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Ask the Veterinarian/mast cell tumor


My 10 yr old shitzu has a mast cell tumor - my vet suggested surgery - but first a series of tests to see if it spread, can she within stand surgery - etc etc - Of course I have been googling since she told me that - and I see a lot of posts about owners going a Benadryl and Tagament (1/2 tab each) per day to shirnk it..
what are your thoughts on this?


Hi Nina,
I know you must be very worried about your little dog. Mast cells do release histamine, which causes inflammation around the lump and can have secondary effects on the gut. The antihistamines can help with this but do not actually make the tumor itself smaller (it may seem smaller because there is less histamine causing inflammation around the lump).

The best treatment is removal, but there is a new medication out that is quite effective too. It is registered for mast cell tumors, particularly those that can't be operated on.

Some good information here on mast cell tumors:

Some information about Palladia:

Hope that helps a little.


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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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