“Chip” Cates, a sweet 11 year old male, intact Jack Russell Terrier presented to Carroll County Animal Hospital for swelling of the scrotum, the skin that holds the testicles. Chip had a normal appetite, urination and bowel movements over the last several days but the swelling had increased in size dramatically. PHYSICAL EXAMINATION:
Chip was at a normal body weight and had a normal body temperature on examination. Pulse and respiratory rates were normal as well. An enlarged mass was present on the scrotum in close proximity to the testicles. The mass measured 3cm x 4cm in diameter. The mass contained severely ulcerated skin. LAB WORK:
A complete blood count and chemistry profile were performed in the clinic. This lab work provided us with information regarding internal organ function as well as cell counts.
The complete blood count: No signs of anemia or dehydration
Chemistry profile: Normal kidney, liver, and pancreas function as well as normal electrolyte levels
Due to the location of the tumor, we recommended that Chip have the tumor removed as well as a castration procedure performed as soon as possible. SURGICAL PROCEDURE:
Chip was taken to surgery and a biopsy as well as castration was performed under general anesthesia. The tumor was removed in its entirety. Several skin sutures were placed and Chip was placed on exercise restriction for 10 days. He was prescribed pain medication and antibiotics. BIOPSY RESULTS:
The tumor was submitted to a laboratory for identification. The results showed that the tumor was an aggressive Grade 2 mast cell tumor with a high mitotic index.
This is a microscopic view of the cells found in Chip's growth.
Mast Cell tumors can be seen in dogs of any age. They may develop anywhere on the body surface as well as in internal organs, but the limbs/ abdomen/ and chest are the most common sites. Their appearance varies but it is usually raised/ nodular and soft to solid on palpation. Mast Cell tumors tend to spread to the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and bone marrow. Once the mast cells degranulate, or release vasoactive products then the pet will show systemic signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort from the tumor site. TREATMENT:
Chip had a full work up including chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, and lymph nodes aspirates performed. The tumor was found to have spread to the lymph nodes in his abdomen. Chip was then begun on aggressive chemotherapy. Median survival time is much higher when treated with aggressive surgery and chemotherapy for high grade mast cell tumors. How is Chip today?
Chip is 5 months into his treatment. Although he has been through several courses and types of chemotherapy, Chip’s condition is now stable. He is eating, drinking, and playing like a puppy once again! He loves his daily treats! He is so happy to be home romping with Daisy and Clyde (his 2 sweet sisters) and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs with his mom and dad on the weekends!! Chip is loved by the staff and doctors at Carroll County Animal Hospital!
If you have had a pet diagnosed with a mast cell tumor or other type of cancer and are considering chemotherapy, please contact our office today.