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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16265
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Im fostering a 4 mo old kitten that was spayed 3 days ago.

Customer Question

Im fostering a 4 mo old kitten that was spayed 3 days ago. Her incision looks ok but when she is up and around there is a walnut size soft swelling with what appears to be a reddish half moon just under the skin and about a third of an inch from the incision. Should i be concerned?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:
Is it only when she stands?
Has she been overly active since the operation?
If you gently press the swelling, does it feel like it pops back into the body?
Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have a photo on my phone of her tummy and will try to figure out how to send it. The swelling does push back in but doesnt stay. She is very active and currently confined to a "pediatric ward" made up of 2 48" dog crates along with 2 siblings. Their tummies are nothing unusual. She doesnt seem to be bothered by it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This am it feels more like a large grape and a bit more solid in form than last pm.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now we have a few concerns with this lump. With her being well in herself and this lump moving away when gently pressed, I would be less suspicious of infection. Instead, we'd have to be concerned about fluid building up in this area (a "seroma" which is the body's way of responding to the tissue layers being disrupted by the surgery. Since it is fluid it is quite mobile and therefore could move when pressed and return when you stop doing so.
Otherwise and especially a concern if you find that the whole lump will disappear back into the body when pressed, is a hernia. This is where the internal stitches in the muscle wall give way. In this case, when this happens, it is the organs that are sneaking through the hole. And when we gently press, they pop back into the body cavity only to come back out when we stop pressing and gravity has its way.
Since this swelling is so profound and sounds to be going back into the body cavity when you press, I am quite worried about a hernia there. And while it is not an absolute reason to panic if everything can pop back in, we'd be concerned if the organs (usually gut) gets stuck outside the body cavity. This can happen as that internal muscle heals and the hole gets smaller. If gut gets caught it can strangulate (which is painful, obviously causes a blockage from compression, and is an emergency).
So, in this case, what we are seeing is a complication of her surgery. If the material you press feels like tissue instead of fluid and goes down when pressed, then a hernia is a concern and we'd want her seen by her vet as soon as possible (usually post operative checks are included in the price of their procedure). Often hernias need to be repaired surgically for these wee ones. Otherwise, if it feels like fluid, then a seroma is more likely. With that it will go down with time and can be gently warm compressed.
So, these would be our concerns for Nugget. It is good that she is comfortable and this can be reduced when you press. But if it does feel like tissue, then a hernia is a worry and we'd want to have her seen for this as soon as possible.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I have an appt for her this am.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, my dear. :)
All the best to you both,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nugget saw a dr. Saturday and it wasnt determined for sure if it was a hernia or hematoma. This wasnt the vet that did her spay however the two know each other. Nugget wasnt in distress so i have been closely watching her and she is seeing the vet who did her spay this am. They suspect surgery will be needed. Thank you for following up.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,I am glad to hear that she has no distress and hopefully it will just be a hematoma. But if there is any doubt that those muscle sutures didn't hold, then surgery is best to correct that for her and ensure it causes no future worry.All the best for wee Nugget,Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nugget had an opening in the linea and the omentum came thru. She couldnt tell if the suture failed or the tissue failed. There were adhesions to clean up and now poor nugget has a bigger uglier incision but should be fine.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, I am glad to hear that they did sort that for wee Nugget. And hopefully now that it closed again, she hcan focus on healing and not look back from this.All the best,Dr. B.