This is known as a seroma. As long as the swelling does not seem painful when you touch it and there is no discharge, seromas usually resolve on their own. You can apply a cold compress to the incision for 12-24 hours and then a warm compress for a few days to help decrease swelling and inflammation.
Seromas are a common occurrence at the surgery site and do not require treatment. 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.
To do this, your doctor will insert a needle into the seroma and remove the fluid with a syringe. Seromas may return and your doctor may need to drain a seroma multiple times. In some cases, your doctor may suggest removing the seroma entirely. This is accomplished with a very minor surgical procedure.
Cold therapy applied to the affected joints may also be started the day following surgery. This helps to reduce swelling and bruising in addition to providing pain relief. A frozen gel pack or bag of frozen peas or corn wrapped in a tea towel can be applied to the joint for 10 minutes, 2-3 times daily.
Heat and Ice Packs. Applying cold to swollen and inflamed incisions can help reduce pain to an incision. Once the swelling and inflammation decreases, heat can then be used to encourage healing by increasing blood flow to the incision.
Here's a few tips to help keep your dog calm after surgery.
Antibiotics to prevent infection and pain medication to relieve post-op discomfort are the 2 most commonly prescribed medications for pets after surgery. If your pooch is anxious or high-strung your vet may also prescribe a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help keep them calm while they are healing.
Dog's just don't understand when they are in recovery and are likely to become frustrated at the reduced level of activity, the itchiness of their incision site, or just the overall lack of stimulation following surgery, so it's important that you give your pet stimulation and loving reassurance in other ways.
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Abdomen wounds: Short-sleeved T-shirts knotted at the waist are a good way to protect sutures located on your pet's abdomen. Hindquarters wounds: Short-sleeved T-shirts put on backwards (tail through neck hole, legs through arm holes) and knotted to secure can help protect hindquarters sutures.
If you don't have any onesies on hand, another alternative is to cut up an old t-shirt to create a post-surgical suit. For this option, you'll cut out a large square of fabric, cut four holes for the arms and legs, position your cat or small dog in the leg/arm holes, then use safety pins to fasten everything.
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A seroma is not often dangerous, but it can cause pain and discomfort. If you have a seroma, your doctor or care provider can offer advice or relief.
A seroma is a build-up of straw-coloured bodily fluids in an area where tissue has been removed at surgery. The fluid can make the area feel hard and this can become uncomfortable. Your surgeon may place a drain in the surgical site to control the fluid initially.