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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19294
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Our 1 year old Golden Retriever has a huge (larger than a softball)

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Our 1 year old Golden Retriever has a huge (larger than a softball) swelling on his neck that had spread down towards his chest. This is the second time this has happened. This time the vet drained the fluid and irrigated the area, but doesn't know the cause. The lab culture came back with E. coli and proteus vulgaris. The vet had previously prescribed Baytril, as he did the first time this happened, and it seems to be working. However the problem is we've already spent well over $1000 and now the vet wants to do surgery to figure out what might be causing it. Given that we are no closer now $1000 later to an answer, I'm not inclined to do the surgery without a better idea of what we're looking for and the vet has no clue what could be causing it. Some background on the dog...he's a pure bred from a first-time private breeder. He was sick last fall as a little puppy with E. coli (different vet) with we think some minor swelling, then had it again this spring with much more swelling and has had it now this fall with again even more swelling. The swelling seems to happen within the course of a day or two as we didn't notice it in the days or weeks before it occurs. Any ideas out there?
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

It sounds like this is an abscess that has not healed completely. I would be more inclined to surgically remove the whole thing as opposed to draining it. Many abscesses will have a large capsule around them, so it's not easy for the antibiotics in the blood stream to get to the actual infection.

When we do surgery, we'll remove the capsule and entire abscess. It can be a big surgery, but it's the best way to resolve these abscesses that recur. It should be a curative procedure.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That does make some sense. Is it odd that he seems to have had it since he was a little puppy? Would something like that tend to be congenital or environmental? Our first vet mentioned something about the breeder, but we weren't sure what she meant. It doesn't really matter now, but just curious. Is it common to Goldens? This is our second Golden and would be the first we've heard of it. Thanks again and I'll stop peppering you with questions.

I think it's more likely some infection that was never managed fully. This is not a congenital issue that we recognize.
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