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*Graphic Photos* How much swelling is normal?

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  • *Graphic Photos* How much swelling is normal?

    I picked Stavro up from his neuter about an hour ago, and the vet warned me there was "some swelling". I've never heard such an understatement in my life - his scrotum is larger than it was when he was intact! The swelling is as large as my fist, tight, and there is some dark red bruising on the light patches of skin (most of the skin on his scrotum is black, so it's hard to tell). It isn't hot and he's not licking at it. He has been fairly quiet, but he keeps wagging his tail and hitting it.

    The vet told me to ice it tonight, which I haven't yet been able to do (we are out of ice and my car won't start). My husband is supposed to bring some home, but if he doesn't get here within the next half hour or so, I'll probably sacrifice a bag of frozen veggies for the cause.

    Here's a photo with my fist for a size reference. My hand was closer to the camera than his danglies were, so the photo is a little bit misleading - the swelling is actually a bit larger than my hand.



    The only other male I've owned came neutered, so I have no experience here. Stavro turned two last week, so I'm guessing that his age makes this a little worse. How much swelling is normal and how quickly might I expect it to go down? How often should I ice it, and for what amount of time?
    Last edited by dolmod; 03-06-2011, 08:22 AM.
    sigpic
    Stavro at 12 Weeks

  • #2
    I think it differs from dog to dog. Deuce got a little swollen when he had his neuter (and he was 2 when his was done as well) but he had a lot of the dark bruising that you are describing. Just keep icing like the vet instructed and I would think if it doesn't go down a little in the next 24 hours or gets any bigger I would be consulting the vet. I have heard of other people describing the scrotum as getting as big as a melon so I know you're not alone.
    Tamara and Deuce
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    • #3
      Wow! That is some swelling! Poor baby! Since the vet specifically noted that there was "some swelling", I would think he'll be fine with ice for tonight. I agree with the above advice though, if it's not decreasing by tomorrow afternoon I would consider stopping back by the vet. Bingo was neutered at 18mos (when I got him) and he swelled but it was not nearly that dramatic. Then again, he is a smaller dog with smaller...

      Diana, Nick, Bingo, Belle, Sam, and Zane
      One man's trash is another man's treasure. Rescue a dog, give a 2nd chance, get undying love. It's a great deal!

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      • #4
        This is why I recommend scrotal ablation in large dogs. It removes this possibility. I would cold pack it for tonight and then ask your vet about switching to warm packing in a day or so. That will help resorb the fluid/clot. It will probably be somewhat swollen until the clot resorbs (which can be days/week). HTH!

        At least he's feeling ok!
        sigpic
        Crystal
        Owned by:
        Dexter 8 year old GD, CGC
        CH xxx's Top Gear AKA Studebaker (Baker) 4 years
        Bagel 19 yr old Maine Coon
        Lox 11 yr old Russian Blue mix

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        • #5
          Holy Ball oney! Poor baby boy. I would be sacrificing that bag of veggies ASAP. I didn't notice where you live... could you use snow in a baggie?

          My only experience was with our 2 German Shorthair's and they were done at 9 months with no swelling. And Reich was almost 11 months and had absolutely zero swelling (he was pretty big going in, too).

          I have read plenty about this, so I know he will be okay, but I would still get cold on it as soon as possible... and wow, won't that be a treat in itself. I know when a male swells post neuter it is even more important to keep him calm and not active.

          I am glad Crystal weighed in on the situation. Her opinion would calm me, in your shoes. I will keep you in my thoughts!


          ~Reich (CGC) 12/21/09 - 1/26/12~
          ~Behr 4/22/11 - 3/28/14~

          ~Buhl 2/09/10~
          <3 My heart breaks for my lost Dane babies <3

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          • #6
            Apache has had absolutely no swelling. I was prepared for something like your pic.. and nothing. He had redness where he was shaved.. but thats it. Keep him calm and iced...
            Nicole

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            • #7
              Thank you all so much for your replies! Stavro is still feeling fine, but the swelling is holding steady and the bruising has intensified. He had his last pain pill yesterday evening and isn't showing any sign of pain unless I'm handling the area.

