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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9749
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My dog has recently become more lethergic than usual, isn't

Customer Question

My dog has recently become more lethergic than usual, isn't eating much, and has a large warm mass on one side of his neck. The mass is growing and just appeared a couple of days ago.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The lump is warm and soft, squishy. It moves around and doesn't seem to painful. It doesn't seem to hurt him when I touch it.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. I'm sorry for this concern for Bandit; I'm certain that you're quite worried about him. When a mass develops quickly and the patient is also lethargic, there are only a limited number of possible explanationswith an abscess or infection being the most commonly seen cause. Cancer can certainly grow in a short period of time but not usually this quickly.Another possibility would be an enlarged lymph node depending on the location on his body. Individual lymph nodes will often enlarge secondary to drainage of infection, usually in the mouth, although it's not always easy to identify the problem without a thorough oral exam under sedation.Hematomas (blood filled space) or seromas (serum filled space) can develop secondary to trauma but they rarely cause lethargy or affect the appetite. It might be helpful if you could take Bandit's temperature. Normal is between 100 and 102.5; if it's elevated, then we have an explanation for his lethargy and decreased appetite....and makes an infection/abscess more likely than not.Unfortunately, he will probably need systemic antibiotics before improvement is seen and the area may need to be lanced and flushed. As to what you can do for him at home, a warm compress applied to the area may provide some relief. As long as he's not vomiting and not currently taking any steroids or nsaid medication, Aspirin can be given which may help to reduce his fever a bit. The dose would be 10 mgs per pound of body weight twice a day although I typically advise that this drug be given with food...which may be a little difficult if he's not eating. Given his age, a vet visit tomorrow may be prudent unless the area ruptures in which case you can clean/flush it with dilute, over the counter Betadine or Iodine (to the color of weak tea) and apply topical antibiotic ointment twice a day. It's possible that he wouldn't need antibiotics and you could treat him at home although this isn't a given. I hope this helps. Deb