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Posted 2008-06-10 10:45:45
My dog has developed lumps/swelling the size of golf balls on the elbows. It seems to be fleshy but not painful to the dog. Educated members, please help look at the pictures and let me know what are they and can anything be done to help? Thank you in advance.
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Posted 2008-06-10 11:31:35
my great dane has also big lumps on his elbows, it comes from lying down on hard, rough floor, some dogs tend to get these lumps, especially heavy, big dogs.
here in the heat dogs prefer mostly to ly down on hard floor rather than soft beddings.
what is strange in your pictures that there is still hair on the elbows. did the lumps appear quickly? if so it might be an inflammation.
better have it checked out by a vet.
give your dog soft beddings or a matrass to ly on.
op's in that area are very difficult to heal and should not be done. if no inflammation it is usually no problem for the dog and just not so beautiful...
Posted 2008-06-10 15:18:50
No vet, but have seen this several times, primarily in big breeds. It's what Elfe said: when a heavy dog lies down on a hard surface it can hurt the elbow. To protect the elbow the body forms a liquid cushion around it. This can go together with an inflammation, but it's not always the case.
In case of doubt, just drop by the vet.
It is not a tumor or something as far I can pick up from the pictures.
To solve the problem or prevent the problem from reoccuring, make sure your dog is only able to lie down on soft surfaces. I know, easier said than done.
Posted 2008-06-11 10:08:07
Thanks for your reply. You mean the lumps will go away if I let it lay on something soft? Also, I would like to visit you or something as my dog has started to develop an aggressive possesive behaviour. I am in Loei but willing to travel to CM to see you if needed.
Posted 2008-06-11 11:21:53
In some cases it can go away by itself when it is prevented that the dog bumps the elbow again.
However, in the case of your dog I don't dare to say just from a picture. Can't say if it's only liquid or if an inflammation has already started.
Mangotogo or Bambina (you can also pm them) can give you more professional answers as, after all, they are the vets and I'm not.
You are very welcome to drop by. Wish I could say: "Never mind I come to you". Never have been to Loei and would love to look around there. Seems to be a very beautiful province. But, I'm totally stuck here with work.
Posted 2008-06-11 16:35:56
Hi, these lumps are called hygromas. It is an inflamed bursa. Repeated trauma to the area when lying down brings this on. Sometimes it is just a hardened bursa: no treatment required: other times if filled with a lof of fluid: they can be drained with a needle and then a small amount of longacting corticosteroid injected via the same needle after the serous fluid has been removed.Has to be done aseptically!! Watch who does this! Really bad cases may require surgery but it would have to be pretty bad. I would not advise it.
A soft bed helps but dogs like a cool concrete surface to lie on.
If large and left alone: it may take a while but the fluid can slowly be reabsorbed. Unsightly but not life threathening normally.
Sometimes dogs just get callouses in the same areas: these can also crack and become infected: same soft ground to lie on and gentle cleaning with diluted betdine or chlorexhidine. Antibiotic cream with some cortisone locally...keep clean.
Hope this helps
Posted 2008-06-11 18:12:43
Yep, it helped for me. Thanks, Mangotogo!
Still some questions:
Does it mean that when there is fluid there is always case of an inflammation?
And how far can a hardened bursa cause trouble/pain to the dog?
Posted 2008-06-12 14:51:31
the fluid is the body's response to the trauma/inflammation ( not a sign of infection) only trying to cushion the blow to the elbow...it rhymes!. The problem with large lumps is that they hit the ground first when the dog lies down and it perpetuates the problem. You get a similar vicious cycle with pressure points on the side of tibias in large short coated dogs like dobermans. They get ingrown hairs and small pustules forming on the points where the pressure is the greatest when they lie down.
Posted 2008-06-12 14:55:14
Forgot to answer the second query: usually not painfull,sometimes you can feel some lumps of fibrin inside he bursa: weird feeling but more disturbing for the dog's owner. In old age dogs can develop more swellings on the sides of the elbow joints: there you are dealing with more an inflammation of the joint capsule and some arthritis can be involved: there would be pain and lameness. But for a normal hygroma: no pain.
Posted 2008-06-12 19:49:50
Thank you again, Mangotogo, it's clear to me now.
The forever student, Nienke
Posted 2008-07-02 23:09:36
Hygroma is quite common found in large breeds especially in overweight dogs. It can be corrected by surgery(only). There is nothing to worry about the process. However, post-care is quite hard sometimes as it's the prominent, if a dog lays down with his elbow, the sutured wound may get rapture. Next, you may need to buy a collar for preventing the dog lick his/her wound.
For prevention of hygroma, you may have to lose your dog's weight plus let he/she has a soft bedding. You may even put the elbow pad at the dog's (what's it called? as people wear it when they skate)
Edited by BambinA, 2008-07-02 23:17:55.