Dogs with mast cell tumors (MCT) are often affected with paraneoplastic syndromes such as gastrointestinal ulceration. The mechanism of ulceration is believed to be related to hyperhistaminemia. To test this hypothesis, plasma histamine and gastrin concentrations were measured in 17 dogs with MCT. Plasma histamine concentrations in dogs with MCT were significantly higher than those in normal dogs. Conversely, plasma gastrin concentrations in dogs with MCT were significantly lower than gastrin concentrations in normal dogs. Additionally, plasma gastrin concentrations were inversely related to plasma histamine concentrations, which provided indirect evidence for the presence of hyperacidity secondary to hyperhistaminemia (r2= 57.7). Plasma histamine and plasma gastrin concentrations were not related to clinical stage of disease, tumor histologic grade, or tumor size. Median survival time was 245 days, with a range of 90 to 1315 days. Because the degree of hyperhistaminemia could not be predicted in this study from the clinical stage, histologic grade, or tumor size, these data suggest that hyperhistaminemia may occur in any dog with MCT.