Pfizer recently released here in Australia the first ‘anti-cancer' medication that has been specifically formulated for and registered for the use in dogs. Currently this new drug is registered as a treatment for a skin cancer in dogs called a Mast Cell Tumour (MCT). It is a drug that is highly specific and highly toxic to the cancer cells that we see in these types of cancers.
Mast cell tumours are a common, malignant skin cancer that we unfortunately see regularly in dogs. These tumours require early intervention and aggressive surgery to enable a cure to be achieved. For most of these types of cancers, surgery will still be the first line treatment option, as we can often cure these cancers with surgery. Where a large surgery is not possible (such as around the eye or anus) or where the cancer has already spread, then this new drug, is another option for us to use in our patients.
The key to any cancer treatment is to get it checked out early. Any lump may potentially be cancer. Mast cell tumours are a type of skin cancer that is particularly good at masquerading as small looking non-descript lump. A simple test at the your vet is often all that is needed to assess the lump and ensure that hopefully it is nothing to be concerned about.