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Any vets about? Large lump suddenly appeared on young dog's back.

(20 Posts)
moosemama Fri 21-Nov-14 17:01:16

The other day I thought it seemed as if there was a dip/indentation on my younger dog's back, just behind his shoulders. It didn't seem to bother him, so I made a mental note to monitor it and get the vet to check it out at his next appointment.

Then overnight he developed a large (as in palm/handful sized) lump just in front of where I though the dip was. I now think he must have already had some swelling around there and that's what made it appear like he had a dip behind it, iyswim.

It's not painful at all and as I had some Rimadyl left over from his neuter op and leg injury he sustained trying to escape from his kennel at the vets hmm (he had his stitches out on Monday) last week I gave him a dose of that first thing. Since then I'm pretty sure it's got bigger.

When he was younger he had some swelling around his microchip site, after a particularly vigorous bout of play-fighting with our other dog. His chip has always been palpable under his skin and at one point I was worried it might have moved, but it's been in the same place for a while.

I've just realised I now can't find his chip, which makes me suspect that it might have travelled and caused the lump.

I couldn't get a vet appointment today, so he's in first thing tomorrow morning, hence me coming here to see if anyone can put my mind at rest about what it might be. I was stupid enough to Google earlier and scared myself senseless blush but have calmed down now and think, from what I've read and seen online, it may be a seratoma - he had a fairly large seratoma following a leg injury when he was a few months old, so I'm wondering if perhaps he could just have a tendency towards them.

Any thoughts - advice would be appreciated.

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 21-Nov-14 19:00:58

Haematoma/seratoma by far most likely. Often painless, they feel fluidy initially then regress, often have a firm nobbly feeling about them then disappear. It can take a couple of weeks. It's best not to drain them.

HTH smile

moosemama Fri 21-Nov-14 19:31:30

Thank you so much, that confirms what I was thinking and stops me catastrophising after being daft enough to Google blush

It's firm, but obviously fluidy, iyswim and is in a really awkward spot, as I can't put his harness on with it there. Fortunately I have a hound collar as well, so he'll just have to be walked on that until it's completely gone.

I don't have a clue what might have caused it, my other dog is off-colour, so there's been no rough-housing and he's been pretty quiet himself, having been on lead walks only until Monday and only having off-lead time on his own, rather than doing Lurcher zoomies with his big brother like he usually does, since then. confused

So, is it most likely the vet will just check him over then advise watch and wait - or will them want to aspirate it first to check?

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 21-Nov-14 19:39:44

Depends - if I'm fairly confident I'm dealing with a haematoma I just leave it alone. If I'm suspicious I might aspirate but that would only be if the dog was pyrexic or the lump was painful, or if it had arisen less quickly. As soon as you stick needles in things you have infection risk so I avoid that unless I'm doubtful whether it's truly innocuous.

moosemama Fri 21-Nov-14 19:58:26

It has risen quickly - well overnight.

My only other concern is that at his post op check last week, the vet nurse was taking his temp and as she did it the vet walked in and his temp shot up to over 39 degrees. The vet then gave him a full check, just in case and said everything seemed ok. Stitches in neuter site and leg were healing beautifully and he was fine in himself and she did say he has a tendency for his temp to be on the high side of normal generally, plus he'd been on clavaseptin for a week due to the leg injuries so infection was unlikely. So, she put it down to something akin to canine white-coat hypertension - as in his temp went up through stress when he saw her (although he usually adores her). So, now I'm a touch worried that there could have been a grumbly infection that would explain the temp.

Guess I'll have to wait and see what they think tomorrow, but thank you for putting my mind at rest that it is most likely something not too scary.

Wish my usual vet was on duty tomorrow, as I completely trust her judgement and try to see her every time if I can, for continuity of care.

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 21-Nov-14 21:35:12

If it's arisen that quickly and this is a young dog it's really really unlikely to be anything nasty smile

moosemama Fri 21-Nov-14 21:59:07

Yes, he's only 17 months old, so still a baby for a dog of his size really.

Thanks again. smile

moosemama Sat 22-Nov-14 13:09:51

Well, late last night he was clearly in some discomfort with it, a bit sorry for himself, couldn't get comfortable and kept extending his neck in a strange way. Gave him the last dose of Rimadyl we had, but he was up and whining at 3.00. 4.30 and 6.00.

This morning the lump had reduced in size a fair bit, but felt firmer and less fluidy than yesterday. It had also started to track down his left shoulder and his temp was 39, so not majorly high, but vet felt there was a chance it could well be infected.

