Dog Veterinary

Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions

Ask a Dog Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Dog Veterinary

My dog has a piece skin hanging off her nipple(fine like thread)

Customer Question
with a sack ,(you...
My dog has a piece skin hanging off her nipple(fine like thread) with a sack ,(you can see through it) hanging off the the little thread like skin. My vet aspirated them (Cocoa has a lot of lipomas)and put them on a slide. She said it was a mass cell. Then today we did ultrasounds to see if everything else was clear. Lungs clear, liver clear, stomach clear , lymph nodes clear. They found a tiny spot on the spleen, that they aspirated and are sending it in. The oncologist said this could just be from age , and mostly that are not malignant but doing a "stat" on it since she's having surgery Thursday. She said if it came back positive, they would start her on chemo, but not do surgery. This makes no sense to me. 1. Because if it is a tiny spot, then it may not have spread anywhere else so why not take the spleen out too while taking off the small mast tumor and large border. Saying that if would "Probably spread to the other organs anyway makes no sense to me. "Probably isn't 100 percent, and if it is that small and the ultrasound shows no other problems in the organ , why would you not take the spleen too and then do chemo and make sure if it did spread that it would kill the cancer??????? Plus I read that even the benign ones can kill them if they rupture. But at this point today. it is just a spot but I am freaking out. My dog is going to be 12 in December, and acts fine, not even sick . Could I please have your opinion. thank you. I would like a oncologist to answer this question please. But if not , someone else highly experienced with mast cell tumors . thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
5/26/2015
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Karing, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 429
Experience: General veterinarian with a special interest in internal medicine and emphasis on individualized care.
Verified
Hi there,

I'mCustomerand I would be glad to help with your question since there is not a veterinary oncologist on this forum. I do have a lot of experience with treating mast cell tumors surgically and with chemotherapy.

If there are mast cells in the spleen, it is for one of three reasons:
1) There are normally some mast cells in the spleen
2) There is metastatic disease from the mast cell tumor on the nipple or from another mast cell tumor on the skin or under the skin that hasn't yet been found
3) There is a visceral mast cell tumor (primary site of cancer is the spleen which is very rare and these tumors are very aggressive with median survival of 2 months)

The pathologist looks at the characteristics of the cells (i.e. normal versus unusual) and the number of cells based on the total number of cells in the sample provided from the fine needle aspirate to try and decide if this looks like cancer. Cancer of the spleen, mast cell or otherwise, cannot be ruled out by an aspirate. Splenic aspirates are notoriously false negative.

For a small nodule on the spleen that cannot be diagnosed by aspirate, serial ultrasound measurement would be advised to see if the site changes over time. If it becomes significantly larger, then you can reaspirate to try and learn more or remove the spleen. The reason for not removing the spleen without monitoring the nodule for changes is that a lot of dogs have small nodules in the spleen that are insignificant. While you can live without a spleen, splenectomy is still a major surgery and is not something to be entered into lightly. A small nodule is not a great risk. I've monitored many and never had one lead to hemorrhage yet although some where identified as cancer over time (i.e. note, most do not change or require further attention).

If your dog is determined to have metastatic mast cell disease (i.e. tumor on the nipple that has metastasized to the spleen), then the skin tumor is removed but the spleen is not. The reason is that the tumor moved from the skin to the spleen through the lymphatic and vascular system. Although you may see no evidence elsewhere on imaging, there is undoubtedly microscopic disease present in the lymph nodes and other organs. You won't be helping your dog by removing her spleen but chemotherapy can help slow the disease process. The prognosis would depend a lot of the grading of the tumor removed from the skin (i.e. 1, 2 or 3) and the ability to get clean wide surgical margins.

