How to Treat Hygromas

How to Treat Hygromas

The treatment for hygroma is generally grouped into two big categories: nonsurgical therapy and surgical therapy. For dogs who need surgery they will often need medical therapy as well. But, if your dog’s hygroma is very small or not bothering the dog very much, then you may be safe in the nonsurgical therapy category.

How to Treat Hygromas with Nonsurgical Options

The best ways to treat a small hygroma is to get that elbow padded up with bandages, and keep your dog from laying down on hard surfaces. Because hygromas form in response to repeated pressure trauma of a bony prominence on a hard surface, it’s essential to keep your dog on a soft supportive surface.


Supportive Sleeping Areas

Because your dog can’t lay on hard surfaces anymore, you’ll need to provide multiple comfortable resting spaces for your dog around your home. An orthopedic mattress, like Big Barker beds, which are 7” inches thick are an excellent option for these dogs, because it cushions the joint away from hard surfaces.


Using Padded Bandages

Your veterinarian will be able to teach you how to wrap this hygroma in padded thick bandages. Keeping it padded will reduce irritation and pressure to the hygroma which will help give your dog’s body a chance to heal itself. The padded bandage route is the best case scenario for the least serious hygromas.



Your veterinarian may also recommend photobiomodulation therapy. It’s a very fancy word, but it just means cold laser therapy. It’s noninvasive, not painful and most dogs love it. A cold laser is used on the affected area to reduce inflammation and speed healing. Cold lasers can be an  awesome therapy option for hygromas.


Surgical Treatment

If your dog has a big hygroma or a hygroma that has broken open, or a hygroma that is infected, then your dog may be a candidate for surgical treatment. You’ll need to talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your dog to see what’s the best treatment for your dog. However, for the big hygromas, the painful hygromas, the infected hygromas, the open and weeping hygromas, those guys respond best to surgical therapy.

As always, talk to your local vet to see what is right for your dog. And, to learn more, check out Dr. Sarah Wooten’s Definitive Guide to Hygroma.


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