sucks. :(

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  7. Hoping that everything goes well!!

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  8. Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope the surgery helps.

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  9. Sorry to hear that!! Hopefully everything goes smoothly from here!

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  10. Mast cell tumors are always better than lymphoma! You'll want to make sure that the vet that does the surgery gives her a dose of diphenhydramine (injectable Benadryl) and famotidine prior to surgery, as cutting out mast cell tumors can piss them off and the vet will want to be preemptive about avoiding an anaphylactic reaction. This is the norm in specialty surgery but not all general practitioners are aware of the need to do this. I've run anesthesia on many many many mast cell tumor removals and they have all been blissfully uneventful. <3 Crossing my fingers and toes that this is a low grade and that surgery takes care of it all! *Hugs*

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  11. My lab mix had a mast cell tumor removed from her elbow :( Hope your girl is ok!

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  12. I'm so, so sorry to hear this. I hope that the surgery goes well!!

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