On that note, if the mast cell tumor removed from your dog's nipple is a grade 1 but they did see mast cells in her splenic aspirate, then I would hesitate to do chemotherapy unless you get a second opinion from another oncologist and another pathologist. The reason is that grade 1 mast cell tumors almost never metastasize and visceral mast cell tumors are rare in dogs and unlikely to present as a small nodule on the spleen. You would really need to have overwhelming evidence that the mast cells aspirated from the spleen were present in large enough numbers or atypical enough to suggest cancer before I would pursue chemotherapy if a grade 1 mast cell tumor is removed from the nipple. If that situation arises, I would consider that there may be another mast cell tumor elsewhere that is the primary site from which metastasis occured as that is far more likely than a grade 1 mast cell tumor metastasis and/or viseral mast cell disease of the spleen presenting as a small nodule.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful. Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if you have more questions or would like additional information. It is my goal to provide you with the most complete information possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.


Sincerely,
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago

Some of that makes since, some, I am still confused. I read that 85% of mast cell tumors that are on the skin are benign. So, if that is the case why do they call them mast cell tumors?My dr. said while looking at the slides it looked like cancerous mass cell tumor. But she said class I or possibly two. My dog has surgery to take off the capsule size tumor hanging off her nipple. Thursday. Is it true that older dogs sometime get spots on their spleen that are benign? Her liver test are just slightly elevated from the test she had 6mths ago. She said she did have a slightly highter protein level. But all the other tests were good. Are you saying that the tumor could be coming from the spleen even though the little tumor (looked like a almost clear sac with veins)and hanging from a fine thread of skin? My dog acts fine. She has some arithris in her hip, but other then that seems to be great. Dr. Ball just now called and said that the chance of this being a mast cell in her spleen would be very rare. That the majority of the mast cells in older doctors never metastisize. So she thinks Coca will be fine

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Karing, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
All mast cell rumors in dogs are cancerous. The grade (1,2 or 3) determines the degree of malignancy and likelihood of metastasis (spread from original site to a distant location in the body). Mast cell tumors can only be graded with a whole tissue sample (not an aspirate).
Yes, many times older dogs will have small nodules on their spleen that are benign. I doubt the nodule seen in your dog's spleen is a mast cell tumor. However if it were, then it would be most likely that it originated from a mast cell tumor on her skin (nipple).
If the mast cell tumor is grade 1 or 2 and has adequate clean margins (area free of cancerous cells around the tumor), then it is likely surgery alone will cure your dog and no further action will be required. I would still advise rechecking the size of the splenic nodule by ultrasound every 3 - 6 months.
Thanks, Customer
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago

this makes perfect sense. I will always recheck her every couple of months with labs too. thank you.

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Karing, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
You're very welcome. Please let me know if I can be if further assistance.
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Ask Dr. Karing Your Own Question
Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 429
429 Satisfied Customers
Experience: General veterinarian with a special interest in internal medicine and emphasis on individualized care.

