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Infected spay incision?

Species: Dog
Breed: Maltese/Yorkie
Age: 3-6 months
My puppy was spade last Thursday and I'm worried her incision is not healing properly. She's very energetic and I haven't been able to keep her from running around and jumping. It looks like a couple of stitches have bled a little but I'm worried they may be infected. I took a picture so you could see. Do you think I should take her back to the vet?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for sending me the photo of Lexie's incision:

infected spay incision?

Now, keep in mind that I can't make a diagnosis over the internet. But I'll show you a few things that you can look for to help you to decide whether she needs to see the vet again.

The first thing I see is that there is a big bulge under the incision. This can be normal. Sometimes there can be a lot of swelling in this area. I think that this is often because of a reaction to sutures.

If you push on the bulge can you make it disappear into her body? If so, then this means that some of the important inner sutures have come undone and yes, she needs to go back and see the vet. She may have an incisional hernia and need to have it repaired.

If the bulge doesn't disappear, is it painful when you push on it? If she is very uncomfortable when you are touching the area then this could be a sign of infection.

It does look like there is a little bit of redness around some of the edges of the incision. If the red area is spreading or if the incision is coming apart more than it is in the picture then I would take her back in for a check.

Also, is she licking at it much? If it is infected she will likely lick at it a lot.

I hope everything works out ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.