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Old November 9th, 2008, 09:29 PM
abbysmom abbysmom is offline
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post-surgical seroma, guilty mom

I am a new member, feeling a little distraught after this week with my 9 yr old pit bull mix. She was a rescue at 4 mos old after a car accident and subsequent amputation of her right leg. Since several years ago she has licked and worried at her belly near the amputation site to the point of numerous antibiotics, the e-collar for extended periods, Science Diet D/D and antihistamines for allergies. This last time her antibiotics did nothing, and her belly was hard and swollen with a tumor like area. My vet who has followed her since forever decided to take it out. It seemed simple enough, I trust him, and so he did. The poor girl came home with an enormous incision, evidently she bled enormously, and over the weekend i've watched the area become darker and darker red. The incision oozed blood. I called the vet twice, then took the dog to the emergency room. They are calling it a seroma, possibly infected. Other worries though--her remaining hind leg is edematous, her belly is full of edema (though the vet doesn't think she is bleeding), and the incision looks awful with clotted blood. Basically the emergency vet seemed to think the surgery should never have been done, a more comprehensive work up should have happened first (perhaps she is full of cancer and we just put her through a major surgery), and my vet could be a really bad surgeon (or just got in over his head.) I am distraught with grief and fear and anger that I did the wrong thing, that I didn't ask enough questions, that I let her down. ANd that she won't be okay. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of post-op complication? Thanks!
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Old November 9th, 2008, 09:36 PM
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14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
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I'm sorry you are going through this Abbysmom. It must be so tough for you. I am sorry I can't be of any help. Just want you to know you came to the right place. Hopefully someone can help you out a little. If not help you then we are quite willing to listen to you rant and get your feelings out. Sometimes that helps more than anything.
Please don't feel bad. You have done your very best for Abby.
Sending lots of your way.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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First of all, don't blame yourself, abbysmom! You based your decision on the information available to you and you made the decision with love--you did nothing wrong and second-guessing yourself will change absolutely nothing! Your girl needs you to be strong and focussed till she's better.

I don't have any direct experience with seromas, but a few of the other members have. If you do a search of the board using 'seroma' as the keyword, you will find quite a few threads.

Here are a couple of them:
Jaida's seroma

Belle's seroma

What has the e-vet said about your girl's prognosis? Is she home or did they keep her overnight at the clinic?

Sending for your girl's complete recovery! She's in good hands! And remember--you did NOT let your baby down. She's very lucky to have you as her Mom!
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Old November 10th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Don't feel guilty, you did what you thought you had to do. Praying that your pup has a full recovery and that you have since found a new vet perhaps. Not sure at this point you would trust the old one again.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Wow, how horrible! I think I would have done the same thing had I been in your shoes...you couldn't have know this would be the outcome! I have some questions, though...what did the vet find when he excised that lump in the belly? Was it a tumour, or scar tissue, or ????? How are they treating the seroma? Are they draining it with a syringe, or did they insert drains, or are they using pressure bandages? Is she on antibiotics?
Has any bloodwork been done since the surgery to check for cancer, or possibly a blood-clotting disorder?
These are things I would want to follow up on with the vet, asap, especially the antibiotics/drainage.
Getting seroma or oedema under control can be a bit of a drawn-out process, but as long as the incision is holding together (clotted blood means scabs, and therefore healing, right?)) and she's eating and toiletting, and the risk of infection is being mediated with antibiotics and drainage, it's really a matter of being patient and vigillant.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 08:04 AM
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Please don't blame yourself, there is no way you could have ever known the outcome. I don't have any advice but do want to offer you a .
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Old November 12th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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How is she doing, abbysmom?
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Old November 14th, 2008, 01:03 AM
abbysmom abbysmom is offline
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THanks for the advice and the hugs. Abby is doing so much better now. the seroma seems to have resolved, the incision is clean and intact, still a little oozing mostly because she is more active. She is back to her happy, wiggly, funny self. The biopsy shows squamous cell carcinoma, so I've started researching that. I'm not sure of the prognosis. The vet said it is more common in the mouth and toenail area than in the belly. Any advice or resources are welcome! Thank you all for listening.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 08:03 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Indeed I have had complications with my Rottie may he . A removal of a large mass was taken from his belly and there were horrendous complications afterwards. I as well felt an enormous amount of guilt as one lump that was taken was infact cancerous while the other was not - however they recommended that there was no harm in removing...which turned out to be the worst decision I made.

Listen, we put our good faith in the professionals. This is absolutely not your fault and you should not feel quilty (I know easier said then done).

Bless you for loving your baby and doing whatever you could/can to ease any further complications. My thoughts are totally and completely with you.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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I'm so glad Abby is recovering nicely from the surgery. And it sounds like taking out the lump was a good move, even though the biopsy results sound scary

You might want to start a new thread in the health section if you haven't already done so--put something about squamous cell carcinoma in the title. That way you'll catch the attention of more members who have had experience with this particular diagnosis.

Best wishes for a good outcome with your girl! What did the vet suggest for follow-up treatment?
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