Seromas in dogs can become infected, are absolutely nasty in appearance, and can cause an extremely foul odor to occur at or near the site of infection.
In the vast majority of cases, they will eventually go away after treatment and are not an extremely serious threat to your dog.
However, they will still require a lot of attention, treatments, and then careful monitoring to watch for complications.
Seromas in dogs is a pocket of clear serous fluid that can very easy form in your dog immediately following any type of surgical procedure.
When your dog’s small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma starts to seep out and it becomes inflamed by the dying and injured cells.
These injured cells also contribute to this fluid.
Seromas in dogs are much different than what is referred to as hematomas, which contain red blood cells.
They are also different than an abscess, which contains pus and becomes infected very easily.
They will at first appear as a puffy like mass that will rapidly begin to cause swelling.
This is the result of the fluid that is developing around the site of the incision.
What makes them different from hematomas is that this serous fluid is blood without most of their cells.
They will almost always appear watery in appearance, will have a very slight bloody color, but will not be anywhere near as dark as blood.
They form at the site of an incision that your dog has incurred as the result of a surgery, and swell up because of this fluid accumulating under your dog’s skin.
In some cases, they can become very serious, and because of this when they do appear, you should seek professional attention.
If they are serious, they will have to be drained, but in the majority of cases, your dog’s body will simply absorb the fluid.
Once absorbed, the swelling will diminish and they will go away on their own.
Seromas in dogs will almost always appear directly next to the sutures that have been paced in your dog as the result of a surgery.
For this reason, the sutures will need to be monitored very closely.
If the depth of the surgery has gone into your dog’s deep layers, these sutures may have to be multi-layered.
The deepest layer of the sutures will help to close the deep tissues in your dog, and the middle ones will help to bring both the middle layers and the lower layers together.
The sutures that are on the most exterior parts of the incision will bring the outer layers of skin together.
These are also the only visible part of your dog’s wound, and if they become loose, this is where the problems begin.
In most every case of seromas, it is the result of your dog chewing or biting at this site.
Because of this, your dog will be required to where an E-collar, also known as an Elizabethan collar. This is a flexible device that resembles a lampshade and is secured around your dog’s neck.
It is extremely effective at preventing your dog from licking or biting all parts of their body below their neck, but is also allows for your dog to easily eat and drink naturally.
However, during this recovery process, there are still several things you can watch for.
The first thing to watch for with Seromas in dogs is any sutures that are missing or have appeared to have fallen out.
If this is the case, this is usually when you will first start to see the actual swelling.
Once this occurs, you will also need to watch for either a discharge or a bleeding coming from the incision as well.
However, you will also need to look for what is referred to as wound dehiscence, which is any type of tissue that has begun to protrude from the incision in your dog.
In monitoring for seromas in dogs, there are also several complications that may prevent your pet from healing properly.
The first complication is your dog either licking or chewing at the site which will do two things.
First, it will cause the sutures to become loose or fall out altogether.
Second, it is exposing your dog to potential infections that are developing.
For these two reasons, the E-collar is an absolute must.
The next potential complication is the actual formation of seromas because of the accumulation of fluid.
Although they are usually not dangerous, exposing the incision subjects it to infection as well as herniation to occur within the deep tissues of your dog.
There will normally be some type of discharge at the incision site that will be slightly blood tinged, but it is considered a complication if it is dripping and has a deep red coloration.
The final complication to watch for is tissues from the underlying skin protruding. If you see any evidence of this occurring, it is now an emergency as it can lead to a fatal infection.
Seromas in dogs best overall treatment is the monitoring process itself.
Checking the wound site two to three times a day is highly recommended, and if they do develop, you should always have them checked.
If there is a discharge and it is not classified as a potential warning, hydrogen peroxide wipes can help to clean it up very effectively.
Hot and cold therapy treatments can also help to reduce any type of swelling.
However, if the incision has become dirty and if you can smell any type of an odor coming from the site, it is anything but normal, and you need to seek professional help as soon as possible
Seromas are in most all cases not a serious threat to your dog.
By carefully monitoring the site of the incision and understanding the potential warning signs, your dog should have no trouble at all recovery from them.