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Lump on dog's side after fight.

Species: Dog
Breed: Chihuahua mix
Age: 5-8 years
Hi there, I have a Chihuahua mix who has this huge, loose swelling on his side. He's active, happy, not showing any signs of sickness, though he does seem to be doing the Chihuahua shake a bit more than usual. This lump appeared after he got into a fight with one of my other dogs and, while breaking it up, I fell back on him. The lump is pliable, like liquid filled, doesn't seem to be attached to anything, doesn't hurt him if I probe it. I live in Michigan, he's had the lump for about a week, I've not done anything for it and I could get to a vet if I had to (I don't have transportation). I've sent a pic with the subject line Chihuahua. Thank you for your time.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for sending the photo to me. This is indeed a big lump. While I can't say for certain what this is without examining your dog, I can give you my thoughts.

If this happened shortly after he was in a fight with another dog there is a good chance it is either a seroma or an abscess. A seroma is a large fluid filled lump that is there as a result of trauma. A seroma usually goes away on its own but it can take several weeks. An abscess would be a more serious issue. This would be as a result of a bite. You don't always see the wounds when there is an abscess. If this is an abscess then Tennessee would need prescription antibiotics and possibly even some surgery in order to recover.

An abscess and a seroma can feel the same. The only way to know the difference between the two is to have the vet put a needle inside and see what the fluid looks like.

So, do you need to go to the vet? The lump is quite large and therefore I think that a vet visit is a good idea. If it is a seroma they may decide to drain it. However, I find that when I drain these, the fluid tends to come back quickly. But, if it is an abscess, then waiting too long is not a good idea.

Certainly if Tennessee is not feeling well or if the lump seems sore or hot then I would take him in right away.

Hope things are better soon!

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.