Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Dogs, Abscesses and Infections
Please Note: Some images are graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers.
Image in the article is of a dog's rectal area abscess that has ruptured.
So many times if our pets get sick we tend to wait it out, which may lead to serious consequences. It's so important to be diligent in caring for your pets and seek medical advice right away if something is wrong.
I wanted to share my story of Whirly, the pet apparel model from Whirly Dog Supplies, who became ill and gave me quite a scare over the past couple of weeks, hoping that my experience may help others.
On Tuesday, January 14th 2014, afternoon my partner took Whirly for a walk on the way to pick up the mail. Whirly stopped to go to the bathroom and seemed to be straining to poop, which is very unlike him. Also, it was only a small amount.
The same situation occurred the next morning. This was quite concerning because Whirly never has problems going to the bathroom. Furthermore, the entire day he seemed lethargic and didn't have his normal "spark" and sweet personality. When I would pick him up to carry him, his entire body would tense and he would push his head into my chest. Upon sitting him down, where ever I put him is where he stayed (for hours). It seemed he didn't even want to walk. I researched as much as I could on the Internet and came up with all sorts of possible causes, I gave him plain white rice (cooked) with water, to the consistency of a thick soup or stew. He ate it readily. I figured I would wait through the night and see how he was the next morning.
I determined that Whirly may need to go to the Veterinarian, so I was prepared to leave immediately. When I took him down to go to the bathroom, he struggled for a few minutes to poop and then toppled over on his side. He just layed there with his legs stretched out, looking up at me helplessly. I picked him up and took him to the vet.
The doctor examined him and she had found a lump in the middle of a large swollen area on the left side of his bottom. She told me that I did the right thing by bringing him immediately to get medical attention. However, she couldn't determine the problem. The lump was soft but when she poked it with a needle, nothing came out, she said it's not abscessed otherwise blood or mucus would have been present. She tried expressing the anal glands but they were empty. The last thing she said it could be was Cancer, however cancerous tumors where usually hard, however it could be the early stages. If it was a bacterial or viral infection it may have been caused by him licking something like a blade of grass or even the floor and then licking his anal region, spreading it, and causing the infection. There was too many possibilities at this time.
She prescribed antibiotics, I took him home, and gave him tons of love. Over the coming days he began to get a little more energy and seemed much happier even though his rear end seemed painful. Monday morning I took him out for his routine "potty walk" and he seemed fine! But as we were coming in, I noticed his entire back end was covered in blood. The lump had ruptured. When I got him inside, I put him in a warm bath and washed all the blood off (carefully) wrapped him in a towel and took him back to the vet.
The doctor stated that it was an abscess and it had finally formed and broke. She wasn't going to do surgery to remove the area infected, she suggested we wait and let it heal in on itself. I am to continue the antibiotics until they are gone (about 4 more days) and twice per day wash the wound with antiseptic wash, along with giving him an anti-inflammatory. The picture below shows the abscess after it had been emptied and clean.
After only one day, you would think nothing was wrong with Whirly. He seems so happy and playful. This puts me at so much more ease. I was so scared I was going to lose him. He is an older dog, approximately 12 years old, and just like people dogs become weaker and need a little more TLC, tender loving care. It is so very important that we watch our pets and observe changes in behavior, diet, activity, and overall health.
No matter what... If your dog is experiencing any problems with their health TAKE THEM TO A DOCTOR!!!