As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Ginger Update – MAST Cell Cancer, Stage 2

Thanks for the positive thoughts and the prayers. I don’t really know what
Stage 2 means – except that the disease is not limited to the single
tumor, as we’d hoped. But Ginger is much too good of a friend to put her through
anything more than Dr Pat suggested when Walt told her that we can’t
afford to take her to a canine oncologist because it is very doubtful that they
would suggest any course of therapy with which we could agree. What kind
of life would Ginger have, should we agree to any kind of radiation

It’s been hard enough trying to keep her quiet while the wound heals where
they removed the tumor – and she can’t understand that is for her own
good, and that we’re only keeping her quiet this week so that she can run like a
crazy dog next? I know that none of us have any promise of tomorrow, so
why should we expect more in relation to our funny fur-baby? We shall enjoy
her while God lets us, and while she enjoys life – be that weeks or years –
and with a diagnosis of Stage 2, it could be anywhere in that range.

We will be treating her with Benadryl 50 mg twice a day – Dr Pat says that
this will minimize the effects of the histamine that the MAST cells will
continue to produce, and hopefully keep them from going crazy and
producing another tumor. We will ask about Prednisone, as that was listed as a
common treatment in the information I read. Other than that, we will let Ginger
be Ginger, and thank God for each day we get to enjoy her.


October 17, 2009 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Uncategorized


  1. Oh, I do hope she gets better soon. I am a firm believer in “a good life is sooo much better than a long life”. I will be thinking of your baby and saying a little pareyr for happy days. B=)

    Comment by Brenda | October 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. Amen and amen to letting her be who she is. Difficult situation ~ gracious, honorable choice (for you and for Ginger).

    Please contact me via e-mail re names for AAQI (your comment came to me as a no-reply blogger) – julieATseftonDOTinfo – thanks!

    Comment by quiltdivajulie | January 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. I was looking to inquire on how Ginger is doing these days? I have a 5 year old boxer named Bruno who in the last 6 months has acquired 4 lumps. The first one we removed in January of this year, same surgery and same spot as Ginger. Bruno’s original tumor was Stage 3 at removal. A couple months later a small one developed on his ear and on his thigh on the other leg. The one on the leg is too small to aspirate and test, the one on his ear we tested and it is mast cell. Last night as I was taking pictures to send to my oncologist of the new one on his hip, I found another one on his scrotum. I have been seeing this well-respected oncologist and he has been treating Bruno with a steroid called Triamcinolone, it is injected directly into the tumor and kills it. Much better treatment than prednisone because they administer that into the blood stream so it goes everywhere and a minimal amount gets to the tumor site, versus adminstering it into the tumor site and minimal goes everywhere else, so the side effects like excessive drinking and peeing were virtually non-existent on Bruno. I am torn on what to do next, despite having a wonderful oncologist, I am not willing to do any harsher treatment like radiation or chemo, quality of life, no matter how short, is paramount in my book. I am guessing you believe the same as you took that route with Ginger. Since there is so little research on dog mast cell tumors, I just wanted to hear from you how Ginger’s condition has progressed. I pray she is well, her typical roudy boxer self!

    Best Wishes,


    Comment by Taylor | June 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Taylor,
      Ginger is still her rowdy boxer self, thanx for asking. She’s slowing down a little bit but that just might be age-related. She was born on Father’s Day, 2004, so she’ll be 7 in a couple of weeks.

      We had to add Tagamet to her pill regimen. She seemed to have what my husband described as doggie GERD (reflux) which may have been caused by the Mast cells in her system, or exacerbated by her boxer sinus/allergy problems. They decided against steroids because they would likely mask the tumors til they would be more advanced when we found them, and would also make her GERD worse.

      We relented and had another batch of tumors removed – but 2 were fatty tumors, and one was early Mast cell. There was another bump that the vet missed when she had her under – so she removed it a couple of weeks later with the “core biopsy” tool, under local anesthetic and she only had one stitch to hold that spot closed. She was grateful to not have to wear the “cone of shame” to sleep and the specialist at Texas A&M that our vet consulted with told her of one dog from whom he removed over 100 tumors over the course of the dog’s life – which I think they said was 11 years. The current plan is that if any more pop up, they will get the core-biopsy tool removal while they are still tiny… but… it seems that because of the drought we’ve been under, there haven’t been so many bees around this year. And we could almost always track back the location/timing of the appearance of a new one to a sting. I’m sure your boxer loves to chase flying critters, too :0)

      Best wishes to your Bruno and to you and your family. Us boxer lovers seem to be a different kind of critter LOL and we do love boxers, bumpy or not!
      BSue (and Ginger!)

      Comment by bsue | June 10, 2011 | Reply

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