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My 1 year old labrador was neutered a little over a week ago.

He was doing just fine...
My 1 year old labrador was neutered a little over a week ago. He was doing just fine until 4 days ago when we noticed a large amount of swelling in his left leg. We had been told to restrict his activities for a week or so after the surgery, and as I said he had no problems until that day. I also noticed a hard lump in his groin area on the left side.
I took him to his vet for examination that same day, in which they gave him an anti-inflammatory injection and put him on pain pills (Rimadyl) and Cephalexin. They said he was running a low grade fever. After inspection of the surgical site there was no noted problems and everything seemed to have healed or was healing correctly. The vets only explanation for the swelling was that he might have had a delayed reaction to either the sutures, latex, or maybe some other med given during the procedure.
The next day, the swelling had become worse, noting that it had spread underneath his chest area on the left side, and the hard nodule under the left leg was larger and felt warm to the touch. I returned to the vet the day after, trying to give the anti-inflammatory and antibiotics time to do their work. They basically told me after seeing him to walk him as much as possible to help relieve the swelling. They felt the swelling was improved. I did not.

Today, he is more lethargic, reluctant to eat, and I feel that the swelling has become worse. The hard lump under his left leg is larger, and he is favoring his left leg so badly that he has to be coaxed to get up. Not sure if I should try to make him walk as much as they advised.
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/14/2013
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 514
Experience: Veterinary Internal Medicine specialist. Strives for excellent communication and compassion for your pet.
Verified

Dr. Christina :

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I am a licensed veterinarian here to try and help answer your questions.

Dr. Christina :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Christina :

I am so sorry to hear about Dirk and all the trouble you have been through.

Dr. Christina :

Unfortunately, this sounds very serious and I don't think that antibiotics and making him walk around are going to fix him.

Customer:

Neither do I

Customer:

What do you suggest?

Dr. Christina :

When dogs are neutered... they put suture around the spermatic cords (which are what the testicles are attached to) and then they place the sutured spermatic cord back into the dog. They do this on both sides. Some of the connective tissue in the spermatic cords are actually extension of the abdominal wall muscles. I am very concerned that tissue has become infected and he now has cellulitis (or deep infection) extending up along his abdomen and leg. This might need to be surgically explored and drained... particularly if the antibiotics are not working.

Dr. Christina :

My other concern is that there could be an abdominal wall hernia. Where the spermatic cord enters into the scrotum, there is a hole in the abdominal wall (made up of muscles) that the cord goes through. When the cord retracts after the testicle is removed... sometimes the hole does not close appropriately and abdominal contents can leak out. It could be just fat... which might cause the lump you are seeing, or it could be intestines. If intestines get strangulated through this hole, it can be life-threatening. My guess is your vets took a feel of the area for this, but did not feel it. Sometimes it can be difficult and you need an ultrasound to see what's under the skin.

Dr. Christina :

My recommendation would be to take him somewhere where they can ultrasound him on the weekend, and see if it looks like cellulitis in the swollen areas, or if there is actually abdominal contents under the skin. Both might require surgical intervention.

Dr. Christina :

Now that he is limping, he is in pain. Since he was running a fever, I am concerned about infection... I would not wait until Monday... and I don't know that I would take him back to your vet if they won't tell you anything different.

Dr. Christina :

I would go to a specialty hospital.... one that has an ultrasound and one that has a surgeon on call just in case. It will be a bit more expensive as I believe you would have to go through the emergency service to get evaluated.

Customer:

Yes, I agree about my vet. My original plan was to try on Monday at a different vet here in town but I was concerned about waiting until then.

Dr. Christina :

I am very concerned, given that it is progressing. Waiting until Monday might be too long.

Dr. Christina :

Do you have a specialty center near you?

Customer:

Thank you so much for your recommendation. There is an emergency animal hospital about 45 minutes from me. I am assuming they would have the equipment necessary.

Dr. Christina :

I would look them up online and make sure they have the appropriate equipement... i.e. ultrasound and specialty doctors. Some of them are smaller and do not. I'd hate for you to have to pay for 1, and them tell you you should go somewhere else.

Dr. Christina :

If you are near a veterinary teaching hospital, this is also a good choice.

Customer:

That is what I'll do. I will give them a call first to make sure. Thank you again

Dr. Christina :

You are very welcome. I hope everything turns out ok. I am sorry this happened to Dirk and you. I'll check back in in a couple days to see how things are going if that's ok with you.

Dr. Christina :

I strive for 100% satisfaction and excellent service. If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback. A positive rating is always appreciated.

Customer:

I'll look forward to it

Dr. Christina :

You'll be in my thoughts.

Dr. Christina :

Have a good day.

Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 514
Experience: Veterinary Internal Medicine specialist. Strives for excellent communication and compassion for your pet.
Verified
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Hello,

How is Dirk doing? I hope things went ok at the emergency vet. You are in my thoughts.

Sincerely,
Dr. Christina
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Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 514
514 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Veterinary Internal Medicine specialist. Strives for excellent communication and compassion for your pet.

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