Mast Cell Tumors: Dogs Most Affected

A mast cell tumor dogs have a nodular skin growth consisting of cells that have high levels of histamine. The growths need to be tested to rule out cancer malignancies.

The problems mast cell tumors dogs face are usually when harmful chemicals are released into their bodies. When this happens canines may experience gastric ulcers, allergic responses and internal bleeding.

A large percentage of all skin growths in canines are due to mast cell tumors. Any dog can get them; however, evidence shows certain breeds are more susceptible than others. Breeds with a short wide head and those with golden/red coats are more prone to these tumors. The breeds that are predisposed to mast cell tumors are listed below. If you own any of them, perform routine skin checks for unusual lumps or other skin problems.

Mast Cell Tumors Dogs: Common Breeds Affected

  • Beagles
  • Boxers
  • Golden and Labrador retrievers
  • Pugs
  • Basset hounds
  • Dachshunds
  • Wiemaraners
  • Bulldogs
  • Bull mastiffs
  • English setters
  • Fox and Scottish terriers
  • German short haired pointers

Boxers are especially prone to these tumors: twenty-five percent of their cancer cases are due to mast cell tumors. For boxers, some of these mast cells are part of their normal immune system response to allergies. But when the cells malfunction, they release harmful chemicals that cause the tumors.

Mast cell tumors(MCT) are tricky to diagnose in any breed. There is no sure-fire way to identify them without a biopsy. Some can be harmless while others are highly malignant.

What to know if you have a breed that's associated with MCT. Tips for education, prevention and care:

  • any mast cell tumors dogs get should be tested to rule out malignancy
  • typically affects dogs when they are 8 to 9 years old
  • when caught early small, surgical removal is a proper treatment
  • older dogs are more prone to mast cell tumors
  • grade I and II tumors grow aggressively and metastasize
  • treatment options may vary for each dog
  • gender plays a role in certain dogs as tumors can appear in their mammary glands or testicles
  • mast cell tumors that are removed tend to grow back in the same area
  • dogs with illnesses like chronic immune over-stimulation or skin allergies experience a heightened occurrence of mast cell tumors
Mast cell tumors appear in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and textures and can from on any area of a dog's skin. Some of the signs of mast cell tumors dogs can have are:
  • a raised pink lump appears on the skin (some have more definition than others)
  • a lump that swells up and form hives if it is touched or massaged from the histamines released from the mast cells.
  • tumors are commonly found on the dog's body, extremities, hind limbs, head and neck