              The swelling increased through the morning yesterday, but is just a bit smaller today. The area is not unusually warm, and doesn't seem quite as tight as it did on day 1. It seemed to me that the inch or two of his sheath, near the tip, was swollen earlier today, but that has improved throughout the evening. I had not had an opportunity to take a close look at the area before tonight, and I noticed something that seemed unusual to me. The incision is on the scrotum itself, rather than closer to his abdomen. I worked at a vet clinic several years ago, and I was taught that the incision should be made closer to where the scrotum joins the abdomen. Does anyone with experience know whether the location of the incision is a matter of personal preference, or if there is a medical reason to do it in one location over the other?

              As I mentioned, the bruising has intensified both in size and color. There are now brilliant red/purple bruises covering most of his abdomen, including areas that are nowhere near the incision and have never been swollen.

              Per the vet's instructions, I continued with a cold pack through yesterday morning and then switched to a warm pack in the afternoon. He was great with the cold pack - all I had to do was put him in a down/stay and set the bag on the spot. He would stay until released. He doesn't seem as fond of the warm pack and unless I bribe him with treats, he'll get up after a few minutes. The pack definitely isn't too hot, but it is heavier than the ice, so that might be contributing to his discomfort. The warm packs are the only time that he is noticeably uncomfortable.

              His appetite is great and he is drinking well. I've been keeping an eye on his gum color and CRT and both are normal. The incision itself looks great - no bulging or draining. He's been doing minimal licking - mostly normal cleaning after potty breaks. His energy level is back to normal, so I've been working very hard to keep him calm.

              I have a few updated photos for anyone that is interested in seeing the progression. I wish I had thought to take a photo before the neuter and an abdomen shot on day 1, but I was completely unprepared for this. I'm going to try to take photos every day or two to show the progression, in case that will be helpful for anyone.

              Here's Day 1 again, just for a point of reference:


              This is Day 3:

              Notice the difference in color - this is bruising and not at all related to the lighting.

              sigpic
              Stavro at 12 Weeks

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              • #8
                Ouch! I would ask the vet for more pain meds. until the swelling is gone. If I remember correctly, the vet I worked for said not to make the incision on the scrotum because is causes more swelling. Sending hugs to Stavro!
                sigpic Brenda
                RIP Gibson 9/06 - 8/11
                Presley 8/96 - 11/06

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                • #9
                  I have never seen a male have that kind of swelling! Poor baby. I would be back in contact with my vet. Not saying that anything is wrong but I would want them to know.

                  I will keep him in my thoughts for a safe recovery and much needed relief!
                  sigpic
                  Roxy & Ace

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DextersMomma View Post
                    This is why I recommend scrotal ablation in large dogs. It removes this possibility. I would cold pack it for tonight and then ask your vet about switching to warm packing in a day or so. That will help resorb the fluid/clot. It will probably be somewhat swollen until the clot resorbs (which can be days/week). HTH!

                    At least he's feeling ok!
                    I begged our vet for ablation, they told me they only do them now for cases where there is cancer present or other mitigating circumstances, is this true only in Jersey?????? Don't mean to hijack but I am very curious for my next dog in a hundred years from now.

                    Our dogs swelled up to almost twice the size their scrotum was normally and I panicked as well and called the vet about every 10 minutes. They told me it was perfectly normal. I even questioned there for a bit if they took their testes out at all! But after a few days it went down and now they are perfectly fine. Frozen peas actually works better, IMO, than ice. It is more malleable and not as "sharp" so I think it's more comfy. When DH got his "neuter" (haha) thats what they recommended so that's what we did for the pups as well.

                    Watch for leaking, heat, and bleeding. That would concern me more so than the swelling.
                    sigpic
                    Shaun-4, Kairos (SDiT) at 13 weeks, Cole-6, and Zeus (CGC, PAT, TDI) 2yrs

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                    • #11
                      Yikes, that's a LOT of swelling - it looks bigger now, or is that just me?
                      And yes, I've never seen an incision on the scrotum like that - very odd.... I wonder if that contributed to the swelling.
                      Did the vet mention any difficulties? Like were both testicles fully descended and normal?

                      I'd keep icing and maybe for heat try a towel moistened with warm water? Make sure you really restrict activity too, that will make it a lot worse.

                      Poor guy! I want to put a jock-strap on him or something! That can't be comfortable to carry around
                      Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.
                      - Anatole France

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ouesi View Post
                        Yikes, that's a LOT of swelling - it looks bigger now, or is that just me?
                        It may be just a little bit bigger than the first photo, but I think it's more the way he was laying and the fact that, in the second photo, my hand was at the same distance from the camera as his scrotum, while in the first photo, my hand was closer and appeared larger.

                        Originally posted by ouesi View Post
                        Did the vet mention any difficulties? Like were both testicles fully descended and normal?
                        They did not mention any difficulty, and both were fully descended before the surgery. I had plenty of opportunities to see - Stavro is a bit of an exhibitionist.

                        Originally posted by ouesi View Post
                        I'd keep icing and maybe for heat try a towel moistened with warm water? Make sure you really restrict activity too, that will make it a lot worse.
                        The vet was very clear not to get the incision wet AT ALL, so I've been trying to find options other than the most towel. Right now I have couscous in a pillowcase, and that works well if I can get him onto his back and can spread the fill out so that the weight isn't all on top of the swollen area.

                        As far as activity goes, I do think that has contributed to the swelling. Evidently Stavro was a bit anxious while in recovery, and had been trying to get out of his enclosure. It's been easy enough to keep him calm under my watch, but my husband and parents had been helping to keep an eye on him since I had to work and exercise the other dogs, and I think they let him get away with more than they should have.

                        The swelling seems to have gone down some more this morning, and he's been acting as if the incision is itching. It's still very easy to stop him from licking, and I have an Elizabethan collar that I can use when I can't watch him. As a bonus, the collar keeps him a little calmer. Hoping for more improvement throughout the day.
                        sigpic
                        Stavro at 12 Weeks

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NavyWife View Post
                          I begged our vet for ablation, they told me they only do them now for cases where there is cancer present or other mitigating circumstances, is this true only in Jersey?????? Don't mean to hijack but I am very curious for my next dog in a hundred years from now.
                          I asked for an ablation at my vet's and they said they don't usually do them. I insisted, and I'm so glad I did. Especially since Zack decided to start jumping off the deck at 11pm that night.

                          Good thoughts for Stavro. Poor guy, it's hard to see them like that and not be able to do anything.
                          Charlotte, Zack (Blue Harlequin GD), and Grey (Russian Blue mix Cat)

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                          Follow Zack's blog: http://wisdombyzack.wordpress.com/

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                          • #14
                            That is A LOT of swelling! Poor, poor boy!
                            Cain swelled after his and it still looked like he wasn't neutered for quite a little while after. I'm thinking 3-4 weeks before he became saggy. But nothing like your poor boy. And Cain's incision was not on the scrotum.
                            I asked the vet for a ablation too but he said that it's best not to do that because he could chew there more with everything being completely gone. I'm kinda glad now that I didn't have that done and it doesn't really look bad with a little coin purse IMO.
                            sigpic
                            Tracy ~ wife(to Marshall) & mom to 3 skin kids (Devin, Cameron, Kaiden) & 2 fur kids (Cain & Leda) RIP my sweet Breech 8-12-09 to 9-18-10.

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                            • #15
                              Reich's incision was on the abdomen, right where the sac met his body. It was very small. He had some redness where he was shaved, and of course rawness along the incision, but no other incidence of trauma. By the end of the 10 days of keeping him quiet, he was completely healed. I will look to see if I have a picture post neuter. BTW, 4 months later his "coin purse" is neglegable.

                              That incision on the scrotom looks very painful, poor baby. Keeping you guys in my thoughts. This is a good educational thread, thanks.


                              ~Reich (CGC) 12/21/09 - 1/26/12~
                              ~Behr 4/22/11 - 3/28/14~

                              ~Buhl 2/09/10~
                              <3 My heart breaks for my lost Dane babies <3

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