This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

Lily Plata

Watch your toes!
Barked: Tue Apr 19, '11 12:25pm PST 
So Lily initially had a surgery appointment this AM to remove a mast cell tumor that had come back in roughly the same spot as one that was removed a year ago. Because this one is much more on the inside of her rear right ankle area, plus with all the tissue and skin that was removed last year, her vet felt better referring her to one of the other doctors. We met with him this morning and after looking at her, he recommended amputation of the leg. It was a bit shocking to hear but in the back of my mind I always knew it was a possibility. He said because of the area, he would not be able to get clean margins and therefore he would just be debulking it, there would not be enough skin to close it so it would take very long to heal, then with radiation on an open wound, healing would take even longer. Plus, if it came back one, it may do so again and by amputating the leg we lessen the chance of it spreading by at least 90% and because she is young, she should do well and get back to100% inno time.
What do you guys think of this prognosis?. Does anyone have any experience with amputations or recurring mast cell tumors?

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Tue Apr 19, '11 7:34pm PST 
hug No experience with mast cells, but I have known a three legged dog that got around fine and enjoyed life. I believe in your place, I would get a second opinion and if it is the same, go ahead with the amputation.

Cancer treatment is hard, (hard for humans, I haven't been there with a dog)

Good luck to you.


Foster Failure- #3
Barked: Tue Apr 19, '11 7:42pm PST 
I agree with Fritz on getting a second opinion and then probably going forward with the amputation if there's no better option. Jax is missing 1/2 of his back leg (we don't know why) and he gets around just fine.



Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 6:53am PST 
Brigid's first bout with cancer came when she was one year old. Hers was behind her left ear, right at the base. Thankfully because of the amount of loose skin the boxers have, they were able to seal it up ok. She has also had one on her inner right thigh. They managed to remove the mass without amputation, but there is a new skin tag that has appeared in general area now and is growing that we will be taking her in to get tested soon. (previous testing done on it showed it was clear) With where this current bump is, they would have to remove the entire leg to get it

We have some friends back in oregon with a 3 legged boxer. So far, no problems what so ever for them. Mobility is awesome for them, she actually runs with the other dogs in the dog park sometimes, never had a problem. Theirs was removed because the dog had been a stray hit by a car before they got her.


bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 9:27am PST 
If she needs to get the amputation done, it shouldn't hinder her mobility much if at all. One of my coworkers has a Pit Bull/Boxer mix that needed one of his front legs amputated as a pup and he gets around just fine. He just tires easily on walks due to the huge bulk he has in his chest area. Since yours is in the hind leg I wouldn't think it would cause as much of a problem like that.
Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 10:24am PST 
I had an amputation, but I did not have cancer. My other legs were compromised though, and also my back, so it was difficult for me.

Does your vet perform full body scans for dogs, to be sure this is the only tumor before you put her though this surgery?

The surgery was painful, and recuperation was long, but I was in bad shape when I had the leg amputated. Can they leave part of the leg so you could get a prosthesis?

Best of luck to you, sweetie!hug
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 11:22am PST 
Lily - Check out this thread -Cara's MCT thread- I spoke with my oncologist yesterday and wrote about his general recommendations. As yours has come back I would still consider amputation but find out if they did the Mast Cell Panel and what type of radiation they can provide.
Lily Plata

Watch your toes!
Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 3:54pm PST 
Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers and wonderful information. As you know the doctor that saw Lily yesterday recommended amputation for a couple different reasons. 1. Because it was removed a year ago and has already come back in the same spot, he felt it was highly likely to return again. Plus, he said if it was his dog he would do the amputation to make for certain that they get rid of all the cells, even though he knows this a bit extreme. He was also concerned that since we have already messed with it once and made it angry, he is concerned that some cells may have broken off...this is why he gave me a 90% chance of full removal instead of something higher. 2. Because of where it is located on her leg, they more than likely would not be able to close the wound after debulking it. With the first surgery they thought there was a chance of not being able to close it with all the tissue and skin that had to be removed but they had just enough. The doctor is also concerned that even with debulking it, there is a chance of damaging the tendon and losing function of the leg. If they don't damage the tendon and we go with radiation, radiation would have to be done on an open wound and it would take months if not longer to heal. He was not impressed with the new drug Palladia. When the biopsy was done for the first tumor, it came back a grade 2, clean margins with slight possibility of some cells left behind due to location.
When our first boxer Roxy was diagnosed with lymphoma at 10 months, it was one of the hardest things we have ever gone thru. We fought for her as long as she had fight left and in that case I wouldn't change anything for extra time that we got with her. But we are still paying off all her xrays, mri's, ultrasounds, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, etc. I really don't want this decision to be made based off of money but what is best for Lily. In my mind I feel that amputation is a bit aggressive but I think in my heart I know it is what's best. I feel all the "what ifs" coming on and remember that being such a hard part with Roxy. What if I am not doing enough research, what if it's something I did, what if theres something out there that can be done I just don't know about it, what if I would have caught it earlier...etc.
Thank you for letting me talk and write it out...it is a form of therapy for me and helps me get thru the decisions.