Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs

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Essential Facts about Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs

Mast Cell Tumor Basics

Mast cell tumors are among the most common tumors in American dogs, but fortunately, most forms of this cancer are very treatable.

They also may be called mast cell sarcoma, or mastocytomas.

Don’t worry too much about the exact name they put on the dog’s disease. The information given here applies to all forms of mast cell tumors. And the treatments are similar.

GOOD news for dog lovers…

About 80% of dogs with Mast cell canine tumors can be put into remission through the use of modern methods of treatment.

Signs & Symptoms of Mast Cell Cancer

The “typical” canine mast cell cancer patient is generally an older larger breed dog.

The first sign of trouble is usually one or more tumors on or under the skin.

The ones you can see are the most treatable, but they can crop up anywhere, and the deeper they are, the more dangerous they can become.

The tumors often change size from day to day and, because their normal function is releasing histamine as an immune reaction, they tend to over do it and swell, or cause a rash or hives when disturbed.

Symptoms of the more serious metastasized mast cell cancer may include:

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Loss of appetite






Lethargy / anorexia


irregular heart rhythm and blood pressure


Delayed wound healing


vomiting (sometimes bloody)


Abdominal pain


Bleeding disorders


Labored breathing


Dark or black feces




Enlarged lymph nodes

Lucy’s vet said keep doing what you’re doing.

Two years ago our poodle, Lucy, was diagnosed with an anal mast cell tumor. The oncologist estimated 6 months to 1 year with surgery, chemo, radiation regimen. Lucy was 11 years old and had already had heart and hip surgery. So we decided against putting her through that regimen and to try the “natural way” to keep her comfortable as long as we could. We tried several potions and finally discovered K9 Critical Care. Four months ago we happened to be at the vet at the same time as her surgeon. He examined her and said he could remove the tumor. It was the size of a baseball (mostly internal). He was successful. Our vet said that she was remarkable and we should keep doing whatever we were doing. I believe that K9 Critical Care kept Lucy in good enough condition that 2 years after her cancer was discovered we were able to improve and extend her quality of life.

for Lucy

Understanding Your Dog’s Diagnosis

The prognosis for a dog with mast cell cancer depends on the stage and grade of the tumor.

The skin tumors are considered to be quite curable and about half never reoccur after being surgically removed.

Other more aggressive types like bone, groin or oral tumors are harder to defeat. But modern treatments, including immune support, can dramatically increase the odds of remission and, in many cases, produce a long term positive outcome.


Dogs that are otherwise healthy have a good chance to become their old selves again.

We all want predictions… how long will my dog last before the disease wins out?

Before you put too much stock in the answer, keep in mind statistics are useful in a general way, but the only thing that really counts is THIS patient. We care about the health of YOUR dog.

Treatment for Mast Cell Tumors

The most common type of mast cell tumors can be treated with surgery alone. More serious cases may require radiation therapy in addition to surgery.

It’s important to combine surgery and radiation therapy with immune enhancement because the first two alone don’t address the underlying cause of the cancer: immune dysfunction.

Immune System Therapy for Dogs

Immune system enhancement can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for dogs with cancer.

Immunotherapy Supplements for Dogs with Mast Cell Cancer

Triggering the immune recognition response with the use of immunotherapy supplements will help your dog’s body to fight the tumors.

Immune system enhancement can increase the length of the dog’s life as well as the quality of life while he is undergoing cancer treatment, so he can eat, play and act like his old self again.

The most powerful form of immunotherapy supplements are those formulated with medicinal mushrooms.

Long a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine, medicinal mushrooms are now getting recognition as the most potent immune system modulators available.

But, not all medicinal mushroom supplements are created equal.

Only K9 Critical Care is specifically formulated for dogs who have cancer, with the highest amount of the active cancer fighting compounds.

Learn more about K9 Critical Care.



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