One Year Since MCT Diagnosis

It has now been one year since Rosie’s initial diagnosis of Mast Cell Tumor, grade II, and Rosie is doing great.  Last year it started as a small lump on her lower abdomen.  The owner of our doggie daycare pointed it out to us and recommended we take her to the vet.   I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

The vet did surgery to remove the lump and was confident he got all of it and we didn’t need to do anything other than keep an eye out for any more lumps. 

Two months later in August 2009, it came back with a vengeance.  Another lump on her surgery scar.  Test results came back as Grade II MCT with a Mitotic Index of 20.  That was bad news.  The mitotic index can be an indicator of lifespan.  The higher the number the shorter the life span.  We took her to an oncologist who said if we did nothing Rosie may only have 2 months to live.

That was 10 months ago and Rosie is alive and well and doing great.  In August 2009, about 1 month after our oncologist received the initial batch of new drug, Palladia, we started Rosie on it.  3 times per week, two 50 mg tablets per day.  The oncologist warned me they did not know a lot about this new drug, but we could try it.  I’m glad we did.  For 10 months it has worked for Rosie. 

Yesterday Rosie went for her regular 6 week check up.  Her ultrasound was normal.  Everything was clear.  All her bloodwork and tests were normal.  Our oncologist was thrilled about how well Rosie was doing.   She said usually a dog with a mitotic index of 20 in August 2009 would not be here today.

Our oncologist recommended that we continue the Palladia treatment.  She believes the Palladia is suppressing the “mutation” (I assume of cells turning into cancer) and that if we stopped the Palladia the cancer would return.

So we continue on and Rosie’s life goes on.  Thanks to our vet, oncologist, doggie daycare owner, and Palladia, Rosie is still with us.  She brings a lot of joy and love to our lives.  We are so grateful that she is still with us.  

Good luck to everyone whose furbaby is fighting this disease.  Our prayers are with you.  Remember, there are success stories like Rosie’s.  There is hope.

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6 Comments on “One Year Since MCT Diagnosis”

  1. : ) Says:

    You go girl!

  2. Anne Laskin Says:

    Congratulations to you and Rosie.

    During Rosie’s first year on Palladia, did she have to stop at any time because of a low white blood count?
    If so, how long was she off the Palladia before she was able to resume?

    Thank you for all your helpful insights into this complicated cancer and Palladia.
    Sincerely,
    Anne

    • rosiesmom Says:

      Anne,

      Fortunately, Rosie never experienced a low white blood count while she has been on Palladia. One time we did have to stop the Palladia two weeks after she started on it due to diarrhea. Then the oncologist reduced the dosage and started it again a few days later.

      Rosiesmom

  3. Amy Aronson Says:

    Our 9 year old golden retriever was diagnosed with stage 2 to 3 MCT in May. (Most recent biopsy is stage 3) She’s had surgery twice. (We will not submit her to any further such procedures.) She tolerated, and got substantial tumor shrinkage, with both vinblastine and CCNU. Unfortunately, both drugs are no longer effective. We tried radiation, but all that did was confirm that the MCT has metastasized. We started her on Palladia last Wednesday. So far, the results have been encouraging. All the “new” tumors have “disappeared”. The main tumor has shrunk so that it is almost imperceptible. We do know a lot about MCT at this point, and know we can not make it go away. We will put our beloved Magnolia down when the quality of her life is diminished. (For the most part you’d never know she was sick now.) What I’d like to hear from this blog is stories of dogs who have beaten the median of 3 months of disease control. We know the “bad stuff”. We’d like to hear from those of you who have positive news about Palladia in situations like our dear Magnolia’s.

    • rosiesmom Says:

      Hi, Rosie has been on Palladia and in remission for 16 months. She is a heppy go lucky dog. You would not know she was ever sick. There is a dog cancer support group on Yahoo that is active. I think there are a couple of other people whose dogs have been on Palladia for a year or at least a number of months. You will also hear the bad stuff as well but that comes with the territory. Welcome, I’m glad you found this blog. I’m sorry you have a need for it, but I’m glad you found it. Good luck to you and Magnolia.

  4. Sonja Says:

    My little yorkie/jack Zoey had a mast cell tumor on her bum. The vets misdiagnosed it for years as a bug bite, or a food allergy after countless visits to the vet. It was itchy and she would rub her bum on ground. They finally did a biopsy and diagnosed her with stage 2 advanced MCT (Mast Cell Tumour). It was surgically removed within a few days. It was a very tough recovery for Zo as the stitches were quite itchy and uncomfortable from her large wound. She ended up tearing open her stitches ( even with intense 24hr care of being watched like a hawk) and she had to go under again to have staples put in to close it again. They were not able to get clear margins when removing the tumor, so they recommended an oncologist apt.
    There I was told Zoeys MitotIc index was 20. Not good news. She was given 6 months to live if nothing was done. She is only 7 Yrs old. Human chemo would be very hard on her as she is only 12lbs. So we decided on the last option of Palladian and prednisone medications in combination. It’s been 3 months now and Zoey is doing great! Fingers crossed! She has another 3 months of treatment left. She has no side effects. Her bloodwork came back 4 wks ago on one of her bi-weekly oncology visits that she was dehydrated. We decreased the prednisone doses and I encouraged a lot of water intake. I even got her infant pediatric electrolyte fluid at drug store (unflavoured), and at her next Dr. Apt her levels were back to normal!
    So far so good with Palladia! I have no idea if itsbworking but Zoey is full of energy, has a good appetite, and loves to play! You couldn’t tell she’s battling cancer if you didn’t know. Some days she’s tired, but that’s like most dogs I think. I just wanted to share hopefully some positive experiences with MCT and Palladia. Rosies story is touching and inspiring! I hope Zoey will have a long, healthy life as well! 🙂


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