Dr. Karing is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie

Dog Veterinarian

902 satisfied customers

Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

16,112 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

9,980 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dog Veterinarian

9,897 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

9,615 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

9,134 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Rebecca

Rebecca

Dog Veterinarian

7,745 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Veterinary Questions
My dog has a probable mast cell tumor on the side of his
Hi, my dog has a probable mast cell tumor on the side of his face very close to his ear. I just noticed it a few weeks ago. He has had several others over the years. I am concerned about this one beca… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
680 satisfied customers
Our dog had a mast cell tumor removed Wed. We were told it
Our dog had a mast cell tumor removed Wed. We were told it was low grade and they cut it all out. She has had really really bad acid reflux that makes her cough and dry heave and sometimes vomit when … read more
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
9 satisfied customers
My dog had mast cell tumors removed from her back right leg
My dog had mast cell tumors removed from her back right leg on Thursday. The incision is about 7” long. She has been fine until 2 am this morning when she started throwing up every hour. … read more
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt
Associate Veterinarian
DVM
496 satisfied customers
Chihuauhua chewing on inoperable mast cell tumor on top of
Chihuauhua chewing on inoperable mast cell tumor on top of back foot. … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
7,745 satisfied customers
Research Mast Cell Tumors. My dog has a nodule on the side
Research Mast Cell Tumors. My dog has a nodule on the side of her front paw that was aspirated yesterday to check for MCT. Very worried. … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
7,745 satisfied customers
Our 11 year old goldendoodle has mast cell tumors. We
Our 11 year old goldendoodle has mast cell tumors. We surgically removed a very large tumor (7inch diameter) from her hind leg abou 9 weeks ago, we did the pathology and it showed it was a rapid-growi… read more
Dr. John
Dr. John
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
5,049 satisfied customers
My 15 yr old pug has a mast cell tumor on his thorax/ flank.
My 15 yr old pug has a mast cell tumor on his thorax/ flank. We decided not to treat it surgically based on his age It has grown to about 3 inches in diameter. After leaving him for a weekend with a s… read more
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
9 satisfied customers
She has two mast cell tumors. Maggie she is 10. No i dont
she has two mast cell tumors JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age? Customer: Maggie she is 10 … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My girlfriend is afraid that her dog has a Mast Cell Tumor.
My girlfriend is afraid that her dog has a Mast Cell Tumor. But she is just going off pictures from the internet. can you look at picture of dog's lip and see if you think it could be something seriou… read more
Dr. John
Dr. John
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
5,049 satisfied customers
Our Shih Tzu Fletcher had a mast cell tumor removed from his
Our Shih Tzu Fletcher had a mast cell tumor removed from his chin area in Aug. The vet was unable to get it all because of the location. We consulted an oncologist vet who said the only option for a c… read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
7 satisfied customers
My dog has a mast cell tumor that has spread and has a big
My dog has a mast cell tumor that has spread and has a big one in his rectum so he cannot poop. I've given him lactulose, milk of magnesia, etc and he still can't pass anything and an X-ray showed he … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
680 satisfied customers
My dog was just diagnosed with a Mast cell tumor. I am not
My dog was just diagnosed with a Mast cell tumor. I am not certain of the stage. They have just done ex rays and have taken samples from her blood and spleen. The tumor has broken through the skin and… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My 9 yr old lab was diagnosed with two Mast Cell tumors. She
My 9 yr old lab was diagnosed with two Mast Cell tumors. She had both areas excised with wide margins. It came back grade 2 with clear margins. 10 days later in the office to have her stitches out and… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,524 satisfied customers
My pet dog has mast cell tumors on skin and is now on
my pet dog has mast cell tumors on skin and is now on predisone and antihistamine therapy. This a.m. I noticed one bleeding slightly as if a pimple opened up.. She is going for her 21 day check-up in … read more
Dr Linda
Dr Linda
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
1,315 satisfied customers
Mast cell tumors that she's licking and scratching
mast cell tumors that she's licking and scratching incessantly … read more
Richard Rawling
Richard Rawling
Veterinary Surgeon
BVMS
629 satisfied customers
My dog (chiweenie, 14lbs) had a cancerous mast cell tumor
My dog (chiweenie, 14lbs) had a cancerous mast cell tumor removed Tuesday. The incision is between his penis and anus. He was given Rimadyl (25mg) for pain 1x per day for 7 days. The past 3 nights, he… read more
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt
Associate Veterinarian
DVM
496 satisfied customers
My dog had a 5th digit amputation done for a mast cell tumor
Hi my dog had a 5th digit amputation done for a mast cell tumor 2 years ago it was stage 2 I believe. he took a course an oral chemo I can't remember the name and we watch his proximal lymph nodes. ev… read more
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt
Associate Veterinarian
DVM
496 satisfied customers
Low Grade II Mast Cell Tumor on ear. Found Tumor on ear and
Low Grade II Mast Cell Tumor on ear. Found Tumor on ear and vet removed sent off for testing came back mast cell tumor grade II, the recommend taking most of the ear flap off staying it was fast growi… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinary Degree (BVMS)
3,452 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x