Mast Cell Tumors and Surgery

I have two big dogs, lab mix, litter mates. Super sweet and funny. About two years ago my male dog, Syd, had a Mast Cell Tumor and surgery to remove it.(see previous post), We have been tumor free since then, however, about a month ago a lump showed up on his right side (on his eighth rib), see photo, Mast Cell tumors can look many different ways on dogs. It is very important to get any lump or bump checked out with your vet, it may save the life of your dog.

The first tumor was a size of a pea on the skin, (in his groin area), the vet had to remove an area about the size of an orange to remove it all. Like an iceberg, you only see part of the tumor. This tumor was the size of an egg, so we were anxious, knowing how much had to be removed last time. The vet assured us that this tumor was located in a “better” area. I won’t go into detail (I’ll add links to helpful pages if you need more info on Mast Cell Tumors),

Before photo of Syd’s Tumor (below)


A little wobbly but up and about (below), two days post surgery


The plan was to bring Syd home late the same day of surgery. His incision was larger than planned, and more muscle and tissue had to be removed.  His scar is about 8 inches long, and much easier to take care of than the groin surgery incision, (that one had complications). After several nights of pain and not resting much for everyone in the house, my female Penny has been in the hallway (her safe place during any stressful event), everything got better and this morning (5 days after surgery) Syd brought me a toy.

Tee shirt helps to protect incision from dirt and helps him resist the urge to lick, chew etc.. it. Easy to clean and cheap, I bought them in packs of 3 at the Stuff-Mart.

One day post surgery, night we brought him home, I don’t feel too good!


(below) Digging holes makes everything better!!


Mast Cell Tumor Info:

General Info

-Great info here from Kate Connick on Mast Cell Tumors, very comprehensive article

-Very good info from VetSurgeryCentral.com on Mast Cell Tumor surgery and what to expect.(Warning: several graphic photos of cats, very rare for cats to get these tumors)

-Take a look at Rosie’sRoad, a blog about a lab with Mast Cell Caner and her journey, she also uses Palladia for treatment.

-What you need to know about Mast Cell tumors in Dogs from FightCanineCancer

-What the Wiki says and links on Mast Cell Tumors

-Info from the Veterinary collage of medicine on Mast Cell Tumors

-Pet Med MD Tumor info

-Some general info from Marvistavet, on Mast Cell Tumors

Drugs used in treatment….

-Drugs that have proved helpful, this seems to be more experimental

-Using Palladia to treat Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs.


-I also have a good friend that runs a Pug rescue, (Pugs are a breed of dog that often get these tumors, some breeds are more prone to have them show up) she swears by using diet to supplement regular surgery and treatment. Diet info for dogs with Mast Cell tumors,I have not tried this, but am going to look into it, since this is the 2nd time for surgery. An excellent blog is Rosie’sRoad, loads of info.

-Dogster.com forums on diet and Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs

-PathwithPaws includes holistic treatments that can help you dog with Mast Cell tumors.




  1. Oh, poor Syd! But so glad he has good medical care.... and a good Mommy like you to look after him!

  2. Thanks for all of the well wishes!!

  3. Hi, I hope you don't mind me asking, how did he end up doing after that surgery?

    1. I'm sorry I didn't see this until much later. He had a series of 3 surgeries. Over the course of 3 years. The last one I wouldn't have done again. We didn't know going in how big the tumors were & how much would be taken out and the severity of it. I would think long and hard if I had another dog with Mast Cell cancer again. I think the first one I would repeat, but not the others.
      Take care Vicki


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