hygroma dog

What is Elbow Hygroma in Dogs

Reviewed by Leslie Jones, DVM

Hygroma in dogs may sound like an alarming disease that would cause a dog to suffer.

It can be difficult being a pet owner when we aren’t aware of all the issues that can affect our animals.

We hope that this short blog post will bring your awareness to a condition that can have an effect on your pet.

It is a condition that can be easily overlooked in many dogs since it is not usually painful.

What is Elbow Hygroma in Dogs?

hygroma dog

Simply put a hygroma is swelling filled with liquid.

It is normally surrounded by fibrous tissue that grows under the skin.

Hygromas are not tumors, but instead the result of repeated trauma to the area where they appear.

The elbow and its bony prominences are a very common place for developing a hygroma.

This is especially true in large breed dogs without access to padded bedding to sleep on.

The elbows bang against the hard surface of the floor repeatedly over the years.

The dog’s body tries to protect the bones of the elbows by fluid build up to act as a cushion.

What Breeds Are More Likely to Get Elbow Hygroma?

hygroma dog

Particularly prevalent in large breed dogs.

And also affecting dogs that tend to be sedentary and who remain lying down a lot.

But this condition can be something any breed of dog can suffer from.

It is always best to consult your veterinarian for treating a hygroma especially if the hygroma becomes infected.

What Causes Elbow Hygroma?

hygroma dog

Large breed dogs tend to be heavy.

That weight, often a contributing factor to repeated elbow trauma, can create the problem.

A hygroma grows around an inflamed area of the body that is subject to constant injury.

Memory foam is a really good option for dog bedding that can act as a preventative measure.

How to Treat Elbow Hygroma in Dogs

hygroma dog

Elbow pads are now available for pets with small hygromas which will help keep any trauma to a minimum.

For cases that are bigger or infected, surgical removal, or surgical drainage may be required.

Surgical intervention will not address the underlying cause of a hygroma, and therefore ongoing care to the area will be required.

Can Elbow Hygroma Be Prevented?

hygroma dog

The best way to prevent a hygroma is to provide your dog with soft bedding.

Discourage your pet from lying on hard surfaces or from remaining too sedentary.

Preventing further trauma from any part of your pet’s body is critical when preventing hygromas forming.

Another important factor to keep in mind is your dog’s weight.

An obese or overweight animal will be much more susceptible to developing this ailment.

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