Dog Disease - Mastocytoma

Solid tumor containing dense infiltration of mast cells is Mastocytoma. Allergic reactions may be caused by mast cells. Mast cells release histamine, which may cause irritation, itching and other chemicals which may give shock. Mastocytoma may occur in dogs of all ages but is more common in dogs of 8 to 10 years. Mast cell tumors may appear anywhere on the body and internal organs, but is most common in limbs, back of upper thigh, lower abdomen and chest. Mastocytoma develops from mast cell which plays a role in repairing tissues by releasing inflammatory mediators. Nasty mast cell tumors may also affect lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. Mastocytoma is the most common tumors of dogs and accounts for about 20 percent of all skin tumors. However, what causes mastocytoma is yet not known.
Breeds at Risk
The breeds commonly affected by Mastocytoma include Boxers and Pugs, Boston Terriers and Rhodesian Ridgeback. Mast cells sometimes grow on the ears of the Boxer.

The Mastocytoma is often referred to as “the great deceiver”. This is because this dog disease can show a wide range of appearances and clinical signs.

Symptoms of this dog disease include:
  • Round raised masses on skin
  • Appetite loss
  • Stomach upset
  • Gastric ulcers (vomiting and black stool)
  • Kidney inflammation
  • Blood clotting
  • Diagnosis
  • A variety of tests are required to diagnose this dog disease and to rule out other diseases which show similar symptoms. These tests may include:
  • Complete Medical history
  • Thorough physical examination
  • Cytologic evalution of aspirated material of mass and enlarged lymph node.
  • Complete blood count
  • Serum biochemistry profile
  • Urine analysis
  • X-rays of abdomen
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Cytologic evaluation of the bone marrow
  • Cytologic evaluation of the spleen
  • Histoplathologic evaluation
Treatment of Mastocytoma includes a number of techniques which are necessary to treat the stubbornness of these tumors. The first step taken is the surgical removal of the effected area. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy is then used to help reduce the chances of re occurrence of this dog disease. In those cases in which surgical removal of the tumor is not complete or impossible, cryotherapy may also be needed.