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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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swelling on elbow
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Member Since:
28 July 2008
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6 March 2009 - 9:14 pm
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I am so upset. There is an english mastiff at a pet store with an elbow that has swelling/fluid build up. The store said it was from her playing with a great dane puppy there. But an employee told me she came like that. They have a vet who has drained the area but it still looks very swollen and it looks like it still has fluid. I looked up the vet who does the treatment and was horrfied to see he has had 3 viloation in the state of nh for complaints involving health certificates for puppies. He wrote on the paperwork "hygroma." What is that? I have been there 4 times this week to check on her. I have reported them to the state and a mastiff rescue organization. What do you think would cause this fluid build up and is something that may be able to be corrected? I am so upset that this poor girl is in the condition. I took her out of her enclosure and she had some loose poop that looked green. The woman at the store said it was from shots she received. I think that is probably a lie….I looked at the paperwork the other day on what the vet had done. The bandage had been on there for a week. It was an adhesive ace bandage. It is irritated, and red. I am worried she has an infection. Anyone have any other suggestions on what this could be or how to get that puppy out of there.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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7 March 2009 - 1:16 am
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Most likely it is a hygroma, which is a fluid pocket that builds up on the elbow of large/giant breeds.  This is not that common in puppies, but it can occur in any age dog.  The cause is inadequate padding/bedding material so it is essentially a pressure sore. It could also be due to a bite wound to the joint.  Either way the treatment is drainage, bandaging, and antibiotics.  You want to try to avoid surgical removal because the elbow does not heal well.

Unfortunately almost all puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills.  I am surprised that they are selling a giant breed puppy this way, since they usually will make a much bigger profit on small "designer dog" breeds such as Puggles or Malti-Poos. You are right to report this pet shop to local authorities.  The green diarrhea could be due to parasites, stress, or parvovirus.

I hope that Mastiff Rescue can help this dog!

Pam and Tazzie

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