• My 12 year old Jack Russell, Abbie, had a large mast cell tumor removed under her front right "armpit" three weeks ago. Her incision looked great and she was back to her normal self about 2 days post op. Yesterday morning, there was a small lump on the top of the incision,,had a limp and was taken in as scheduled to have her stitches and staples removed. They said the staples and stitches came out with no problems. But they were concerned the lump was the mast cell returning already. By the afternoon, she wouldn't move from her dog bed, wouldn't put any weight on her front right leg. Today, she is moving a bit, not putting any weight on her leg, and has swollen "saggy" skin on either side of her front leg, where the tumor had been removed. Is this the cancer coming back? IS this to be expected if we continue without treatment? Does it sound like something that will get better with time, or is this a sign that the cancer progressed that quickly and she is already at the end?

    Hi Julie, I am sorry that you and Abbie are dealing with this difficult problem. Mast cell tumors can be very challenging and difficult especially at the higher stages. There are a number of things that could be going on here including your suspicion that the tumor is growing back and also other complications associated with the surgical removal. I would strongly suggest going back to the veterinarian and asking them to investigate further the cause of the current issue and discuss what your options are including aspiration to determine the cause of the current swelling, radiographs, referral to a cancer specialist, or medications to treat either the mast cell tumor or other possible post-operative complications.

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