Jaxx is a lovely, well mannered 8 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He came in recently for his routine annual vaccination and senior check up. A few week prior to his appointment, his owner had noticed a small lump on his left flank. Over the next 6 weeks she noticed that it continued to grow a bit. When he came in he was examined by Dr Chloe who noted that the lump was still quite small at only 8mm. Other then the lump and some arthritis Jaxx was a well and happy dog! His owners had no other concerns with him.
Dr Chloe advised Jaxx's owners that the best way forward with his lump was to take a fine needle aspirate. A fine needle aspirate or FNA involves sticking a needle into the lump, extracting some cells and then placing those cells on a slide. This slide is then looked at by the vet under the microscope.
Looking under the microscope Dr Chloe was able to see Mast Cells present. This indicated that Jaxx's little lump was actually a mast cell tumour. This type of tumour is a common, malignant cancer that we see regularly in dogs. They require early intervention and need an aggressive surgery in order to cure the dog of the tumour. This means we need to take large margins on either side of the tumour. Jaxx's owners were happy to proceed with the surgery and he was booked in for the following week.
Jaxx returned the following week to see Dr Andrea to have his lump removed. He was placed under anaesthesia with the help of Nurse Lindsay and monitored closely for the entire procedure. After under an hour the entire procedure was over. The lump was placed in a specimen jar to be sent off to the laboratory. Jaxx recovered really well from anaesthesia and was able to go home that evening.
Jaxx returned a few days later for a post operative check up and his owners reported he was doing well. We will see him again ten days post surgery to remove his sutures.
The key to any cancer treatment is to get it checked out early. Any lump may potentially be cancer. Mast cell tumours are a type of skin cancer that is particularly good at masquerading as small looking nondescript lump. A simple test is often all that is needed to assess the lump and ensure that hopefully it is nothing to be concerned about.
Learn more about Lumps and bumps on your pet's skin
If your pet has a lump you are worried about please do not hesitate to contact the clinic and make an appointment.