Mast Cell Tumor Treatment: JD’s Mast Cell Tumor— Surgery and Pathology Report

JD had his mast cell tumor removed last week.

Everything went well and I will go into more detail on all his procedures next Thursday. Since then we were tending to his surgical sites and waiting for the pathology report.

Mast Cell Tumor Treatment: JD's Mast Cell Tumor— Surgery and Pathology Report

Diagnostic results

The pathology report came today.

That is much faster than we expected, which is great. Who likes waiting for these things?

JD’s ultrasound and x-rays didn’t show anything suspicious.

There are no signs of any lesions, metastasis, enlarged lymph nodes or anything else of concern. His blood work also looked good. Quite good for an old guy.

The pathology on the removed tissue confirmed the mass was indeed a mast cell tumor. Then there are a lot of details followed by the important bit.

Excision is complete

We had quite a debate about how to remove enough tissue from an area where there really isn’t any. We had a discussion about the importance of being able to close the incision versus getting clean margins. The area on the tarsus is tricky because there is very little to work with.

We decided that getting clean margins is more important than being able to close easily. It resulted in JD needing getting a skin graft from his chest to close but it was worth it.


We got clean margins.

It wasn’t so tricky taking out enough skin around the tumor but it was tricky to find enough to remove below it, between the tumor and the bone. The vet took out two layers of connective tissue below, which was as deep as she could have gone.

There was less than 1 mm of tumor-free tissue at that margin. But it was tumor free. The closest margin was 7 mm and the other margins were all over 1 cm (out of 6 sections examined).

The other finding of concern was the grade of the tumor.


Microscopic findings: Grade 1, low-grade mast cell tumor.

Low-grade mast cell tumors are usually well-behaved and taking them out is the end of them.

So that is all great news.

This is the best-case scenario.

Home run. Now we just need to make sure that JD’s incisions heal and we are good.

Related articles:
It’s That Time of the Year Again: Annual Wellness Exam and JD’s Bumps 
JD’s Biopsy Results Revealed Mast Cell Tumor: You Don’t Know What the Bump Is Unless You Look at the Cells

Further reading:
Blast those masts! Conquering mast cell tumors in your veterinary patients

Categories: CancerConditionsLumps and bumpsMast cell tumors (MTC)Pathology reportsReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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