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Mastocytoma in dogs: causes and symptoms

Mastocytoma in dogs: causes and symptoms

Mastocytoma in dogs, an unpredictable disease and therefore even more unwelcome than a tumor can usually be. We speak, and we will speak too, of symptoms of mast cell tumor in dogs, but it should be noted that they are not always recognizable in a short time and in an unquestionable way. Furthermore, this is one of the most common skin cancers in dogs.

Mastocytoma in dogs: what it is

It has nothing to do with carcinomas or sarcomas, mastocytoma in dogs is a round cell tumor. This is how it is defined and it is a category of its own, capable of originating mast cell, or mast cells, hence the name of the tumor itself. These "cells" have within them a sort of "granules" formed by various substances including heparin and histamine which we will talk about shortly.

Mastocytoma in dogs: causes

Being a typology of completely unpredictable tumor or almost, it is not automatic to speak of causes. Moreover, it can also come to resemble other pathologies that affect the skin such as those that lead to nodules or scabs. Or we can exchange the mast cell tumor in dogs with a lipoma.

To make the identification of causes and types even more complex, there are various "degrees" of mast cell tumor. Grade 1 is defined as “well differentiated”, grade 2 as “moderately differentiated” and grade 3 as “poorly differentiated”.

If this numbering doesn't tell you anything, keep in mind that i mast cell tumors Grade 1 have a very low metastatic potential, therefore they are the least severe, they are unlikely to metastasize.

Mastocytoma in dogs: symptoms

As for the causes, also for the symptoms it is necessary to speak with caution and read taking into account that beyond the general indications, the mast cell tumor in dogs it behaves a bit as it wants, depending on many factors not always known.

Most often it looks like a nodule of variable but modest size, initially difficult to identify even if you are a very attentive owner of your four-legged friend.

Earlier we talked about histamine and heparin, contained in the granules of this tumor. These substances cause vasoactive edema which leads to the appearance of obvious symptoms such as widespread swelling, erythema and bruising. With a blood test you can better understand the origin of these manifestations which can be caused by a mast cell tumor but also by something else.

Among the symptoms of mastocytosis in the systemic dog there are also lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, paleness of the mucous membranes and gastric ulcer.

Mastocytoma in dogs: paw

Most of the mast cell tumors in dogs they are not on the legs but on the trunk and perineum. However, on the limbs they are quite frequent, certainly much more so than on the head and neck, areas where it is rare for them to sprout. Always in general it can also be observed that these tumors are more aggressive if they develop in the fingers, at the perineal, inguinal, nasal level rather than on the trunk.

Another characteristic that is evaluated in the presence of a mast cell tumor is this: how “solitary” is it? If it really is, it is often possible remove it surgically. If you can remove it without leaving other nodules or marks, other therapies are not necessarily needed, but if it is in an area where it is not possible to perform a total surgery, then proceed with radiotherapy or other chemotherapy-type treatments.

Mastocytoma in older dogs

In the elderly dog ​​the mast cell tumor it is often less aggressive but it is not certain that there are no multiple disseminated nodules or particularly invasive forms that lead toenlarged lymph nodes. The liver and spleen can also increase in volume if they are also involved in metastases.

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