Mast Cell Tumours: Can You Help?

Mast Cell Tumours

Mast cells are normal cells found throughout the body. They are involved in the normal inflammatory response, and are found especially in areas where challenge is highest such as the skin, respiratory system and intestines. These calls can become cancerous, and if this occurs a mast cell tumour (MCT) is created. Staffordshire terriers are predisposed to the formation of MCTs, and as a common breed seen on the streets, MCTs are a condition that can be a real concern for StreetVet.

Most MCTs are found in the skin or just underneath, although they can be found elsewhere. They have a large range of severity, from low grade which can be cured by removing the tumour completely, to high grade which can be fatal. Early diagnosis and appropriate management is critical to getting the best outcome for any dog which has developed an MCT. Diagnosis is done by biopsy, and removed tissue is sent to a pathologist for examination who can advise on the presence of cancerous mast cells, and give an idea of the severity of the cancer.

Once an MCT is diagnosed, surgery is the main tool in treatment. Especially in more aggressive MCTs surgery can require the removal of large amounts of tissue to make sure all cancerous cells are taken out. These procedures also need quality aftercare, and laboratory testing on the removed tissue to assess the success of the surgery and fully grade the tumour.

How Can You Help

Minnie is a 12 year old Staffordshire Bull terrier who lives in Leyton.   StreetVet volunteers Maria and Tan met Minnie when her owner was concerned about a lump on her skin. A biopsy was taken and sadly the results have revealed that she has a MCT. Minnie is now scheduled to have the lump removed if her pre-anaesthetic bloodwork tells the vets it is safe to go ahead.

Although the medication and laboratory testing has been donated for free, and the facilities given at an incredibly reduced cost, StreetVet are looking for donations to cover the remaining costs of the procedure.

If you think you can help Minnie, please visit www.chuffed.org/project/surgery-for-minnie to donate.

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