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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4601
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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9 going on 10 year old hound mix has a possible mast cell

Customer Question

9 going on 10 year old hound mix has a possible mast cell tumor near the base of her tail. The large area of skin surrounding the nodule is inflamed, bleeding (I have been able to get the bleeding to stop for now....house looks like crime scene). I've been calling vets all morning, and no one can get her in until Wednesday
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Vets?
Customer: So far, treatment has been a colloidal silver wash to clean the area and diatomaceous earth to clot the blood. She is in pain and holds her tail to right side affecting her gait/ balance. She has also been displaying odd behavior (licking walls, standing in corners, willingly going in a crate (that isn't hers), etc)
JA: Our top Veterinarian is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Veterinarian in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Veterinarian until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. It appears that the Expert you were hoping to speak with is not currently available. I have stepped in to assist you in their absence. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?

1) How long has the growth been at the base of her tail, open or otherwise?
2) Do you have any clear photographs to share of this area? You can upload here using the "attach file" function, or you can upload to a site like tinypic.com and share the link back.
3) How long has the odd behavior been going on?
4) Is she currently on any medications?
5) Any pertinent medical history to share for her?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks for stepping in.1) The growth has been there for about a year. It was mentioned to previous vet on two separate occasions, but they said it was nothing to worry about.
2) I am leaving the office now to go take some pics to upload.
3) The odd behavior started about 3 weeks ago. Complete personality change in addition to behavioral changes (growling at other dog when he's in his crate, running through the house during usual sleep times, becoming very needy/ clingy, spacing/ zoning out for periods of time then becoming confused when she finally "comes to")
4) She did a round of antibiotics last month for an ear infection. Other than that, no medications or supplements at this time.
5) She was the only puppy from her litter to make it past 8 weeks after a premature induced labor. Her organs had not fully developed/ developed properly. However, she has had very few health issues since year 2 aside from an enlarged spleen back in 2011 (she was tested for diabetes, Crohn's, etc). Last vet visit, the vet said she was healthier than most younger dogs and would probably outlive us all.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,Customer

Was a fine needle aspirate or biopsy (or any diagnostic) performed on the mass at the time you'd previously discussed it with your vet?

I'll be near my computer today when you're able to respond with pictures. If you don't hear back from me within a few minutes, chances are I had to run an errand. My responses are generally prompt if I'm nearby.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, I actually am no longer with that vet due to numerous issues.These pictures are horrible because she would not stand still. Also, I discovered at least 2 additional nodules on her tail in this same area.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the pictures. This helps me greatly because I can see what you are seeing.

Without this area being clipped back, it makes me heavily suspicious (especially seeing picture number 2) that you're not necessarily dealing with a MCT but possibly just a hot spot. The fact that you've seen a lump there in the past is concerning, of course, but the way her tail meets her body may also have something to do with how it feels. Some dogs have added fat at that area, which can make it bulge.

I don't think you're going to be wrong for waiting until Wednesday to have it seen. If you're majorly concerned and want it addressed as quickly as possible, going to an ER vet may be indicated (remember, you're going to pay more!). For sure, it's time to have the area clipped back with a pair of clippers to get a good idea what's under the fur. If there's a mass present on the skin, it would be smart to have it removed and a histopathology performed. Likewise, if it's just a moist area that's ulcerated, clipping it back to the skin, cleaning it up and using a drying powder on the skin may help greatly.

If you want instructions on how to clip the area back, please let me know and I'll send it along.

If my answer has helped you, please take the time today to leave positive feedback for me. This is the only way that I will be compensated for assisting you. Your satisfaction is my primary focus, so if questions remain please respond so that I may finish answering your question before you rate my service.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She has so much blasted hair in that section of her tail. I had DE powder on the area and rinsed it off to get the pictures. The water and the DE removed more skin and some of the outer layer of the nodules (making the others easier to notice through the hair). All are separate, different sizes and different textures. I will try to trim the hair back (easier said than done with her, most likely will require sedation) and treat as a hot spot until I can get to the vet, but the changes to the main nodule as well as the addition of the others coupled with behavioral changes and random/rotating pain (front legs, chest, belly, hind legs, etc) concern me. It seems the hotspots are secondary. Any advice on how to approach this with a new vet? There needs to be testing, but I don't want to do unnecessary tests on her.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Be as honest with them as you've been with me. Tell them that finances are a factor (or whatever the situation may be) and that you want to give her the best care possible, but on a budget. If you reach a point where you aren't sure, just message me back here (even after you've accepted my answer we can still talk on this topic without further charge).

As far as her behavior, if this truly has been a hot spot all along the timeline would be correct for her to have some behavioral changes. Many dogs who are stressed become compulsive and often reactive to situations which otherwise didn't bother them. Many of them seem on edge and do things that are uncharacteristic for them. You'll know if this is behavioral once you have the area treated. If it goes back to normal, you'll know it was because she was not comfortable to start. As an aging girl, it may be time to start some regular NSAIDs for age-related aches and pains, as well. If your vet opts to put her on a short regimen during her treatment for this area, and she improves, talk to them about using the NSAIDs long term. It may be that the underlying discomfort is adding to her odd behaviors and explains those aches and pains. What's more, if this does not improve the odd behaviors with NSAIDs and fixing the problem area, you'll have a good foundation to assume that she's having some compulsivity issues and some behavioral medications (like prozac) might be indicated. She is older and, like people, we can see some questionable behaviors start as the pets age. Senile behaviors are actually quite common.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

HiCustomer how are things going?