Hygroma Average Cost

From 339 quotes ranging from $300 - 1,800

Average Cost

$600

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What is Hygroma?

Due to the repetitive trauma of lying on hard surfaces, your dog may develop a hygroma. A hygroma is a soft, swelling under his skin filled with fluid over a pressure point or bony prominence. Hygromas are treatable with the course of treatment depending on the size and severity of the hygroma and whether there are additional issues like ulceration or infection.

A hygroma is a noninfectious, inflammatory response to trauma presenting as a soft, subcutaneous swelling filled with fluid, typically over a pressure point or bony prominence.

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Symptoms of Hygroma in Dogs

Should your dog have a hygroma, you will notice a soft subcutaneous swelling filled with fluid (yellow to red in color) over a pressure point or bony prominence. Hygromas vary in size, but can grow to two inches in diameter, and are often developed on the olecranon of the elbow. With a hygroma, your dog will typically show no signs of systemic illness and will not exhibit pain when touched. Hygromas are often bilateral. If the hygroma has been present for a significant length of time, severe inflammation may occur, along with:

  • Ulceration
  • Infection
  • Abscesses
  • Granulomas
  • Fistulas
  • Tissue erosion

Should a hygroma become infected, it may be painful and warm to the touch.

Types 

While there are not different types of hygromas, it is important to note that hygromas can be complicated with comedones and furunculosis. Also, follicular cysts or calcinosis cutis circumscripta may develop at the sites of the hygromas in some dogs.

Causes of Hygroma in Dogs

A hygroma is caused by repeated trauma. Lying on hard surfaces may produce an inflammatory response in your dog, which will lead to a dense-walled, fluid-filled cavity and the development of a soft, fluid-filled swelling. The swelling will typically be found over pressure points, particularly of the leg joints. A hygroma is more likely to occur in larger breeds of dogs, where more weight is put on the bony area, as well as those that are more sedentary (for example after recovering from surgery, or in the dog’s elderly years).

Diagnosis of Hygroma in Dogs

Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination of your dog. You will want to let your veterinarian know when you first noticed the swelling on your dog, as well as whether you have noticed any changes in your dog’s behavior. Your veterinarian may choose to conduct a biopsy to confirm diagnosis, particularly if lesions look unusual.

When viewing a hygroma macroscopically, it can be seen that it is separated from the skin. It will show a tough, dense wall and be filled with fluid that can be somewhere between yellow and red in color. The color is dependent upon the degree of trauma associated with the hygroma, leading to a larger or smaller amount of red cells. The lining of the sac will appear pale and can be smooth or rough.

Treatment of Hygroma in Dogs

When hygromas are small, protective padding (bandaging the area and soft bedding) may lead to their being resolved. If that is not successful, the hygroma can be treated with aseptic needle aspiration and corrective housing. It is important that your dog have soft bedding or padding over pressure points in order to prevent additional trauma. After about three weeks a protective callus should have formed. 

Should your dog have chronic hygromas, surgical drainage, flushing and Penrose drains may be recommended. Three weeks after surgical drainage the drained lesions should be dry; bandages can be removed at six weeks. Should lesions develop, small ones can be treated with laser therapy. If your dog experiences severe ulceration he may need extensive drainage, surgical removal or skin grafts. 

There is a chance that your dog’s condition will not respond to treatment. Should that be the case, your veterinarian will likely recommend a skin biopsy to determine the best way to proceed with treatment.

Recovery of Hygroma in Dogs

Your veterinarian will discuss with you the need for follow-up appointments, which will depend upon your dog’s condition. You will want to provide a padded environment for your dog in order to avoid repeated trauma, complications with the wound or recurrence of the hygroma. 

Should your dog have had lesions surgically reconstructed, he will need to be confined with his limb supported in a sling to allow for the skin graft to take, and then the limb should be bandaged for three weeks. 

Infection is common after aspiration, drainage, and reconstruction. You will want to work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healing well and that any infections developed are treated promptly.

