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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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We were out of town for less than 24 hours. Our neighbors

Customer Question

We were out of town for less than 24 hours. Our neighbors let our dog out for us. We got home today and she developed a large watery lump on the back of her neck. It does not appear to hurt her and shes running, eating well. She does have diarrhea though
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Hannah, a greyhound, aged 8
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Hannah?
Customer: No she's in excellent health, walks every day and has a good diet of dog food and raw organic beef
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Hannah. I do have a few additional questions to ask about her first if you don't mind:

1. Do you think you could send me a picture of her lump? The following link walks you through the process:

2. Has she been scratching at the lump (if she can reach it, that it)?

3. How much does she weigh?

Thanks, Deb

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No scratching, she weighs about 65 lbs.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

I'm assuming when you said "watery" lump, you meant that it was soft and not weeping/oozing, correct? If that's the case, then I have several thoughts as to what this might be:

1. Hematoma or blood filled space or

2. Seroma which means serum filled space.

Either one of these conditions can develop secondary to trauma where damage is done to cells and they essentially leak into surrounding tissue. What sort of trauma occurred may not ever be known, though.

The body will eventually absorb the fluid inside of them although it may take several days to do so. I usually dispense antibiotics for these patients since bacteria may grow and an abscess can develop. This isn't actually a very common scenario but it can happen.

3. An abscess although I would expect that you'd see evidence of a wound of some sort on the surface of her skin. Also, it's not painful which abscesses tend to be.

If you were concerned about cancer, I can absolutely reassure you that this isn't likely to be her problem. Cancerous growths can develop quickly but not to this size in such a short period of time.

If you wanted to apply a warm compress to the area, it won't cause harm but as to how helpful it will be, remains to be seen.

This wouldn't be an ER type of situation; however, if the swelling isn't reducing in size, a vet visit might be prudent to confirm that this is a fluid filled space (your vet would aspirate the lump).

I hope this helps to reassure you about her. Deb

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** exactly like what is going on. She did try to jump into my car, one week ago while the back hatch was lowering. She yelped and yelped but we were not sure where she hit. But this was 7 days ago. We were just concerned about a possible spider bite or wasp/bee sting. She was home alone with a dog sitter and the sitter didnt notice it at all. We were only away for 20 hours so it was surly very rapid growth. It is very soft, no injury to the site. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

You're more than welcome.

Spider bites/insect stings can cause swelling in a relatively short period of time but they rarely become this large. There really are only a few possibilities given it's size and acute development.

And, 7 days ago does seem like a stretch for a hematoma or seroma to develop but perhaps she injured herself some other way when you weren't present.


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I guess it is possible she could have hurt herself while she was alone in the house. I will have her looked at by my vet on Monday thank you for your time and easing my mind
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

Glad I could help and best of luck with her. Kind regards, Deb