When Missy attended her annual check up at the vets in April 2013, aged 5yrs 2 months, it was then that one of the vets became concerned about a lump on her right leg, she had had this lump since she was about a year old and previous visits to the vets had claimed it was a cyst. A biopsy was taken and the results came back that the lump was suspected to be a Grade 3 MCT (Mast Cell Tumour). The lump was successfully removed at our vets but unfortunately within the weeks that followed another two lumps were discovered on Missy’s sides and they too had to be removed. It was at this point that she was referred to the Oncology department at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, where they were going to carry out ‘staging’, evaluate the previously removed lumps and look at treatment for her.
During first examinations at the hospital they found two lesions on Missy’s abdomen. Along with these and previous lumps, biopsies were taken and results showed that Missy had low and intermediate grade MCT’S as well as two Grade 3 MCT’S and Trichoepithelioma (skin tumour). Altogether, Missy underwent three operations to remove lumps from her body, she also underwent weekly injectable chemotherapy (vinblastine) for the first four weeks, followed by every two week treatments for eight treatments in total. This also included oral medication of Prednisolone.
Missy continues to attend the hospital with her next appointment this month, July, where they will carry out abdominal ultrasound and do aspiration of her liver, spleen and lymph nodes. This will look to see if the cancer has spread.
Although two of the operations proved difficult for Missy with regards to recovery, short on-lead walks etc Missy has coped quite well through the past months and scored high on quality of life through her chemotherapy treatment. She never really lost her boxer bounciness and still bossed her little brother and sister about.
Missy’s cancer has affected us, as owners, in many ways. Financially is one, with her treatment running into thousands, thankfully our insurance has covered the best part of it. I think though, more importantly, emotionally to hear the vet say that your dog has cancer is just awful, the unknown of what was going to happen to her was just dreadful. With the help of the professionals involved, our thoughts became clearer and our questions were answered and we were able to make the right decisions for our dog, with her best interest at heart.
To help the Animal Health Trust (AHT) with their research into Boxer MCT’s and cancer, Missy will be providing a cheek swab sample. Hopefully this will help them with their research study.
Find out about our Boxer Cancer Appeal to raise funds and awareness for the Animal Health Trusts research into MCTs in boxers.
If you would like to share you and your boxer dogs experiences with Mast Cell Tumours (MCTs), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.