The prospect of finding a Mast Cell Tumour (MCT) is something that most dog owners will dread having to deal with and hopefully overcoming.
One of our fosterers Kim, talks about her experience and perspective on a new drug called Stelfonta with the successes she and her vet have had in using it as an alternative to anaesthetic and invasive surgery to remove tumours.
Written by fosterer, Kim:
8 year-old Pug, Dotty, came in just before Christmas and had clearly not been seen by a vet for some time. She had a large MCT on her side and then another small lump on her foot. It was decided to remove the tumour on her side asap and while she was under anaesthetic, the vet took a fine needle aspiration of the smaller lump on her foot.
When the results came back as another MCT, we knew the only option would be using Stelfonta because it would not have been possible to get any margin with surgical removal in this area.
This was my 3rd time experiencing the use of Stelfonta, and we were confident in our vets treating Dotty with it.
The pre-meds are super important and have to be followed strictly, but the procedure is really quick, only requiring minimal sedation.
Dotty was at the vets for a couple of hours only and did not need to go under general anaesthetic so it’s so much safer for pugs.
Dotty’s tumour has followed the same pattern as we have experienced before. The site was swollen and uncomfortable for around 48 hours but she had plenty of pain relief.
On day 3 the swelling was starting to subside and the tumour was going black. On day 5 in the evening the tumour had shrivelled up substantially and was hanging by a thread! Day 6 the tumour was off…. leaving an open wound that was clean and clear.
Over the next few weeks the wound will gradually heal over and eventually we won’t even be able to see where it was.
The process is very quick and efficient when comparing the risks to traditional surgery options and now having been through the process 3 times personally, my experience and with my vet experienced in the use of Stelfonta, we would definitely recommend it.
Of course, as with any drugs there are always risks.
Written by Fosterer, Kim, with our thanks.
For more general information about MCTs, please read:
Mast Cell Tumours – by PDWRA Vet Advisor, Helen. | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk)