A 4 yr old female neutered Labrador retriever was referred with a history of left hind-limb lameness and an acute, nonpainful, subcutaneous mass on the medial aspect of the left stifle.
Stifle radiographs and fine needle aspirates of the soft tissue mass performed by the referring veterinarian confirmed the presence of predominantly highly granulated mast cells, consistent with a mast cell tumor. Computed tomography demonstrated a soft tissue mass centered on the left medial stifle, with associated joint effusion and polyostotic lytic lesions on the tibial plateau and distal patella. Ultrasound-guided aspirates of the liver, spleen, and popliteal lymph nodes were obtained to rule out further metastatic spread. Cytology of the joint fluid demonstrated a low number of well-differentiated mast cells. Surgical and oncological interventions were discussed, and full hind-limb amputation was elected.
Histopathological analysis of the submitted tissues after amputation diagnosed a subcutaneous mast cell tumor with neoplastic cell infiltrate extending into sections of joint capsule and synovial membrane. Infiltration to the tibia and distal patella were suspected following the presence of mast cell clusters in both osteolytic lesions. No evidence of metastasis was identified in the popliteal lymph node.
Postoperative monitoring of iliac lymph node size using ultrasound did not identify evidence of metastasis 12 mo postoperatively.