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Veterinarian Only Please: I have a 10.5 month old Saint

Veterinarian Only Please: Hello, I...
Veterinarian Only Please: Hello, I have a 10.5 month old Saint Bernard female puppy. She was scheduled to be spayed Aug 10, and instead went into heat. About 3.5 weeks later when her heat cycle ended, unnoticed breast swelling and kind of a blue tinged color. The swelling in her vulva and all other breasts besides her bottom two have gone down. The bottom two are enlarged (the tissue around them, blue tinged, and hard). She is playful, eating, etc... she is scheduled to be spayed in 3.5 weeks. What is this. Could it be cancer?
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/23/2017
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 776
Experience: Veterinarian
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Hello, I am Dr. Nicole and am happy to help you with your question. I am working on a response right now and will be back shortly.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Okay, thx

This is a good question. Sometimes a few weeks after a normal heat cycle in a female dog, they will undergo a phantom or false pregnancy. During this time some or all of the glands will swell and discoloration may or may not be present. She will show signs of pregnancy even though she is not pregnant. Sometimes these dogs will even change their behavior a bit. Over time the swelling will go down and there is no harm to her at all during this time.

I would not be concerned about cancer in a pet this young at all. That would be so incredibly rare. I would keep her scheduled appointment for the spay and there should be no reason why they can not proceed with the surgery.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I put unnoticed and meant to put *i noticed

I am assuming that she was not around any male dogs during her heat cycle and so you are not worried about a pregnancy at this time?

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No problem. I just wanted to make sure you go my explanation. Sometimes if we are sending a message at the same time it won't go through. Did you receive them?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
She was only around my 9 year old neutered dog (who tried to hump her very frequently)��‍♂️- but no intact dogs- unless my husband was very irresponsible, but I highly doubt it. She is an inside dog and sleeps in our bedroom. They just seem hard. I am a human health care provider, and keep thinking cancer, mastitis. It's kind of alarming.

Ok. I understand your concern. It would be odd for her to get cancer at this age and mastitis we typically see after they have had puppies and have been nursing. It they seem painful to her then I would suggest warm compresses, monitor for any abnormal discharge. Sometimes with false pregnancy they can have clear to white discharge but shouldn't be purulent. If you see purulent discharge that would be a reason for an exam.

If it is not resolving, more glands are becoming affected and she seems uncomfortable, then you are going to feel a lot better having her examined anyway to ensure all is well with her. Also ensure that she is otherwise eating and drinking well, no signs of fever and active/alert.

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I hope that helps. I know it is a little difficult in this situation as I can not examine her.
If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I am more than happy to help in anyway that I can.

If you are satisfied with my assistance, a 5 star rating is always appreciated as it is how we as experts are recognized and compensated. Even after the rating, we can continue this conversation for up to a week.

Take care and keep me posted on how she is doing.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nicole

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
They are no obvious (to me) signs of infection. Do you see this frequently? I had her examined a few weeks ago and he said 'probably hormones'... However, the bottom two might have gotten bigger, harder. How common is this, and how long does it last? Her heat cycle started 8/10 and lasted (from what I could tell 3.5 weeks).

I am glad that there are no signs of infection. I do see it quite frequently. I just examined a pet the other day. She had a heat cycle at the end of July and was presenting with the same symptoms but all of her glands were enlarged including her vulva. She was nesting and acting more needy.

Does Ava act like they are painful to her? Is she licking at them or lethargic?

This is actually quite common. These symptoms can be noticeable 6-12 weeks after estrus. Usually treatment is not necessary and symptoms will generally resolve in 3 weeks.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Does not act like they are painful. her vulva has reduced in size, but if anything - she might be paying a LITTLE more attention to that area. So - it should resolve in 3 weeks from the end of her heat (would be last week), or a few weeks from now? Is it ever something that you would treat, biopsy? Promise, last questions :-). Thank you for your info and patience

So she probably feels the pressure and tension and if you are carefully monitoring the area daily, then she will be drawn to it also.

It should resolve 3 weeks from when you noticed the swelling which sounds like it was at the end of her heat cycle.

I have never treated a case, unless I had an owner that thought the pet was painful then I would put them on a pet friendly NSAID.

Otherwise, time is the greatest healer. I also have never had to biopsy the site because they always resolved especially in a pet this age. Also, a biopsy might be a bit painful, so that is the other reason to give it some time first.

I am not trying to discourage you from having it tested at all. We all know that young people can develop unusual diseases and this can also be the case with young dogs as well. I am simply speaking from experience and I have never had to biopsy or diagnose mammary adenocarcinoma in a young dog. Now, in older pet, unfortunately too many times! These are pets that do not get spayed early and develop mammary cancer at an old age.

Please continue to monitor the area and if you are at all concerned, then take her in for an exam. I obviously I am giving you my best professional opinion without examining the area. I think that the odds are definitely in her favor that this is something quite benign.

Please keep me posted on how she is doing.

Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 776
Experience: Veterinarian
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you!!!!
You are very welcome.
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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Ava. How is everything going?

Dr. Nicole
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