Hygroma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Cowboy
Dachshund
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hock hygroma

My 9 yo Dachshund has a hock hygroma. When he sits he tucks that leg under him. This is where the pressure is coming from. He keeps trying to bite it. I should just let him because then it will drain. He has a soft bed. But elsewhere we have wood floors. I can't find a wrap for a hock. Would an anti inflamitory work? Don't know what to do. This is his 2nd one in 3 weeks. Had one before a year ago.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
You shouldn’t let him bite at it as this may result in the hygroma being open for secondary infection and other complications; it should be drained by your Veterinarian if it is small or surgery may be required if large. As for protection, there is a company (linked below) which custom make protective products for these types of issues. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogleggs.com/hock-sock/

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Arya
Great Dane
7 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My 7 month old Great Dane just developed this soft lump on her right elbow. I did a little research and seems to be hygroma. What’s the best way to go about treating this. And is this the kind of thing that reacures often?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Hygromas do have a high recurrence rate if they are not managed properly or if a dog continues to lay down on a hard surface (more comfy bed may be required). Small hygromas may be aspirated and the area bandaged or covered to prevent recurrence, again better bedding etc… can help prevent recurrence. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/hygroma/overview-of-hygroma

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Mel
Border Collie
1 Year
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

none

My 1 year old Border Collie has developed Hygromas on both elbows after a period of 8 weeks reduced activity (a lot of laying around) following Achilles tendon surgery. She is tiny and very active and, as border collie do, slams herself into the lying down position with enthusiasm about 100 times a day. My get seemed very unconcerned, gave us 6 days of anti inflammatories, which unfortunately did nothing. Not sure what to do next, really really don't want to put her through surgery again! Seems like she has no real callouses but also no open wounds, will they go away now she is rehabilitating back into her usual exercise (2-4hours/day or more)? Will they prevent her living a happy normal border collie life?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
There are products produced which can act as a cushion to help with hygromas (see link below) and draining them may also help too; but large or old hygromas may require surgical removal, it is really a case by case basis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogleggs.com www.msdvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/hygroma/overview-of-hygroma

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Brody
pitbull
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

raised pinkish lump with hole.

My 1 year old rescue dog has a what was hard spot now very soft and raised spot on his left elbow.... he and one of my other dogs keep licking it, now it seems to have popped and has a hole in the middle. I am keeping it clean and he seems to be in no pain. Is this something I should be very worried about? Will this heal on its own?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without seeing Brody, I'm not sure what might have caused this problem with his elbow - they have a normal callous over their elbows, but that callous can get infected or traumatized. It seems like something that should be seen by a veterinarian, as I am not sure whether it will heal on its' own or not. I hope that everything goes well with him.

My Husky has a hygroma on his elbow on one of his front legs. We recently bought a harness connected to 2 elbow pads and had that on him for about 2 weeks now. Seems like there is a hard mass inside the hygroma now. Is this normal?

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Willy Bhoy
Labrador Retriever
5 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

My 5 month lab has just developed a hygroma on his left elbow, he is very active and hungry all the time and isn't licking or scratching the lump. I took him straight away to the vet and she said it will go away naturally and that she doesn't recommend and surgery.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Hygromas do tend to occur in large breed dogs, over points of pressure. They can be very difficult to treat, and often do resolve by themselves over a period of time. Padded bedding and soft surfaces to lay on can help quite a bit. I hope that everything goes well for WIlly.

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Sage
Brittany
13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

I have a 40 lb Brittany that has hygromas on both front elbows. My vet has examined the dog and prescribed antibiotics to clear infection in the hygromas. A friend suggested trying fish oil to reduce/eliminate the hygromas. She said fish oil helped her dog dramatically. Do you have any information on the use of fish oil to treat hygromas? Thanks for your help! Dean

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. There is not much reported success in the past with the use of fish oil to treat hygromas, though others may have had different experiences. Since hygromas are formed from contact over pressure points, the only reliable treatment is soft padding and time. If the hygromas become too large to be managed easily or ulcerate, surgery or antibiotic therapy may be necessary. An appropriate dosage of omega fatty acids may help Sage in general, as there are many reported benefits to that supplement, but I"m not sure it will help the hygromas specifically. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting any supplement, in case it isn't an appropriate medication for him. I hope that things go well for him.

