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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15596
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My lab has a fat pocket on his elbow. He was treated with meds

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My lab has a fat pocket on his elbow. He was treated with meds as he had an infection and fluid. The fluid went down but he is still having problems walking. If we try to walk him more than a couple of blocks , the pocket flairs up. What's your thoughts about removing the pocket?
Hi Magden,
Removing these pockets, called hygromas, is usually problematic. The area on the elbow doesn't want to heal, because the elbow is an area of motion and there is often a lot of thick callus or scar tissue. It is a very difficult area to bandage, and the healing process can be frustratingly slow and sometimes never is complete.

Usually these don't cause trouble walking unless they are really huge. Is there any arthritis in that joint? Is he on any supplements, such as fish or flax seed oil, glucosamine, and anti-oxidant vitamins? Have you tried anti-inflammatory medication, such as Rimadyl or Deramaxx or even aspirin?   I would try these to see if he can be made more comfortable, and walk better, before I attempted surgery. Hope this helps, Rebecca
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We done all the above. The pocket on the elbow is the size of a egg. What would you do?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We tried all the above. What would you do? The pocket on his elbow is the size of a egg.
Has the pocket been tapped with needle to see what kind of fluid is inside? If it is pus, then I would lance the pocket, and place drains in to allow the pus to drain. If it is clear fluid, called serum, the drains usually do not work as well. If it is fat, I would leave it alone.

Usually these pockets are not painful themselves, so if he is lame on the leg, or having difficulty on it, I would see if the elbow joint itself has a problem, This may be determined by a good orthopedic exam, but may also require Xrays.

It helps to try to keep these dogs from lying on hard surfaces, so try to encourage him to sleep on a padded area. Hope some of these ideas help your dog. Rebecca
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Hi Magden,
Just did a quick search on a veterinarian website, and saw about 10 postings saying not to do surgery on these, try the soft bedding, and if that doesn't do it, try fashioning some sort of bandage, or try the drains. They all said surgery was fraught with difficulties. I would avoid it. Rebecca