This adorable 11-year-old pup is Mocha! Mocha had been put up for adoption twice before finding her way into the lives of her forever home in 2014. In her case, the third time’s a charm because she really hit the jackpot with her family, where she is loved dearly and a little spoiled too! Mocha had some trauma from her previous homes that made her a dog with higher needs than most, but she is smart, has a lot of character, and is hands down the best friend anyone could ask for.

Sadly, Mocha was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in February 2021 at her primary veterinarian and was referred to the oncology service at the Animal Medical Center of Seattle. Mast cell tumors represent a cancer of mast cells, which are a type of white blood cell involved in allergy and inflammation. Mast cells contain granules filled with substances that can be released into the bloodstream.

In large amounts, these substances can cause systemic complications, including stomach ulceration and bleeding, and low blood pressure. They are the most common skin tumor in dogs, and their cause remains unknown. Because certain breeds of dogs are predisposed, genetics are thought to play a role. Additionally, there are known molecular abnormalities associated with mast cell tumors, and chronic inflammation may also play a role.

Although Mocha’s family was understandably terrified, they realized quickly that the care provided at the Animal Medical center of Seattle is top-notch. Mocha has anxiety issues and hates leaving her family, but when our veterinary technicians and assistants come to the car to bring her inside for her chemotherapy and recheck appointments, she prances away with them like they were part of her extended family. Our oncology team always makes sure to give her favorite treats to make her feel at ease while she is here. And seeing her at ease helps her family feel more relaxed and less scared.

We are happy to report that Mocha was officially declared cancer free! She has one more year of check-ups to be sure that she remains in remission, so the oncology team still gets to spoil her with her favorite treats when she comes and visits. Way to go, Mocha!!!