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Dog spay incision lump: What it is and what to do

sad dog because of dog spay incision lump
If you've noticed a incision lump after spaying your dog, don't worry

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Having your dog spayed or neutered is a stressful experience, not only for your canine but for you too. However, finding a lump on the cut after spaying is even more stressful. But, don’t panic. The dog spay incision lump you can see and feel on your dog’s stomach is actually a seroma and it’s completely normal.

There are actually many possibilities of what the lump might be. In most cases, seromas aren’t a reason to visit the veterinarian. However, we would always suggest sending your veterinarian a picture of the lumps or taking your dog for a check-up.

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No, let’s take a closer look at what that dog spay incision lump actually is.

Seroma – Dog spay incision lump

So what is a seroma? A seroma is an accumulation of fluid within a pocket of tissue under the skin. We call that fluid – serum, hence the name seroma.

Dog spay incision lump
A seroma or an incision lump that occurs after spaying

While seromas aren’t usually dangerous, it’s also very important to confirm that the swelling is actually a seroma and not an infection. That’s why you should always check with your veterinarian and have them take a look at your dog.

How to treat seromas?

Even though seromas aren’t painful, your vet will still treat them if they are larger in size. Generally speaking, your vet will let the seroma heal by itself if it is small in size. You will have to pay close attention to your dog and monitor the seroma. If there are any changes you should let your veterinarian know immediately.

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Possible changes in the seroma:

  • The seroma seems larger
  • Feels hard
  • Hot to the touch
  • The skin over the seroma is red
  • You notice any other change in color

In the case that your dog’s seroma is getting too big, your veterinarian might insert a needle and extract the fluid from the pocket with a syringe.

How seromas can look like

Seromas, or those bumps you see on your dog’s incision line, can look different:

  • Small round bump at the very top of the incision
  • Long bump along the incision line
  • Balloon-like bump that’s filled with fluid
  • Hard, immoveable bump on or around the incision
  • Puckered section of skin along the incision line

All of these are actually completely normal and shouldn’t be any threat to your dog’s health. However, there are certain seromas or situations that might be dangerous and that ask for an expert’s help:

  • Red, angry, oozing bumps

If you notice that the bumps around your dog’s incision cut are red and if they are oozing a fluid contact your vet immediately.

This can happen at any time actually, not only right after the surgery. Even after several months, there might be changes happening to the cut.

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If you notice bumps like that it can be a sign of an infection. If your vet suspects an infection, they will probably do a bacterial culture to identify the specific type of bacteria infecting the site. This way your vet will know what is happening and which antibiotic to prescribe.

  • Any change

We’ve mentioned above that complications and infections can happen at any moment in the healing process, even after a few months post-surgery. That’s why it’s important to monitor the cut so that you know if anything changes if anything looks different.

Also, pay attention to your dog’s behavior. Are they acting weird, refusing to eat or to drink, are they aggressive, and so on.

We suggest taking pictures of the incision cut for a couple of weeks. Take the pictures under the same conditions, same light, same time of the day, and so on. Only this way will you be able to keep track of any changes that might happen.

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