Rhodesian Ridgeback with Mast Cell Tumor

Our question this week was:

At 8 years of age, my female rhodesian ridgeback had external mast cell tumors removed, no more problems. Then she also got one we decided to leave alone to avoid the pain of surgery again. She gets 75mg benadryl am and pm, and has been fine for 2 years now.

My question is, what can happen to the tumor now that it's that big other than that it will rub on the ground when she sits and make it difficult to defecate eventually. Can it burst open at some point on impact? What happens if it does in the middle of a remote area and she's in pain? We have a long-time vet but have been unable to get our question answered on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!! Sandy


Sandy, thanks for your question. Sounds like a difficult situation. If a dog has a tumor that is so big that rubs on the ground when she sits, etc and you elect not to have it removed, then yes, it can rupture, it can burst open, and/or t can get infected from rubbing on the ground. There is not much you can do if you don't have it removed. They are generally a lot easier to remove when they are small than when they get too big.

If you have problems and your local vet is not available, I'd recommend that you find out where your closest emergency clinic is located, call them and take your dog there.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

Our question this week came from Sandy in Seattle, Washington

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