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Hi everyone, I would like to tell you about our journey with Trini and her diagnosis of Mast cell Cancer. Trini is a five year old bully breed pitbull mix. She is white and gray, about 65 pounds. I will post a picture of her and her tumor later.

Several months ago Trini had a growth on her behind which to my untrained eye looked very close to her anal glands. She also was scooting her bum on the ground. I took her to the vet.
The vet did a needle biopsy and it was determined that Trini had Mast cell cancer. Also, the location of the tumor makes surgery out of the question. We were referred to an oncologist about 30 miles away.

What is mast cell cancer you may ask? Here is a brief description:

A mast cell is a type of white blood cell that is found in many tissues of the body. Mast cells are allergy cells and play a role in the allergic response. When exposed to allergens (substances that stimulate allergies), mast cells release chemicals and compounds, a process called degranulation. One of these compounds is histamine. Histamine is most commonly known for causing itchiness, sneezing, and runny eyes and nose - the common symptoms of allergies. But when histamine (and the other compounds) are released in excessive amounts (with mass degranulation), they can cause full-body effects, including anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.
definition from VCA website:
https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/mast-cell-tumors-in-dogs

Our vet sent all Trini's medical inormation to the oncologist so prior to Trini's appointment we were to give Trini the following drugs:
Prednisone to shrink the tumor
Benadryl to stop the itching
Pepcide to keep her tummy from being upset

The oncologist recommended Electrochemotherapy
Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a local treatment for cancer using a combination of chemotherapy and electric pulse therapy which increases the antitumor effect of the chemotherapy drugs.
Your pet is put under anesthesia for this procedure.
So this can get expensive.

We took her for her first treatment. It took forever and when Trini was given back to us she was out of it and cried all of the way home. Three weeks later we went for a follow up and the lump was still there but smaller. Four weeks later we took her for her second treatment. This one did not take as long. She was lucid and did not cry on the way home.

The thing that I find so perplexing about this whole thing is that they don't know if they have gotten all of the cancer or not. The only way to know for sure is to do a biopsy and Trini's cancer is in an inoperable location.

We have decided that we are not going to put Trini through this procedure again and what will be will be.

As for Trini, she has no idea that she has cancer. She is her same happy, crazy, fence jumping self and that is how we want her to remain. If the cancer gets worse or shows up in other places we will deal with it at that time.

Thank you for reading. I hope that this post helps others.

Odie (Carmen)
 

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Sincerely sorry to hear Carmen. I have been through Mast Cell with one of my previous bully dogs. Also the bigger dog in my avatar was brought in for lumps under her skin last week which the vet thought might be Mast Cell but thankfully turned out to be cysts that we are just going to watch. I do appreciate you taking the time to share Trini's experience with us and broke my heart to hear how she reacted after her first dose of electro chemotherapy. I know without a doubt that I would choose exactly the coarse that you have. Hopefully the treatments has slowed or put things in remission. Meanwhile, give her a scratch behind the ears for me and tell her what a good girl she is. Try to put dealing with future decisions in the future and enjoy each others company now. I know that you have always been good on follow ups but please do keep us updated. Wishing you all the best of luck.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Joe, it has been tough. I will keep you all posted.
 

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Update on Trini: On March 17th we took Trini for her one month after treatment oncologist appointment. The area where the cancer resides is inflamed, however the tumor has been reduced from a quarter size to a pea size. Trini will no longer have electrochemotherapy treatments and will continue with the prednisone, Benadryl and Pepcide regime. We have no idea what is going on with the cancer, so it is a wait and see situation. In the mean time, Trini is her crazy, happy, fence jumping self. We will monitor Trini and continue oncology checkups. No one knows when their time on earth will end, so it is with our beloved Trini. We will enjoy her and give her the best life that we can while she is with us.

Carmen
 
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