Hi- I'm afraid our sweet Tiva may have a third MCT. And I'm not sure what to do, since she's nearly 17.
A little background: at 13, she had her first MCT, grade II, unclean margins after surgery. It was in her tail, so the vet amputated her tail, which was curative.
At 15, she got her second MCT (we had been aspirating all her little bumps since the first MCT). This was in her foreleg. After surgery, it again was a grade II, unclean margins, but a mitotic index of 0. The oncologist at the vet school recommended chemo and radiation, but at 15 years, I thought that was too much for Tiva, especially considering that the mitotic index was 0. Our regular vet put Tiva on a no-grain diet (TOTW) and supplements including omega 3s, CoQ10, & tumeric.
Over the next 18 months, she got about 100 little bumps all over her, but none of them have had mast cells in them. But now one lump looks suspicious to me, just like the last MCT. I had it aspirated a few months ago, with no mast cells inside, but it's grown a bit since then. It's on her back leg, not a good place for surgery.
Here's the dilemma: she's an old lady at 16.5 years, in great shape for her age, but still quite old. She eagerly goes for 2 walks a day and eats all her food, but I'm not certain I want to try more surgery since this lump is in a place where the vet couldn't get clean margins. She handles anesthesia just fine, and she does tend to recover quite quickly from surgeries and stitches, so I would opt for surgery if it would slow things down, but not if it might spread mast cells. (The lump is 1/2 cm wide, still small, but growing slowly).
What are the nonsurgical options to consider, to make her as happy and pain free as possible?
If you choose not to treat MCTs, what's life like for the dog?
Thanks for ideas. We're about 6 hours drive away from our vet, so getting the lump aspirated soon might be a challenge.