We got this great note and reminder from Jim about his Sheltie, Deacon. Thankfully it has a happy ending. Be sure to check your fur babies!

Just wanted to share some news with other Sheltie owners. I recently discovered a small growth on Deacon’s snout. I thought it was a mole of some sort. Just so happens he was scheduled for a vet visit the next day. The vet saw it and immediately biopsied it and determined that it was a Mast Cell Tumor which is a cancer related to over-active immune response.Mast Cell on Sheltie nose

He had surgery a few days later after treatment with Prednisone to shrink the tumor (which worked amazingly well). After pathology reports it was determined that it was a low-grade tumor and was removed with clear margins. The vet said Deacon should be fine but these tumors tend to reoccur, are fast growing, can metastasize and be deadly.

They are most common on Pugs, Bulldogs and Boxers but can occur on any breed. Tumors are difficult to detect on Shelties due to the heavy coat but with Deacon’s location it was fairly easy to see. I just wanted to share so that other owners can check their pets skin frequently, be on the lookout for these tumors and can be encouraged to seek medical aid as soon as possible.

Sheltie after mast cell removalHis cone is now gone and he’s healing well. Hoping for no reoccurrence.

5 Responses to “Shelties and Mast Cell Tumors”

  1. Debbie Gilbert

    My first Sheltie, Sunny, died of a mast-cell tumor in 2005, just four days before her 14th birthday. The tumor was on her neck, in front of her throat. She underwent four surgeries within a period of about 10 months, but the tumor was extremely aggressive and every time we removed it, the cancer came back quicker than before. Then she began having liver problems, indicating that the cancer had likely metastasized, and there was nothing more we could do. I still think about her and miss her every day.

  2. Ann Marie

    Poor baby! How lucky Deacon is to have a conscientious and caring dad in Jim! Thank you for sharing your story, may we all be as proactive about our babies’ health!


      Thanks for your comment Ann Marie. I could hardly believe the vet’s diagnosis as I had just lost my wife to cancer a few months earlier. I hope it doesn’t reoccur.


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