Seroma Dog Spay Incision Lump

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A seroma is an accumulation of fluid at the incision area. These occur because of movement at the incision from an active dog and a normal reaction to the dissolvable sutures used to close the incision. Though seromas can resemble a hernia at the incision, the way we close incisions makes hernias extremely rare.

Veterinarian Shares Info on Seromas in Dogs

Seromas, that bump on a dogs surgery incision is likely the last thing a dog owner may want to see on their canine companion. After all, as pet parents, we all wish our dogs would recover uneventfully after surgery—with the incision healing well, smooth skin, and no redness or discharge.

Waking up to find angry skin with a suspicious lump or bump on the dogs incision can surely lead to worrisome thoughts. Is the swelling an abscess? Can it be a hernia? Fortunately, in several cases, the swelling turns out to be a simple seroma.

Veterinarian Dr. Ivana Crnec shares information on seromas in dogs what causes them to appear, what dog owners should do and how they are treated. You may also find it helpful to look at some pictures of seromas in dogs so that you know what they typically look like.

Several other causes of lumps and bumps on a dogs surgical incision are covered as well so that you know other potential causes for similar-looking bumps which turn out not to be seromas.

Of course, its always important that you consult with your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual about your dogs surgical incision. Some surgical complications may be serious and require quick veterinary attention.

What Happens at the Vet’s Office?

If your dog had recent surgery and now has a bump over the incision line, it is best to call your vet and explain the situation.

Depending on the circumstances, the vet may recommend close monitoring or a follow-up. In both cases, it is critical to follow his/her instructions.

When Do Seromas in Dogs Require Treatment?

As already mentioned, seromas are a self-limiting occurrence and if there is nothing worrisome, the vet will allow nature to take its course.

This approach is acceptable when the seroma is small and the vet determines there are no signs of complications. Based on the exact situation, the vet is likely to advise going home and closely monitoring the seroma while applying cold or warm compresses (depending on the phase of the seroma development).

Meanwhile, to prevent further problems, the vet will suggest keeping the dog calm or possible, cage resting. However, the vet will recommend adequate treatment in the following scenarios:

  • The seroma is large or seems larger than before
  • Upon touch the seroma feels hard or hot
  • The skin above the seroma is discolored – usually red or purple.
  • If the seroma is large and there are no additional complication signs, the vet will perform a draining procedure. This may sound complicated, but is in fact quite simple and efficient.

    Namely, the vet will poke the seroma with a wide needle and let the accumulated fluid drain or slowly extract it with a syringe. The procedure is quick and most dogs tolerate it well and awake.

    If the seroma gets infected, the treatment of choice would be drainage followed by antibiotics. In some cases, the seroma may fill up again and require additional drainage. However, if it re-fills this time it will not grow in size as much as the first time.

    Seromas in dogs after surgery can be prevented by keeping the dog quiet.


    Is it normal for a female dog to have a lump after being spayed?

    Your pet’s body is trying to heal the incision, but if your pet is not kept quiet, a lump will form. This is OK so long as it is a fairly firm and symmetrical “knot” under the incision.

    How long does it take for a seroma to go away after spay?

    – A seroma will generally resolve on its own without treatment within 7 to 10 days. – Swelling that is not painful, is not red, is not hot to the touch, and does not go away when you apply gentle pressure may be a seroma.

    What does a seroma look like after a spay?

    A seroma appears as swelling at the surgical site, and this can occur during the recuperation period that follows any surgical procedure. In the case of a spay procedure, the lump will appear around the incision line on your dog’s abdomen. When palpated gently, it feels like a water-filled balloon.

    Are seromas common after spay?

    A seroma after dog spay is common as the spay procedure is typically performed in puppies and puppies are very active and hard to keep quiet.