Mast Cell Tumor is a type of skin cancer in dogs, but before knowing about this tumor, you have to understand what is a mast cell.
What are Mast Cells?
Mast cells are white blood cells that are part of the immune system. It makes an allergic response to the allergens and pathogens invading the body. Mast cells are present in the tissues present all over the dog’s body. Still, it is largely located in tissues located around areas that interact with the external environment such as the nose, skin and colon.
When allergens/pathogens enter your dog’s body, these cells get into a process called degranulation where histamine and many other compounds are secreted so as to create a reaction against the allergen.
One of these compounds, Histamine is known for causing itchiness, sneezing, and runny eyes and nose – the common symptoms of allergies. But when histamine (and the other compounds) is released in excessive amounts (with mass degranulation), it can cause full-body effects, including anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.
What is a mast cell tumor?
Mast cell tumors (MCTs) are a type of skin cancer in dogs that occur due to malignantly transformed mast cells. Most of these tumors in dogs start as primary tumors in the skin. In many instances, MCTs are benign in nature and rarely cause death.
What causes MCT in dogs?
The exact etiology of Mast Cell tumor in dogs is still not known clearly. However, researchers put forth the role of genetics as one of the causes of MCTs in dogs. Researchers also observed the trend of Mutations in the c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor in the majority of dogs canine with intermediate to of high-grade mast cell tumors.
What are the clinical signs of MCTs in Dogs?
Mast Cell Tumors can appear anywhere on the body between the dermis and/or subcutis. They have a wide range of disgusting appearances, from raised and superficial to very deep and fixed. You can feel them soft, fluctuant or firm.
How Mast Cell Tumor is Diagnosed?
Most MCTs are easily diagnosed with fine needle aspiration (FNA). A needle is inserted in the suspected region to collect tissue around it. The collected tissue will be tested for any cancer growth. If MCT is diagnosed in your dogs, your veterinarian will suggest a further course of action.
How Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs Are Treated?
The good news is that the majority of MCTs can be successfully treated with surgical excision where the cancerous growth is removed through surgery. Unfortunately, in some cases, surgical excision may not give a hand which will ultimately lead to a patient’s death. Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment is the key to overcoming this tumour.