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Mastocytoma is another term for Mast Cell Tumors. These cells are components of the immune system. The cell originally come from the bone marrow and is found throughout the connective tissue in a Pug. Mast cells are sometimes malignant cancer while others are benign. Mast cells are results of trauma to the tissue. If one was to push on the cell is could cause fragments or spores from the cells to spread out and connect themselves to other parts of the Pug’s body. Chemicals such as histamine, heparin, platelet activation factor, and etc. can release into the Pug’s body causing itching, gastric ulcers, allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. To have the cell/tumor removed at least 3 cm surrounding the cell/tumor needs to be removed. Most veterinarians will conduct a biopsy to verify if the cell is malignant or benign as well as to confirm the surrounding tissue is not contagious /effected.
Mast cell tumors grow quickly. These tumors can shrink as well as grow larger. They can appear on the outside, under, and inside the skin of your Pug. They will appear as a wart or a soft subcutaneous lump. The coloring of these mast cell tumors can be red, pink, and many other various colors. Some breeds are at a higher risk of developing these tumors and Pugs are one of them. Pugs also tend to develop the less aggressive form but are known to obtain a more aggressive form pending the circumstances.
There are mainly four stages to the mast cell tumors:
1. Stage 1 – a single tumor with clean margins with no signs of spreading. Recovery is good.
2. Stage 2 – one or more tumor(s) with /without regional lymph node involvement. Recovery is good.
3. Stage 3 – progressively greater invasion to local lymph nodes with dirty margins and multiple tumors. Prognosis is questionable.
4. Stage 4 – systemic metastasis to an organ or wide spread presence of mast cell in the blood. Prognosis is grim.
Pugs that are prone to mast cell tumors are usually because of poor diet, stress, illness and even vaccinations. A small tumor will appear at the injection site signifying the Pug is unable to handle the components of the vaccine. A good number of cases usually show up in the rabies, bordetella, and flu vaccines. There are those who state mast cell tumors are because of vaccination while others state it is not either way a mast cell tumor is because of an immune system weakness. If your Pug is prone to mast cell tumors especially while vaccinating then one may want to talk discuss with their vet on other options.
Either way if you notice a lump on your Pug it is best to get it looked at and tested. The earlier you can catch the mast cell tumors usually the greater the prognosis; however there are those tumors that could spread with fatal consequences. No matter the number of lumps it is best to always have them check by a veterinarian and the sooner the better. DO NOT ignore these lumps.



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