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Dilemma - to operate or not?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Nellybelly, May 25, 2010.


  1. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    Almost 3 weeks ago Bella developed a very swollen front paw. The vet suspected a foreign body. She was put on antibiotics to prevent infection, and we had to go back a few days later for a check up. The idea was that the swelling would subside and we would have a clearer picture of the location of the foreign body so as to remove this in the least invasive way.

    Well the swelling subsided so much so that the paw looked normal. The vet said we should wait and see how things progress, as it is possible that the original swelling had been caused by bacteria than entered the paw (possibly though a forgein bidy which went in and out the same time).

    Well, a week after the orignal vet visit Bella's paw made a tiny cyst where we suspected the foreign to be, but this burst at home justa few hours before visitng the vet. It is possible that when it burst the foreign body came out with it. I found no evidence of anything that may have been inside her paw but its possible the girl ate it:rolleyes:.

    Anyway, we went to the vet, who used a tool to go through the hole created by the cyst to see if he could find a foreign body. This was done under local anaesthetic and no sedation, and I am really proud of how cooperative Bella was. The vet spent a good 10 minutes in the surgery room looking throoughly at the paw, feeling, using the tool to see if there was any fistula present (indication that a foreign body had entered the paw) and he could find nothing. He suggested we continue with antibiotics and leave Bella for a few days to see if the paw will heal on its own as there was no evidence of a forgein body still being present.

    Bella's paw did improve, albeit slowly, but the hole where the cyst burst almost closed up, and the wound seemed to be healing. She was examined by the vet last Friday who said he would have expected the paw to have improved more than it had done, but seeing it had improved he was happy to leave it like that and asked to monitor her.

    Sorry for the really long introduction to my question...but I am getting there.
    Today is 4 days since the last vet visit, and I have seen no further improvement. There is also occasional weeping (but not puss, just clear liquib/blood) from the hole where the cyst burst.
    The next step is sedation or possibly even G A to make an incision in the paw and see if there is anything inside. This will require stitches and rest, and probably the dreaded buster collar.
    DO you think it is worth waiting a little longer to avoid the GA and surgery? Or have we given Bella a fair chance and it's time to be more invasive now?
     
  2. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Poor Bella, It is entirely your choice, only you know bella and how she would cope while the woulnd is healing. Personally with the hot weather and that it has been going on a while prob would. The possibillity of the wound becoming infected is high. I know this is similar chances with the op but they would stich it nicely and hopefully that would be the end then..
    Hope you manage to get this sorted whatever you decide :)
     
  3. rona

    rona Guest

    I would leave it a while longer if it isn't bothering her much.
    Are you soaking it in salt water or taking her for a paddle in the sea?
     
  4. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    The vet recommended we do both, but looks like the salt water is going to be the only way forward from now on.

    We've been to the sea and the salt lake...problem is here dogs arent allowed on the beaches, and our 1 dog beach that we had is no longer a dog beach. The salt lake is drying up, and beaches are getting crowded :( We go to Greece ina month where Bella can swim in the sea, but that's not much help for now at all!!

    I will attempt the beach again this week. WIll go to a horrible one near some old factories at a weird hour of the day and hope we're the only ones there!

    The paw is hardly bothering her at all. She does lick it occasionally, but that's the only sign that shows me it affects her. She walks as far and as fast as always, no limp. She is a very happy girl, wants to play at every opportunity.

    Our vet is very honest and I am very lucky he thinks about animals before his pocket and ways to fill it up. I am also inclined to wait longer, so I will probably wait until Friday (unless I notice anything worryinG) and then we'll pay him a visit to see how we are getting on!
     
  5. reddogs

    reddogs PetForums Senior

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    My girl had the same problem a couple of years ago

    blistered, went, blistered, went

    we took her to the vets who explored it a couple of times and got out bits of 'thorn' so thought it was OK each time, eventually after we had tried a lot of alternatives we had a X-Ray because it just wouldn't heal and they found a 2cm blackthorn that was embedded and just would not resolve itself. All better once it was taken out.

    Give it a wee bit more time and if it doesn't resolve ask them to X-ray the area to see if there is something left in it.
     
  6. wooliewoo

    wooliewoo PetForums VIP

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    Our girl had a swelling on her cheek. She had anti biotics etc as thought it was a bite.. Did go down a bit but couldnt find any wounds. After 3 weeks it was decided to x ray and take a look. Turned out to be an inbedded grass sead, dont know if it went in ear and travelled or through skin. Needless to say once removed healing was quick.

    Some things just are'nt easy to spot and further/closer inspection maybe needed if it continues
     
  7. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for your replies. I'm thinking there must be something in there:(
    Might go to the vet tomorrow. I am just reluctant to because I know the next step is surgery!
     
  8. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    Does wood show up on x-rays? I thought it didn't? Is it maybe a special kind of x-ray?
     
  9. dinks

    dinks PetForums Senior

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    no wood doesnt - not even with special xrays heehee :)
     
  10. reddogs

    reddogs PetForums Senior

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    It was a black thorn and it showed up quite clearly and they gave it to me when it was removesd
     
  11. ScottieDog

    ScottieDog PetForums Junior

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    I wouldn't worry to much had this happen to our dogs a couple times give it a good wash out with hibiscrub. It's what our vet said to use worked a treat.
     
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