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Dr. Lee
Dr. Lee, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5355
Experience:  8 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery
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My dog has a swollen area on her right side on the top/bottom

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My dog has a swollen area on her right side on the top/bottom of her rib cage. She recently had a torn ACL on her right hind leg and had surgery. Do you think this is related? The size of the swollen area appears to be full of fluid and the size of my hand. I just noticed it today. Should I take her to the ER tonight?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
<p>Hi. I'm Dr. Lee and will do my best to help.</p><p> </p><p>Can you tell me a few things?</p><p> </p><p>1. When was the ACL surgery done?</p><p>2. Is she still eating and drinking normally?</p><p>3. Does she bother with the swollen area on the chest?</p><p>4. Is she lethargic?</p><p>5. Is she in pain?</p><p>6. What is her gum color?</p><p> </p><p>Thanks.</p>
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Dr. Lee,

 

Scarlett's TPLO surgery was done on July 14th. She had her follow up two weeks ago with Dr. Beardsley in Austin. She said Scarlett was 95% healed. She told me to let her exercise as normal. She ran pretty hard yesterday. She ate normal this morning and today. I noticed the swollen area around the lower part of her rib cage while she was eating dinner. She does not like me to touch the area too much. Her gums are a light pink. She does not appear to be in pain. She is sleeping next to me. However, I am concerned if this is an infection. What organs are on the right side of a dog?

 

Thanks,

 

Ali

Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
Hi Ali. Thanks for the update.

With any organ enlargement, you are not going to see it bulge out that obviously. But to answer your question, the right side has liver, spleen, kidney. As long as she is eating and drinking, and since the gum color is pink, there is no need to worry for tonight. I would suggest, however, to take her to your regular veterinarian tomorrow to have that looked at. If the mass is just under skin, then it could be a lipoma. But if it is indeed inside, then we might have a tumor inside, either from the liver or spleen usually. This is not likely to be related to the knee surgery, as it was 8 weeks ago and it is not in the vicinity of the swelling. Infections is possible, but I would be more concern about cancer.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX The mass appears to be right under the skin, so I hope that it is only lipoma. Do you think if it were cancer that it would show up that quickly? I have three dogs and two cats and I am constantly running my hands over them to check for any unusual bumps or masses. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with the doctor, so you think she will be fine through the night?
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
Hi Ali. I think she will fine until tomorrow. The key thing is that she is acting normal, breathing normal, gum color is normal. These are the vital signs and there is no need to be concerned at this point. If the lump is soft and movable, then it is likely to be lipoma. But without testing it, it's hard to say. Best thing to do is to have your veterinarian do a fine needle aspirate to determine what that might be.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is not a hard mass...it seems like it full of fluid, but my concern is that is the size of my hand. She has other lumps on her that have been confirmed as fatty tissue...but this one is different in size and the way that it feels.
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
Hi. If it is something you can filled under the skin and not inside the belly, it is ok to wait. To be honest, unless you know how to palapte the abdomen, you will not be able to tell a mass inside the belly. Certainly you do not see a mass extending as you describe. If if it is a splenic tumor, 1. it is difficult to feel even for an experienced veterinarian 2. normally you don't feel them until it is too late, in which case the tumor would have burst and cause anemia(pale gum). Based on your description, it is a mass/swelling just under the skin, and that is not an emergency. Of course, to be on the safe side, you can go to the ER just to be sure. You can never be too safe.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. If you are satisfied with the help, please press ACCEPT. Thanks.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Have a nice evening. I will let you know how it turns out...