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I have a 13 year old boxer/ mastiff. He has had two separate…

I have a 13 year...
I have a 13 year old boxer/bull mastiff. He has had two separate surgical removals of a large cyst on his inner back right leg. Due to his advanced age he was unable to be placed under anesthesia. Both were excited with a local. He did experience pain with both. They did no pathology as I said I would not pursue chemotherapy. These two incidents were within the same year. Since the last removal (within three months four separate cysts have returned, three of which are in the second surgery scar. The cysts are very hard and they are oozing what looks like pus. He licks it constantly and it is bleeding some. I am sure it is mast cell, but my question is regarding what can I do about the oozing as far as keeping it clean? If I bandage it, I think he'll pull it off. I have heard Benadryl is used but I don't know why. He takes Meloxicam and trazadone. Can you give me some answers.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/18/2018
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,143
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
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Welcome to JustAnswer.com! My name is***** and I have been a licensed veterinarian for 10 years. I would be happy to answer your question. I'm sorry to hear that your dog keeps breaking out with these lesions. Mast cells release antihistamines, and the Benadryl helps blocks the side effects of the antihistamines (hives, itching, anaphylaxis, basically any sign of allergic reaction). There is no evidence that Benadryl prevents or cures mast cell tumors, but it might help with signs such as skin inflammation. It certainly does not hurt to try. About how much does your dog weigh?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He's about 92 lbs

Ok, you can give him 5-6 tablets of 25 mg Benadryl (or 3 tablets of 50 mg).

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How often? How should I clean it and bandage it? Also what can I expect in the future? Ex: approximate life expectancy, symptoms, etc.

All good questions. The Benadryl should be given every 12 hours. If it makes him too sleepy, you can cut down to 4 tablets of 25 mg Benadryl. Did your vet do a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of any of the growths? It is a quick, simple, and inexpensive way to be able to find out whether a tumor is a mast cell or not. It sounds like your dog has been popping up with these for a fairly long time, so if they are mast cell tumors, they are "low grade," meaning not as aggressive as mast cell tumors can get. Median survival time for low grade mast cell tumors can be over a couple of years. The mean survival time for more aggressive tumors may be as little as a couple of months. It will be a challenge to keep those open sores clean. You can do your best by cleaning them with a mild soap solution (dip a clean cloth in it and apply). Rinse off with water (a spray bottle of water might help). Dry thoroughly, then apply Neosporin ointment. You can buy your dog t-shirts to keep him from licking at the sores.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No they did not do an fna. They said it was not necessary since I was not going to do chemo. What about liquid Band-Aids? I don't want him to suffer. He has a bit of a limp and he doesn't like to last on the side where the tumors are. He eats like a horse. Will the tumors it? If so, what do I do and is that a sign of the end. There was one, a few months later, another two, and within weeks there were four.

I'm not sure it would stay on, but liquid bandage is worth a try. Regarding the limping, at his age he most definitely has some arthritis going on. The tumors may be uncomfortable to lie on. I think it would be a good idea to talk to your vet about some anti-inflammatory pain medication for him. Regarding quality of life, I recommend thinking of 5 things he used to do when he was completely healthy, such as eating, drinking, playing with toys, interacting with family, and being able to control his bladder and bowels. I would say once he starts to lose those things that euthanasia would not be the wrong decision.

Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,143
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
Verified
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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Rachel
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