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Winston
Mini labradoodle
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hygroma

My paralyzed dog developed a hygroma a week or so ago near the boney/pelvic areas of his back end, on the left side. He's been paralyzed for 4 months due to two herniated disks; for which he's had surgery. Now he sort of sits to one side and he sets his back end down on that side after dragging his legs. We've had it drained twice but it keeps coming back. Do you have any ideas for how to keep that area padded for when he's moving around? I've tried to find something on the internet but I can't find anything for pelvic areas; only elbows... Thank you.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
511 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Hygromas can be tricky to deal with, as they do occur on points of pressure. Without seeing the area or where the hygroma is, I have a hard time suggesting a way to pad that area. Since your veterinarian has been working with you on this for Winston, it would be a good idea to call them, and they may be able to help you put together some sort of padded shorts or bandage material that may help. Making sure that he is lying on thick padded material helps, as well.

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Suarez
German Shepherd
10 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

lump on left front elbow

Medication Used

attempted draining

Hi I have a German Shepherd of 10 months, I have take her to the vet on three occasions to try to find out what it is, the last visit they attempted to drain the lump, there was some liquid came from the wound it was them padded and bandaged up for five days, returned the bandage removed, no improvement, surgery is there next plan, from what I have read here and other sites it seems that there is no real cure for this problem, additional padding, my dog is an outdoor dog, she has a padded mattress in her kennel, a padded mattress under the table in the porch, and a carpet at the other side of the porch,the porch is tiled, the paths in the garden are slabbed,she swims daily in the pool, there are way to many hard areas to pad, I intend a second opinion tomorrow, but what Ive read is all very depressing, what is the bottom line, please tell me, this is my first ever dog, I guess I worry a lot about her. regards Gordon, spain.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Hygromas may be difficult to remove due to their location on a leg and the lack of skin to close any wound left over; aspiration may help in the short term but long term drainage or removal is best. An alternative to padding your home and garden like an asylum would be to try using DogLeggs (link below) which is around $155 which has shown some success with hygromas. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogleggs.com/standard-length-adjustable-dogleggs/

My Alaskan malamute has had hygromas for about 4 years. A constant cycle of swelling, draining, vet visits, antibiotics, dressings, and even a cone when they were at their worst last year etc. I ordered dogleggs 18 months ago because I was at my wits end and had spent so much money at the vet, at one point she went for weekly dressing changes $$$! The dogleggs have been really helpful, overall they are great! She is able to “Houdini” herself out of them but usually leaves them on. I found them particularly helpful when she had open wounds (she took matters into her own paws and basically ripped open her elbows to relieve the pressure, a gnarly event) I was able to dress her elbows and the dogleggs kept her from taking her bandages off. My only observation is that it would be helpful if there was a buckle in addition to Velcro as my dog figured out pretty quickly how to take them off. I’ve managed to keep the hygromas in check, they flare up pretty regularly and then she’s constantly licking and worrying them. On go the dogleggs. My dog (age 10) has recently been diagnosed with Cushings disease, which explains the slow healing of her elbows. Honestly the dogleggs are worth a try, Good luck, once the hygromas start it seems to be a chronic condition.

Hi Again I would like to thank you all for responding to my request for advise on this problem, she has since had the lump drained, it looks better but it remains to be seen if it returns.
Kindest regards Gordon.

Hi there,
One very helpful solution to rid the infection is a product called Puracyn Plus...it's a human product but non toxic and can be used for dogs. It's to treat wounds and sores in diabetic patients and works wonders on dog pressure sores.

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Diesel
English Mastiff
13 Weeks
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hygroma

