Gauge, an 8-year-old Lab, was seen by his family veterinarian to aspirate two masses on his chest and rib cage, both of which turned out to be lipomas (slow growing non-cancerous fatty lumps). Gauge then began limping, which was not completely uncharacteristic because he had arthritis in his paws since he was a puppy. When his limp became more pronounced his family veterinarian found a mass on the back of his left thigh and one on the outside of his thigh, and Gauge was then referred to WVRC’s oncology team for further evaluation.
Dr. Wirth examined the masses on Gauge’s thigh and cytology results indicated a lipoma on the outside of his thigh, but unfortunately the mass on the back of his thigh was a mast cell tumor.
Mast cells are normal cells derived from bone marrow that that can be found in various tissue throughout the body. Mast cell tumors are formed when there is excessive growth of mast cells that possess abnormal characteristics.
Gauge’s tumor was in an area that increased the difficulty of a complete surgical excise, which could leave microscopic disease behind and lead to tumor recurrence. Dr. Hurley completed the surgery and although bandaging the area proved to be a bit challenging, Gauge was doing well and getting back to normal.
On a routine recheck exam, another mass was found under Gauge’s eye. An aspirate was taken and results showed it was another mast cell sarcoma, however the lymph node showed no evidence of cancer. Thankfully, the new mass did not mean that his cancer had spread, it was just a new tumor. Gauge then started chemotherapy treatments for both the mass in his thigh and under his eye.
Gauge has now completed his chemotherapy and has Kicked Cancer’s Tail! Great job Gauge!!