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Possible elbow hygroma.

Species: Dog
Breed: Mini Australian Shep
Age: 3-6 months
I just noticed a mass on my 4 month old puppy's front right leg. She is mini australian shepard and weighs 15 pounds. It is on the back side of her front right leg right where the leg bends. It is about the size of a golf ball and very soft (almost feels like a sac of liquid). It doesn't seem to be hurting her and she doesn't notice when I touch it. She has been just as active as usual. What could this be?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Although I can't give you a diagnosis over the internet, what you are describing sounds very much like something called an elbow hygroma.

You can find information about this type of condition, along with pictures, here.

If it is a hygroma I don't usually do much for these other than recommend trying to keep the dog off of hard floors. They usually will go away on their own. Owners usually don't like waiting and often ask for me to drain the lesion. However, other vets who have done this usually report that surgery causes more problems and doesn't heal well.

The one thing that doesn't fit with an elbow hygroma is that we usually see this on large breed dogs. However, there is not much else that causes a fluid filled area where you have described.

I would suggest that you keep an eye on it and I would recommend a vet visit if you see any of the following:
-limping on that leg
-if it is getting bothersome to Lilly
-if it is leaking at all
-if it is getting bigger or looking red

I hope that helps!

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. AskAVetQuestion.com 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.