This morning we woke to Ella's neck/shoulder in front being EXTREMELY swollen. We didn't know what it was, but I made Ben call off work, and we took her into the vet at 8 am. I figured maybe a bug bite that she had a horrible reaction to. She was acting fine, maybe a little stiff, but that could be because she was sleeping all night long. Then I thought that maybe she pulled a neck muscle or something the other day while on her spring pole. The rest I've posted on my pit bull forums already: Doc came in the room, took a look at her, we put her up on the table, and he put his hand on it, gently grabbed it, winced and said, "oooh, that's her lymph node." He also found, what he believes, to be 3 mast cell tumors right near the lymph node. I'll just type out what the papers state that we received from them: "10 cm diameter swelling over the right prescapular lymph node. Three 1 cm diameter inflamed and raised areas just ventral to the right prescapular lymph node; in-house cytology shows basophilic granules." He believes the three 1 cm lumps are mast cell tumors, but since he didn't want to say for sure, he took several slides. He took bloodwork. The bloodwork results will be in tomorrow, but the labwork will be another 2-3 days. He aspirated (is that the correct term?) the swollen lymph node and it clogged the needle. Poor Ella was so poked and prodded today. As soon as he said "It's her lymph node", I swear every organ in my body bottomed out and my eyes swelled, and I thought, "Oh god, it's cancer". Then I immediately started closing doors in my head and straightening up, and forcing myself to go, "Nope, you don't know. Not until the results come back." All this was going on and we all stood and talked about the...the possibilities for what it might be. The good thing is, it's only that one lymph node. All her other lymph nodes are fine. So, he also gave us an antibiotic and some cream for her. We're PRAYING it's a simple infection. Even a major infection that the antibiotic will take care of. He obviously thinks the three small lumps have to do with why the lymph node is swollen, and this wouldn't be her first bout with mast cell. She did have one removed 2 years ago that came back a level II, so we knew it was a possibility that more would pop up. We check Ella EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY we have our hands on her and we feel for lumps and bumps. And we NEVER noticed those three bumps. Perhaps it's still a bug bite? Who knows. But I am FORCING MYSELF NOT to panic. It's difficult, but I cannot panic until I hear the lab results. Here's some pics I took to show the difference in her two sides. The first pic of her left side, the normal side: Then of her right side, where the swollen lymph node is: Huge difference, huh?. A facing forward shot: And what he believes are mast cell tumors. These are RIGHT below the swollen lymph node. The crustiness is from the prescription cream he gave us to put on them.