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Question for all our experts

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am just curious about the lumps that occur after a spay? I already know that small lumps even to the size of golf balls are not something to get worked up about, but it they go larger they require a vet visit. The vet used internal stitches only on the Trips and all of them are now lumpy. I am just wondering is this scar tissue? A hurried case of "I've done to many spays and I don't care-itis?" or what? This is just for my own information. I have never had such a panel of experts to ask before.
post #2 of 3
With the last spay that I had done on Billie (foster), she got a hard lump under the skin (somewhere between the size of a large marble and golfball). The vet explained (I did take her back) that they had been using a new type of dissolvable suture under the skin that more often than not caused lumps that remained for up to 30 days. Billie's disappeared after 3 weeks, so I'm assuming it was a reaction to the suture rather than scar tissue. They were going to stop using them, as they had so many follow up visits after they started using this kind.

They also said to look for (the obvious) redness and discharge, but more interesting, if the lump became soft to get her back in very quickly (infection, which they also had with a couple of the ones they neutered with this type of suture).

Frankly I wouldn't have brought her back to the vet in the first place because I've seen this before ("done so many why should I-care-itis"), but being a humane foster, and a different vet than I typically use, I covered my bases for everyone's sake.
post #3 of 3
Yes, it is mainly scar tissue....it also depends on the individual cat and the sutures used. It doesn't really matter whether or not disolvable sutures or removable sutures are used, the lump occurs as a result of tissue reaction. (although, sometimes it can be an infection relating to disolvable sutures). My cats were all spayed using either suture types, only one ever developed a lump that was simply scar tissue.

To better describe this, think of tissue reaction, providing that infection is not present, then when the tissue heals, it develops scar tissue, which can actually be a protective layer. It is usually not bothersome, but during recovery from a spay and if an owner notes that the lump is increased after 7 days post-op, it's time to get the kitty rechecked so the vet can rule out infection or if he had used removable sutures, to ensure that one was not missed during removal.

Another cause for the lump can be the vet's technique, whether he uses a vertical or horizontal incision. In my experience, vertical is best (but vets have their own techniques they are most comfortable with)....................Traci
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