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Ask Dr.Fiona Your Own Question
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My male boxer koa has a bump directly on top of her head. he

Customer Question

My male boxer koa has a bump directly on top of her head. he is only 3mnths and the bump isnt the cone shape. its a soft ball shape and is moveable but stays on the top of his head??? should i be concerned
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi thereCustomer

Welcome to Just Answe! I would like to help you and Koa with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.


Did this bump come up suddenly?


How long has it been there?


Has it changed at all in the time it has been there?


Any bumps elsewhere on his body?


Does it seem painful?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

its been there for about a month now and it doesnt seem painful when i touch it or move it a little. no other bumps on his body. He isnt acking sick or like he is in pain. It hasnt gotten any bigger and i did just notice it suddenly about a month or so ago. At first i thought it was just it was his head. You know how boxers have that cone but its too big.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hmmmm... does he play with other dogs ever?


Or could he have run under a chair/table and bumped his head?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes i have a 7 month old female boxer who he plays rough with all the time.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Wow - that must be a busy house! ;-) I bet you have to wear shin guards to get from one end of the room to the other - LOL!


I have an idea what might be going on, and will be right back with your answer. :-) Fiona

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi again,



With any lump, testing would have to be done to be certain of what it is. This is the same as for a woman with a lump in a breast - no doctor is going to suggest a diagnosis based simply on finding a lump. Tests would be done to know what the lump is, and what needs to be done about it. In dogs, this often just means doing something called a "fine needle aspirate."


A fine needle aspirate (FNA) is easily done by inserting a small needle into the lump and aspirating (sucking out) some cells to be examined on a slide. This slide may be examined in-hospital by the vet, or sent out to a pathologist (a specialist in this area). The advantages of a FNA are that it is fast, minimally invasive, easy and the least expensive option . The disadvantage is that it is the least effective at making a diagnosis.


However, with your dog, there is a very good chance that not only would this give a diagnosis, but would also be an effective treatment. The reason that I say this is because what you are describing is probably either a seroma or a hematoma.


A seroma is a pocket of serum (the clear fluid left over when blood clots). A hematoma is a pocket of blood, basically a blood blister. It is otherwise just the same as a seroma. Serum is just the fluid left over when blood clots, so most hematomas become seromas as the blood inside clots - thus creating a little lump of blood clot and a ball of serum.


This could have occurred because there was oozing under the if the other dog pulled on the skin, or if Koa slid into a wall, table or chair. Basically, it is a huge blister. Seromas/hematomas are not unusual after rough-housing but this is an unusually big one.

Usually, with a seroma, I do drain it aseptically with a needle and syringe, and possibly give a course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, it often fills again, which indicates that the skin has not yet adhered to the underlying tissue. It is something that will eventually resolve on its own, though it may take several weeks to months for the body to absorb the serum such that the lump disappears. Alternatively, your vet could drain it again and then wrap a pressure bandage around your dog's head so that the skin is held down to the underlying muscles so that it reattaches. This will hasten its disappearance, but really it would be for your comfort, not the dog's as he doesn't seem to be bothered by it!


So, in summary, this is likely a seroma or hematoma that will resolve on its own.


However, the only way to get a diagnosis would be to have your vet check Koa over, and aspirate the lump. If straw coloured or bloody fluid is removed by aspiration, this would not only give a diagnosis, but would treat the problem as it would remove the pocket of fluid. It might, however, fill up again.


If this has answered your question, please hit the "Accept" button and leave feedback. if you need more information, just click on reply and I'll still be here to provide it!


The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Good luck with your puppies! They sound like fun!