Tue, May 14, 2024

She was spayed 5 days ago. I was just looking at the incision and noticed a good sized lump.

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Dr. Balsama
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A lump at the site of a spay incision five days post-operation can be due to several reasons. One common cause is a seroma, which is a collection of fluid that builds up under the skin. This can occur as a result of the body's response to the surgical trauma. Seromas often resolve on their own, but monitoring the lump is important to ensure it doesn't grow or become infected.

Another possibility is a hematoma, which is a collection of blood, usually due to a small blood vessel that may have started bleeding during or after the surgery. Like seromas, hematomas can also resolve without intervention, but they should be watched for signs of infection or significant growth.

In some cases, the lump could be an indication of an infection, especially if it's accompanied by redness, warmth, discharge, or if your dog seems to be in pain or discomfort. Infections require prompt attention and often need to be treated with antibiotics.

To help manage the lump, ensure your dog is not licking or biting at the incision site, as this can introduce bacteria and cause infection. An Elizabethan collar can be useful to prevent her from reaching the area. Keep the incision clean and dry, and avoid bathing your dog or allowing her to swim until the incision has fully healed.

It's also important to limit your dog's activity level to prevent the incision from reopening or the lump from worsening. Avoid strenuous exercise and keep her on a leash when going outside.

Watch for signs that would warrant immediate attention, such as the incision opening up, a foul-smelling discharge, excessive swelling, or if your dog seems lethargic, refuses to eat, or exhibits any other behavior that is out of the ordinary for her. These could be signs of a more serious complication, such as an infection or dehiscence (opening) of the surgical site.

If the lump continues to grow, doesn't start to reduce in size after a few days, or if you notice any of the concerning signs mentioned above, it's important to have your dog re-evaluated. While many post-surgical lumps are not serious, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

Remember, keeping the incision site clean, preventing your dog from disturbing the area, and monitoring for any changes are key steps in ensuring a smooth recovery. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.