A hygroma refers to a fluid-filled cavity which forms over the bony joints and pressure points, particularly in big breeds of dogs. Constantly lying on rigid surfaces leads to recurring strain and inflammation. This is what ultimately causes a fluid-filled, thick-walled sac. A yellowish-red fluid is contained inside the sac.
In most cases, the joints on the leg tend to develop swellings that are flexible, fluid-filled, and painless. If the condition is a long-term one, then severe inflammation may occur. This will be characterised by tissue erosion, ulcers, boils, infection, and plenty of inflamed tissue with sand-like deposits.
An early diagnosis while the hygroma is still small is advantageous, as it can be pricked and then wrapped in a bandage. Flexible padding and bedding should be provided over pressure points in order to avoid more suffering. Whenever the hygroma becomes chronic, surgical drainage and flushing are vital to provide some relief. In areas where the skin has developed severe ulcers, surgical removal, skin grafting, or extensive drainage may become necessary.