Marginal excision of cutaneous mast cell tumors in dogs was not associated with a higher rate of complications or prolonged wound healing than marginal excision of soft tissue sarcomas

Publication date 28th January 2022
Authors E Cockburn, J Janovec, Miguel Angel Solano, H L'Eplattenier


To compare wound healing following planned marginal excision of cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCTs) with that of soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) and to identify risk factors for wound healing complications and delay in healing.


126 dogs that underwent intentional marginal excision of cutaneous MCTs (n = 77) or subcutaneous STSs (49).


Medical records of included dogs were reviewed and signalment, tumor size, tumor location, skin closure type, time to healing, reported complications, histopathological grade, and surgical margins were recorded. These variables and outcomes (complication rate and time to complete healing) were compared between dogs in the MCT and STS groups. Potential risk factors for complications and delayed healing were analyzed.


No significant difference between the groups was found in any of the variables. Wound healing complication rates were 29% (22/77) for the MCT group and 31% (15/49) for the STS group. The mean ± SD time to complete healing was 16.5 ± 7.5 days for the MCT group and 17.7 ± 9.3 days for the STS group. These outcomes did not differ significantly between groups. For both groups, the use of subdermal plexus flap reconstruction was associated with the development of complications and increased time to complete healing.


Marginal excision of cutaneous MCTs was not associated with a higher rate of complication or prolonged wound healing, compared with marginal excision of STSs. The use of flap reconstruction in skin closure may delay healing and planned adjuvant therapy. Owners should be counseled regarding these risks and where appropriate and feasible, surgery without reconstruction should be considered.