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Swelling That is Not Fluid ⁄ Oliver

By Dr. Aime Berman, NGAP/DRVC Medical Director
Posted: June 29, 2016

Oliver is an 11 year old Standard Poodle that had a growth on the top of his tail. The growth was surgically removed without incident. It was a small zit-like growth that was very unassuming. Over the course of his life, he had several similar growths removed at this facility, all of which healed without incident or regrowth. However, approximately three weeks after the surgery to remove this particular mass, the surgical site felt spongy. The skin healed by 90%, but it felt as though there was fluid retention under the skin. After an additional course of antibiotics, the site had still not healed 100%.We decided to explore the area under anesthesia. When we made an incision over the area of the surgery, we expected to find fluid. However, there was just thickened, fibrous tissue about 1 ½ inches thick.

Oliver

A biopsy of this tissue yielded “extensive chronic pyogranulomatous dermatitis,” which simply means an area of chronic, inflamed tissue. We also cultured the wound and a very minor amount of bacteria was found. Regardless, we prescribed a strong antibiotic just in case.

Oliver

Normally surgeries heal completely without problems. And cutting the growth off was not the problem. Perhaps this dog may have had an adverse reaction to the internal sutures, or his body just healed in this fashion. We cannot control how healing occurs, no matter how perfectly a procedure is executed; this is why we call it the “practice” of medicine.

Oliver will continue to be monitored until the wound is completely healed.

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