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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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6 yo, male lab has huge lump under neck. A lot of fluid around

Customer Question

6 yo, male lab has huge lump under neck. A lot of fluid around a hard lump. Hard lump about the size of a deck of cards. There was a little draining, but I can't figure out where it's coming from. The draining had a slightly unpleasant odor. Dog seems to be in pain. Took him to vet today and vet gave us antibiotics. Don't have a lot of faith in this vet. Pretty worried about doggie. Should we give antibiotics a chance? Should we get some kind of pain meds? He's usually so happy go lucky, worrisome to see him so subdued.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you 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. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
How long has the lump been present?
What color is the fluid? Is it like saliva, pus, or clear?
Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, this will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar above your text box. Or if you cannot see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on an alternative site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just came back online myself... have to laugh that you referred to my dog as "wee one!!" He's a 94 lb lab!!!! His nickname is "Hoodlum" and well deserved!! He is such a sweet boy. We just discovered the lump 3 days ago. The discharge was clear, thin, slightly unpleasant smell and not too much... I'm not positive if it was a discharge or not??? A couple of days ago when I was trying to examine the lump, I got some fluid on my hands. I then got a paper towel and got a little more, but can't tell where it was coming from. The fluid buildup seems to buildup and lessen. Last night there seemed to be more fluid around the lump and now mostly what I feel is the hard lump. He seems very uncomfortable and flinches when I touch the lump. Trying to decide if I should take him to the emergency vet??? He seems so unhappy. Very worrisome.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
Well, as long as they aren't horses or cows, they are all wee ones to me (my own dog is a St. Bernard and yet he gets called little guy all the time). ;)
Anyway, I am quite concerned about this lump. In regards ***** ***** if there is any chance of a snake bite, then I do want people to err on the side of caution and have them seen. Still, with his local vet having just examined this and no mention of wounds or punctures, I would hope we could put that down our list of concerns. But if we have any doubt a second vet opinion (ER or another practice) may be worthwhile here.
That said, no matter what this lump is, I do think it is worth ringing your vet as soon as they are open (sooner with the ER vet if you thought he was very painful) to have them dispense dog safe anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam, Onsior, Rimadyl, Previcox, etc). That way we can reduce the discomfort and swelling for him. And I would say that is a priority for him.
Otherwise, we have to consider what could arise here and would cause clear discharge. Where it is located is a bit low for salivary gland problems and its diffuse appearance doesn't fit with a cyst. Instead, I would be more suspicious of a seroma. This is where the body leaks serum into the space between the muscle and skin. This happens when dogs have had a injury to the area (if another dog grabbed him and yanked the skin away from the muscle) or can be a reaction to an ongoing irritation in the area (if he has gotten a tracking foreign body like a foxtail/grass awn). And without a history of trauma and all this fluid around a hard lump (which could be an abscess), that would be a consideration here. As well, thought not usually so quick to appear, we can see some growths/tumors cause odd fluid build ups as the muck about with the dog's circulation in the area.
With all this in mind, if we have a focal abscess setting this all off, then antibiotics would reasonable. Still, it just looks like there is more going on here. Therefore, I would at least want his vet to add in pain relief at this point and would advise warm compressing the area (to encourage fluid reuptake). But if we do that and we are not seeing positive progress within a few days, then it'd be best to have him rechecked (or a second opinion) and steps taken to potentially explore this and see what the mass is, remove it, and help the body settle.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much for your advice. We just talked to local vet and he recommended the same things you did... warm compress and pain meds. Thank you also for possible causes. It's very nerve wracking not having any idea what this might be. Of couse, I'm frantic and thinking the absolute worst... I don't deal well with other's pain... especially if they can't tell you what's wrong. Again, thank you for your kindness and consideration.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
I know this will be so very stressful, especially since it is causing him discomfort. Still, I am glad to hear that his vet has the same treatment ideas for Chance and hopefully we can get those underway for him and get this settling.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sharon Brahin,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chance. How is everything going?