The Veterinary Centre

Henley and Twyford

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Case Notes: Cashew: Pekinese with Mast Cell Tumor
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You will not find a more cared for Peke than Cashew. It was during one of his regular grooming sessions that his owner noticed a lump by his foot. This lump had developed quickly and was beginning to look quite “angry”.

The first thing that we did was to take a fine needle aspirate. This simple procedure involves putting a hypodermic needle into the lump and sucking out some cells to send to a laboratory for analysis.

The analysis results were not good news. Cashew had a malignant growth called a "mast cell" tumour.

This now posed the question of Cashew’s treatment options. Mast cell tumours require large margins to be taken when they are removed to reduce the risk of the tumour growing back rapidly.

One option was radiotherapy. This is a specialist treatment and would mean Cashew making regular trips to Cambridge which created new problem – Cashew hates car journeys and has a weak heart. Could he cope? We tried a short journey but the answer was no.

The second option was more radical – amputate Cashew’s leg. Cashew’s owner felt that this was not an option and that he would not cope with three legs and a bad heart.

We tried Cashew on high doses of steroids for a while. This did help to shrink the tumour, but it was still causing him discomfort. We therefore decided to have a go at removing it. Cashew’s owner knew the risks involved but was prepared to try. So, under anaesthetic, we removed the tumour. Surgery went very well. He had a bandage on for a while afterwards to aid healing and the stitches were removed about 15 days later. That was about 6 weeks ago now and, amazingly, there has been no sign of re-growth of Cashew’s tumour.

We are all hoping it stays that way!!


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Henley Vets and Twyford Vets
The Veterinary Centre: 271 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1EL - Phone 01491 574490
Also at Twycombe Lodge, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA - Phone 0118 934 0259