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Seroma 9 days following surgery: now question about wrapping, post 7

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  • Seroma 9 days following surgery: now question about wrapping, post 7

    Last Thursday (Oct 4), my 8 year old Ridgeback went in to remove a cyst from her foot. Since she was out, we also removed several small skin tags and lipomas.

    She has been fine, healing well, no issues. This evening she seems to have developed a hematoma under the sutures where a lipoma came off. It's pretty much right at the point of her sternum, so I could see how she perhaps knocked it or irritated it. She's now got a fluidy feeling swelling that's about the size of half a golf ball. The lipoma was small--perhaps the size of a dime. The two sutures look good and the skin is holding well. There is no fluid leaking through. There's no heat, and there's nothing that makes me think there's infection brewing in there.

    Is there any reason to worry here? The reasonable person in me is saying that it's just a hematoma, no reason to worry, and to call the vet for a chat on Monday. The worrier in me is a little freaked out with how fast this thing came up and how big it is.
    We did confirm everything was benign, so this is not cancer going crazy, and Koa was on antibiotics for a week following surgery.
    Last edited by Simkie; Oct. 24, 2012, 10:53 PM.

  • #2
    Is it really a hematoma, or a seroma?

    Try warm packing 4 times a day until you call your vet on Monday. If its a seroma is should slowly dissipate over the next few days. If its a hematoma, it will also dissipate but you will likely see bruising.

    Seromas are common around the suture line, an really pose no threat


    • Original Poster

      Yep, could be a seroma. It's just a squishy, wobbly sack of fluid. Any way to tell the difference without sticking a needle in it? I don't see any bruising but her skin is dark there.

      Thanks for talking me down off the ledge It just came up so fast last night. Really sort of freaky how it was suddenly there, and quite large!!


      • #4
        Seromas are "common" along suture lines. Hematomas usually means there was a sudden bleed (which could happen if there is a coagulation issue, or a major whack to the area). They arent common this long post op unless there was trauma to the area.

        Seromas sometimes form when sutures are dissolving and there is a reaction.

        Often with a hematoma you will see bruising, or discolouration of the area. But, the only way to tell is to stick a needle in it. Seromas will often leak clearish/red fluid, where hematomas will be straight blood.

        Either way, Im sure your dog will be just fine until Monday, but if it doesnt go down in size Im sure they will give her a quick recheck


        • #5
          I'm going with seroma too! They will go away on their own. Cheyenne had a HUGE one after having a mast cell tumor removed. It didn't go away and was bothering her so I had the vet drain it and it went away. I was told it would have reabsorbed but I wanted it gone
          ~Run and Jump!~


          • Original Poster


            The seroma grew to about the size of a small plum and was not reducing, so we drained it today. Due to the location, it is quite likely that it will refill, so the vet sent me home with supplies to drain it as needed and advised I keep Koa wrapped or in something like a thundershirt. We went the thundershirt route for sanity and Koa is now rockin her ripped muscle builder look.


            • Original Poster

              Current frustration: the stupid thundershirt slides back, leaving the spot we need to wrap just in front of and out of the belly portion of the wrap. Grrrr. It's a tough spot, as the seroma is on the deepest part of the sternum and Koa is a lean, mean, fighting machine (not really on the fighting, but she's all muscle and not at all fat, so rather wasp-waisted.)

              I've ordered one of these: http://www.amazon.com/The-Original-A...words=dog+wrap and it will be here tomorrow--it looks like there's a piece between the front legs, which should stabilize the sternum better.

              Barring that, any other ideas to keep a pressure bandage on the deepest part of the chest?


              • #8
                Be glad it's small, my first horse had one the size of a *basketball* on the back of his haunch, that thing was godawful to deal with!
                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                • #9
                  I sure have no suggestions, but poor Koa, that's got to be a bit uncomfy! I take it the prognosis for all this is good?
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET