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New Amputee Dog Hygroma Help

If you have a front-leg Tripawd, keep an eye on that remaining leg’s elbow or hock joint. Amputee dog hygromas in remaining legs are not uncommon. Good thing Tripawds parents have more options than ever to aid in healing. Here’s one favorite right now.

What You Need to Know About Amputee Dog Hygromas

Tripawd Pyrenees Dog Sheldton
Sheldon recovering from his hygroma removal surgery.

Any dog can get a hygroma on a front or back leg. These fluid-filled skin lumps are not tumors. But, they do have a dense capsule of hard, rough, patchy skin that grows over the swelling, and can look scary. Dog hygromas can happen on any bony areas of the body, but most often form on the front elbow joint or rear hock elbow.

Dog elbow hygromas are especially prevalent in amputee dogs like Elgin the Dogue de Bordeaux.

When a Tripawd slides down to the floor on that remaining leg, day after day, the bone hits the floor hard. Over time, the body tries to protect itself from that hard thwack!  A hygroma forms, as a way of self-defense against the impact.  

Dog hygromas can stay small and not turn into a problem.
But sometimes they grow large, infected, and painful. 

Tripawd dog hygroma
After Elgin’s recovery, a hygroma developed on his remaining rear leg.

How to prevent amputee dog hygromas

You can do three things to prevent hygromas on three-legged dogs:

  1. Keep your Tripawd (or any dog) slim and trim. Overweight, sedentary dogs are more prone to hygromas. All that weight coming down on one front leg is not only bad for the joints, it puts a dog at risk of hygromas. 
  2. Add traction and no-slip rugs to your dog’s favorite lounge areas. This acts as a barrier against hygroma formation.
  3. Give your dog a firm, comfortable dog bed. The more softness and support between your dog’s bones and the hard floor, the better.
  4. Try a dog elbow hygroma protector sleeve. If you spot a hygroma forming on your Tripawd’s leg, a sleeve can prevent it from getting worse. Keep reading to learn about a new favorite.

How to Heal Your Tripawd’s Elbow Hygroma

amputee dog hygroma
Elgin got a rear leg hygroma.

First, have your vet examine the area. If an amputee dog’s hygroma becomes infected or bursts, surgery is required. Hygroma excision surgery removes the lumpy callous formation, but recovery can be long and stressful. The elbow has minimal skin and healing can take a while.

Sheldon’s elbow hygroma recovery story

Now we have a minor complication. Because he’s been putting more weight on his remaining elbow, last week he developed a nasty pressure sore that he obsessively licked and chewed at to the point it split open. It was odd as there was very little bleeding, only what i would call a small hole where i could even see his elbow bone!

We got it in time as there was no real signs of an infection developing. My vet was able to arrange the clinic to have it surgically cleaned, debrided, and sutured up yesterday and he’s now resting to start healing up. They also took a culture to see if any bad bugs were in there.  — Sheldon’s post-amputation updates

Laser therapy is an option that can aid in healing. Ask your vet.

amputee dog hygroma laser therapy
Elgin gets cold laser therapy for his rear leg hygroma.

Try a dog hygroma elbow sleeve protector

After the surgery, Sheldon’s people purchased the NeoAlly dog hygroma sleeve for added padding and protection.

NeoAlly Dog Elbow Brace Protector Pads for Canine Elbow and Shoulder Support

amputee dog elbow protector

About this item

  • Protects pets from elbow calluses, pressure sores and helps in wound healing
  • Design is based on pet’s body anatomy and adapts perfectly to the animal
  • Secure fit and comfort
  • Provides elbow support and protection in all positions – standing, walking, running, jumping, sitting, or lying down
  • Soft and breathable fabric with compression.
  • Elastic strap and snug-fit design provides flexibility and freedom of movement.
  • Tested on most popular breeds of dogs for comfort, fitness, and levels of support. Highly recommended by veterinarians

NeoAlly Dog Hygroma Sleeve

We weren’t sure how it would hold up for an amputee dog hygroma situation, but Rob, his hooman, says:

It stays on very well. There’s plenty of room for adjusting it to fit properly. You can make it as snug or loose as needed. It’s working well to protect the bandage and give his elbow a little padding.

I even ordered a second one to keep on him when the other is in the wash. Durability-wise it’s holding up so far, but we’ve been keeping his activity level low so he can heal.

We are so happy this is working for Sheldon. And no doubt his people are too! If you give this product a try, please let us know how it works for your amputee hero. Consider sharing your Tripawd elbow hygroma idea in the Forums, too.

Other Options for Amputee Dog Hygroma Help

Always check with your vet before trying any of these suggestions:

How Manuka Honey Helps Heal Wounds

Try Silver Sulfadiazine for Elbow Wounds and Hygromas

Elbow Protectors Eases Pressure Sore Problems

Options for Treating a Dog’s Elbow Hygroma

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