My puppy has had a hygroma for 2 weeks now and it keeps getting bigger and worse. I took him to the vet when it first showed up and she said that they cannot be drained and it will go away on its own. I have a dog bed in my bedroom for him, one in his kennel, and I allow him on my couch so he can lay on soft padded surfaces but nothing seems to work.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
If the hygroma keeps growing it may require surgical intervention since it may get easily damaged and rupture. I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian as there is no other treatment apart from draining, removal (not typical) or keeping the dog on heavily padded surfaces. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Zorro
working Germen Shepherd
9.5 months old
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Dear doctor, My 40kg dog, Zorro had developed elbow hygroma at the age of 8 months. Vet recommended Penrose Drainage and prescribed 15days Chepalexin. The tube was taken out at the 7th day. All the while after that, I will make sure the remaining fluid drain through the tube holes. The problem is, it's been 5 weeks now and the tube holes are closing up. I can feel there is still fluid accumulating but not as much. I would like to know if the remaining fluid will reabsorb back to the body. There is no pain at his elbow now accept for the remaining fluid keep accumulating. Please advice me Doctor. I have been very worry for this 2 months. Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Surgical drainage is generally treatment of choice, if you are noticing a recurrence of the hygroma it would be worth either having it drained again or having it removed (problems usually occur due to a lack of skin to close the wound). Also, management of the hygroma is important; elbow pads and softer bedding can help prevent recurrence of hygromas, these options along with additional surgery or aspiration should be discussed with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rocky
German Shepherd
11 years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Hello I have an 11 Year old German Shepherd with a very bad Hygroma. He has had it for over 1 year and is taking antibiotics daily along with wearing a daily cone and elbow protectors to avoid licking. Now it has started bleeding profusely from a vessels and can't be stopped with pressure for less than 1 minute. How can I control the blood to make it stop?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
In this case, it would be advisable to have the hygroma surgically drained and managed; blood vessel in the area would be weak and will continue to bleed, it is also possible that the blood vessel has grown too large for bleeding to be effectively stopped with pressure alone. If this is the case, you should visit your Veterinarian immediately for an examination and ligation, cauterisation or other management technique as appropriate. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Scotty
Beagle/Boston Terrier mix
15 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

My 25 lb Beagle mix has a Hygroma that enlarged from egg size to an orange these last few months. He is active otherwise for a 15 yr old. Luckily Vet put him on 30 day antiobiotic, anti-inflamatory program. 2 days later, it burst !! but not completely. Returned, they tested fluid, no disease or infection. wrapped. then few days later it burst again but not completely. Poor sweet boy. Keeping it in sleeve now but noticed minor leak again last night. Does this stop at some point? or is the leak something that just has to be managed? Worried about him.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Hygromas can be chronic problems which may require the placement of a drain to prevent further fluid accumulation; surgical management can be tricky in many cases especially in a dog Scotty’s age and are generally unrewarding. The hygroma may continue to leak fluid and would need to be regularly cleaned and wrapped. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/hygroma/overview-of-hygroma

Thank you

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Tuffy
Labrador
3 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Elbow swelling

Hello sir..
My dog is only 3 n half months old. He is suffering from hygroma. What i ll do.. Which is the better treatment for it. And how much time it will take to cure it

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

Small hygromas may be managed conservatively with aspiration and bandaging; larger hygromas may require surgical drainage and further treatment. Treatment time will vary depending on the severity and size of the hygroma, your Veterinarian will be able to advise you more about Tuffy’s specific case. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.msdvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/hygroma/overview-of-hygroma

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Oscar
german shepard
8 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Hygroma

Hi, my dog is suffering from Hygroma,he is just 8 months. Our doctor tried to remove the fliude with needle and gave some medicines. Still there is no changes and finally doctor clean the area and injected cuso4 (Copper Sulphate). Now my dog is not active at all and the elbow area is becoming blue.

Please suggest.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

Copper sulphate is blue and its presence may cause the skin in the area to change colour especially if a little leaked under the skin - one treatment for hygroma includes the removal of the contents and injection of copper sulphate; treatment usually involves drainage and providing ample soft bedding for a dog to lay down to prevent recurrence. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Squeazy
Boerboel
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Open wound
Swelling

Medication Used

iodine
ampiclox powder

My vet recommended a surgery to remove the swelling. He took out a huge mass from the elbow. Sadly, the wound has refused to heal, and I'm getting scared my vet is running out of ideas.
The wound is now open, with a few stitches, and he's been placed on antibiotics. I also introduced penicillin ointment today. Is it better to leave the wound opened or bandaged? Should I still exercise him, or let him be lazy for a while?
Please help me. I love my boy and can't bear him go through all these .

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations

Surgery around the elbow, especially when removal of a lump or skin is involved is always tricky as the skin is already stretched over the elbow and there isn’t any spare skin to allow a good margin to close the wound. There are techniques to give more skin allowance (like making other incisions and allowing them to heal by granulation for example), the possible techniques are case dependent; the amount of skin and exact location need to be taken into account. However, you would want to keep the site clean and covered; try keep activity to a minimum (cage rest preferably). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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