Weird bump on arthritic hock

Eddie12109

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Nov 14, 2020
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Hi all,

My hen Eddie is 9 years old and has arthritis in her hocks.
For the past month and longer, she has had this weird bump growing on her hock. I went to the vet who said it feels like it is more like liquid than being hard. That’s all she did.

That was two weeks ago and I have just been monitoring it and it has been growing slowly.
Today I decided to feel it more and I squeezed it too hard and the bump moved. It felt like it shifted and now feeling it, it still had the fluid feeling (probably the consistency of chicken pus) and it seems fine, but I definitely did something to it. It used to be stuck to her and now it feels like it is off of her bone and is not attached to anything.


Could I have popped it and now she has all of this weird liquid loose in her body? It still feels contained but it is much more moveable and it takes up a little less space than it did before, even though I didn’t remove anything.

Any ideas?

@azygous @coach723 @Wyorp Rock @TwoCrows
 

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It could be a cyst. If it continues to get bigger, or is causing her problems getting around then I'd consider using a needle to try to pull fluid out, or lance it and remove the lump. Since you moved it and it seems a bit smaller I'd watch it for a while first, see what happens, maybe it will go down now. Since it's soft and fluid like, and moves around, it's less likely that it's a tumor.
 
Another thing it could be...Is she sitting on her hocks a lot or sleeping/sitting on any hard surfaces? This can cause fluid to build up due to irritation. Padding the area she rests/sits or sleeps will help this heal.
 
@TwoCrows she does sit around a lot due to the arthritis. She is always on padding though, during the day and at night.

It is hard to see since she already has a hard time moving around due to her arthritis but she may be favoring the leg that doesn't have the lump. I will just keep monitoring it though because I am not sure yet.

Is there any possibility of it being cancer or since it is fluid filled is it most likely a cyst or result of irritation?
 
The only way to know 100% would be to biopsy it. But generally tumors are very firm or hard. This is a quote from one site:
A cyst is a sac or capsule that's filled with tissue, fluid, air, or other material. A tumor is usually a solid mass of tissue.
When you said it felt like it broke loose, that also makes it sound more cyst like, and not just like fluid gathering around the joint. In people, ganglion cysts are not uncommon and are usually found in the hands or wrist, sometimes in the feet or ankles. They are filled with a gel like fluid. They are rare in animals, but not unheard of. Your initial description kind of sounded like that.
 
@TwoCrows she does sit around a lot due to the arthritis. She is always on padding though, during the day and at night.

It is hard to see since she already has a hard time moving around due to her arthritis but she may be favoring the leg that doesn't have the lump. I will just keep monitoring it though because I am not sure yet.

Is there any possibility of it being cancer or since it is fluid filled is it most likely a cyst or result of irritation?
I agree with @coach723 this looks to me like a cyst of some sort and not cancerous. Because she lays and scoots around a lot, it's possible she poked her hock and developed an infection resulting in this fluid filled sac. The joint areas have delicate skin on them, abrasion, rubbing, pokes, etc... can cause fluid build up. I personally would just monitor it and unless it starts to grow larger or causes pain, I'd leave it alone. Perform surgery only if really necessary as creating an open wound opens a whole new can of worms. Meanwhile keep her on soft bedding or padding for a while. If she allows it, icing her hock for 10 mins a couple times a day might help to reduce inflammation. Maybe a baby aspirin (81 mg) once a day would help with pain and inflammation. You might lightly wrap it to protect it from more abrasion.
 
Thank you!
It's a relief to hear it is most likely just a cyst and not cancerous and possibly not MS. I will keep monitoring it and will try to ice it everyday.

I will keep you updated, it may be getting a little bigger but I am not 100% sure.
 
Hi! So an update, it has been getting bigger.

It has been growing more upwards on her hock. I haven’t been worrying much about it but now she seems to be trying to take the pressure off. Due to her arthritis she occasionally sticks one of her legs out behind her when she is sitting, I have always thought it was to stretch the leg out and get some relief. The past two days, whenever she lays down, she seems to be sticking her cyst leg out behind her every single time. This isn’t normal for her. Maybe it’s starting to cause issues? What issues could it be causing though? Like how could it be affecting her enough to make her want relief from it?
 

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Hi! So an update, it has been getting bigger.

It has been growing more upwards on her hock. I haven’t been worrying much about it but now she seems to be trying to take the pressure off. Due to her arthritis she occasionally sticks one of her legs out behind her when she is sitting, I have always thought it was to stretch the leg out and get some relief. The past two days, whenever she lays down, she seems to be sticking her cyst leg out behind her every single time. This isn’t normal for her. Maybe it’s starting to cause issues? What issues could it be causing though? Like how could it be affecting her enough to make her want relief from it?
Poor girl. I see a small center hole, I think. And she has a small feather further on down, I bet this is an ingrown feather cyst. If it ever comes to a head, it would be easier to do surgery on it. But as it looks now, there would be too much blood and gore, no doubt more pain than needed. If it were coming to a head, the pressure release would cause less pain.
 

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