He was vaccinated a month ago, but possibly had injections when he was neutered too, so could be a reaction to either of those, but whilst the scanner could read it, neither of us could locate his chip, which means it's in the swelling somewhere.

So, he's back on Clavaseptin and Rimadyl and booked in to be re-checked on Tuesday by our usual vet. If no improvement by then, they will do more thorough investigations.

He's perked up quite a bit since having his pills on return from the appointment and has just asked me to play with him, which he didn't do yesterday.

Fingers crossed it's just an abcess/infection the antibiotics will deal with, but I haven't a clue how he got it. confused

crapcrapcrapcrap Sat 22-Nov-14 23:19:16

Hmmm, odd one. Let me know how it turns out.

Hope you both have a better night tonight!

moosemama Sun 23-Nov-14 08:35:05

Better night - just 2.00 am and 6.15 am and I think to be fair it was dh's mobile phone that he'd forgotten to switch off that disturbed him at 2.00.

He's had two doses of antibiotics and Rimadyl now and I may be wrong, but I think the lump seems a little bigger this morning, it's definitely no smaller.

He's happy enough in himself, but moving differently than normal and clearly not wanting to stretch that part of his back. He's usually a great one for those big long Lurcher stretches, but now he's just doing a small stretch then, gingerly setting his backside down, instead of stretching himself into a down like he usually does. Having said that he still managed to do zoomies around the garden in the pitch dark and pouring rain at midnight last night!

He was neutered using Propofol, which I presume is IV, so I'm not sure they would have been likely to inject the Rimadyl in his back/shoulder, as he would already have been set up for IV and having checked, his vaccinations were almost two months ago, so it seems a bit late for a reaction to that.

All very confusing really. Trying hard not to think about the scare stories I was daft enough to Google now.

crapcrapcrapcrap Sun 23-Nov-14 08:43:42

I give NSAIDS subcut during surgery unless they are getting IV fluids. It wouldn't be unusual to give a premed subcut either. So injection reactions are definitely a possibility smile

My old saluki girl gave herself a haematoma right at the top of her scapula years ago. No idea how! It did get pretty huge though.

moosemama Sun 23-Nov-14 08:46:46

Thanks crapcrapcrapcrap, that's reassuring.

crapcrapcrapcrap Mon 24-Nov-14 21:46:28

Hope he's feeling OK moose smile

moosemama Mon 24-Nov-14 21:53:31


The lump has reduced in size, but now feels pretty solid.

He seems more comfortable, is moving more easily and is still fine in himself.

I have a follow-up appointment with our regular vet tomorrow morning.

If they've had one injection site reaction, does that mean they are more likely to have others - or does it tend to be a one off?

crapcrapcrapcrap Mon 24-Nov-14 22:06:29

I wouldn't necessarily expect others in the future.

I'm still not ruling out a haematoma!

moosemama Tue 25-Nov-14 11:13:23

Just back from seeing our usual vet.

Lump has reduced, but is still fairly firm and she said too far back to be a vaccine or injection site reaction.

She decided it was best to aspirate at this point and tried three times. Nothing at all came out the first two times, then a really tiny amount of blood/serum on the last try. She's put it on a slide to take back to the main office and I have to call this afternoon to see if it has helped give us any answers.

Best guess at the moment is an organizing abcess - but none of us have a clue what he could have done to cause it - although dh has just speculated that as he tried to scale over 6ft to escape his kennel at the vets on the day he was neutered, he could possibly have injured his back then, especially if he fell from the top onto his back.

moosemama Tue 25-Nov-14 16:15:45

Results are back.

First slide was clear of cells, second one had just a couple of old white cells, which she said wouldn't be indicative of pus - so probably not an abcess?

She thinks it may have been a haematoma/seratoma and the antibiotics have dealt with any infection, which is why it's shrinking.

So, we have another 5 days of antibiotics and she's reviewing him next Monday.

crapcrapcrapcrap Tue 25-Nov-14 18:28:25

Haematoma I reckon, just at the organising stage (so basically a big clot hence it being firm and nothing much to aspirate) smile It's so unlikely to be anything else.

Hope he continues to improve.

moosemama Tue 25-Nov-14 18:47:31


My vet said something about it possibly being an 'organising abcess' to begin with.

Sorry to keep asking daft questions, but what does 'organising' mean?

moosemama Tue 25-Nov-14 19:12:57

Ah - its ok, after very careful googling I have worked out that it means it's encapsulated or starting to become encapsulated. That makes sense.

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