Lump on head above eye.

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Can I chase it?!
Barked: Wed Apr 15, '09 8:57pm PST 
I've posted about this before but I'm back again!
Cassie has had some odd health issues throughout her life which have led to this lump on her head.
It all started about four years ago over the summer. She went out into the yard and when we let her back in her face was covered in small sores that looked almost like puncture wounds. They oozed a bit and she scratched at them. We took her to the vet who said they have never seen anything like it and wanted to keep her to research it, but wanted to charge us for it, and for her treatment, which was totally blind considering they had no idea what it was. We decided to take her home and though the sores stuck around for a few days and also popped up on her tummy (basically where ever the hair was thin), they went away and cause no further issues. These same sores came back every year, just as the weather started to heat up. We took her to vets, but again, they had no explanation. We got whatever anti itch creams we could to help make her comfortable and kept one of those cone collars on her to keep her from scratching.
Over time, she would get itchy in the same spots when the weather got warmer, but didn't get the sores. However, sometimes she seemed a bit bloated and would whimper if we pressed on her tummy. We'd keep her calm and as comfortable as we could until it all passed, which was usually no more than 2 or 3 days.
At some point, she started developing a lump over her one remaining eye (the other was lost due to a severe infection that she had when we found her) whenever this bloating occurred. Eventually the itching seemed to stop, and then the bloating as well. But she still gets this flare up with her eye.
The day before Thanksgiving last year, I took Cassie go the vet because she had had a flare up with her eye and though most of symptoms had passed (she didn't seem to care if we pressed on it when previously it was obviously painful) the lump hadn't gone away. It was very large and was making her eye bulge. The vet said she had never seen anything like it but assumed it was a tumor and that surgery would be needed. I struggled with what was best for Cassie seeing as she is a bit older and that either the tumor or the surgery would-according to the vet-cause her to go blind. I cried for days.
My dad started giving her an antibiotic behind my back (he figured we had nothing to lose but didn't want me to know in case it went bad. He really had good intentions) and after a few days the lump began to shrink. My dad came clean and we continued with the antibiotics for the suggested amount of time (we owned a bird farm for years and always had various meds on hand to treat birds and my dad had used them on various animals for years) and the lump shrunk drastically but never completely went away.
She still has flare ups ever few weeks and when she had the last one, just as she was at her worst a pink, mucus like fluid started draining from her eye and in a matter of hours her eye was as close to normal as it had been in over a year. There was still a slight lump but it was MUCH smaller.
Someone I spoke to said that the fact that the lump gets bigger and then all but goes away implies that it may be an absecess. I found this while looking up abscesses online:
"An abscess is a localized collection of pus that generally develops in response to infection. An abscess is typically painful, and it appears as a swollen area that is warm to the touch. The skin surrounding an abscess typically appears pink or red.

Abscesses can develop in many parts of the body, but they usually involve the skin surface. Common sites affected include the armpits, groin, rectal area (perirectal abscess), the external vaginal area (Bartholin abscess), and along the tailbone (pilonidal abscess). Abscesses can also affect the brain, kidneys, liver (hepatic abscess), lungs, teeth (dental abscess), and tonsils (peritonsillar abscess). Inflammation surrounding hair follicles can lead to the formation of abscesses. Skin abscesses are often referred to as boils.

Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not cure an abscess. In general, abscesses must open and drain to improve. Although sometimes an abscess will open and drain spontaneously, it generally needs to be opened and drained (incision and drainage) by a health care provider."
That was referring more to them and humans, but the symptoms they listed match Cassie's exactly.
Some one told me that soaking a cloth in warm salt water could help draw it out.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to something I can do to help keep her more comfortable, and maybe help keep this from progressing until we get to the vet? She just started having another flare up last night and I'll be calling the some vets tomorrow (I've decided to switch vets because the last time I took her to the vet, the vet who saw us was rude and didn't seem to care about what I was telling her. All she would focus on was Cassie's weight, which I had already told her we were addressing and is now under control.)
Also, does anyone know of a website or something that lists vets in a given area code? I'd really like to see reviews as well.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

Can I chase it?!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 7:29am PST 
*bump* PLEASE! I need some advice here!
Rosalita Lola "Rosie"

Love is never- being told you'- naughty!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 7:49am PST 
Sorry you are having problems.

From what I gather you need to search for a new vet. Go to Google and type in "Veterinarian" and your zip code and you should have a lot of vets in your area that come up.

Good luck sweetie hug


Can I chase it?!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 8:08am PST 
I know of one holistic vet near by, but his is very expensive and I've heard mixed reviews about him from several people I know.
I good ol' fashioned vet is fine with me, but I really want a vet who is open minded about home cooking and RAW (I don't feed RAW but I want a vet who would be supportive should I ever decide to give it a try). I don't want another vet who's just going to shove Science Diet down my throat. It's very frustrating!

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 9:50am PST 
Have you had any testing done? Blood test? Skin tests? Needle biopsy of the lump?

To **me** it sounds like a bad allergy to something seasonal. *I* am allergic to alfalfa and my whole body gets a large assortment of different rashes if exposed and I don't shower right away. If her reaction is severe enough there isn't any reason it couldn't cause this bad a reaction immediately. The reaction could settle down and stay in one spot or another and be very difficult to get rid of especially if you haven't a clue as to what it is and how to treat it. Thus the lump that isn't going away [I get an itchy toe that will NOT go away].

A dermatologist, endocrinologist maybe? Go to a university vet?

Can I chase it?!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 10:47am PST 
I think back when she was getting the oozy sores she got some blood work done and we got nothin'! I would agree with the allergy thing, except now she gets it year round. You never know when it's gonna hit again. I didn't even know they could do needle biopsies. The only option the last vet gave was to surgically go in to biopsy it and then remove it. The surgical biopsy alone was quoted to be about $650. I think I found a vet I might like (very small, one vet practice who has been in operation for something like 30 years). I hopefully he's an open minded vet. I'll be calling him to check into prices for an office visit.
We are rather close to a really good vet school, so maybe that would help. I'll be so glad when this goes away!
Sonny Jim

Franks say that- I'm BACK IN- BLACK!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 11:19am PST 
I would suggest that you go to the vet school or just find a vet nearby who graduated from the school.
As far as what I feed -- the vet doesn't ask and I don't tell, BOL! He says my dogs weights are excellent, they look good, etc. Mainly I go to him because he is obviously smart, will answer my questions, likes dogs, and has a reputation as a good surgeon.

As far as the lump goes -- I had a lump on my brother's dog's neck aspirated, a fine needle aspiration or FNA. They smear it & look at it under the microscope (just like at the gyn, lol) -- then if it looks suspicious, you send it off to a histopathology lab. But his was just an infection, so we didn't.

I have no idea what could have caused the original bumpy condition. But if this bump got infected, over time it could form an abscess. The antibiotic would reduce it in size, but not get rid of it entirely, because an abscess is walled-off & the antibiotic cannot penetrate.

Depending on where it was in the body -- in a human -- there would be some form of anesthesia and possibly an ultrasound done to see how deep the abscess was. Then it would be opened & explored surgically -- you can't just poke a hole in it. The it has to heal by what is called "secondary intention." In other words, it can't be stitched up -- it has to heal from the bottom up, and is often packed with sterile gauze which is changed every day.

Sorry for the wordiness.

Our paws & fingers are crossed!


Can I chase it?!
Barked: Thu Apr 16, '09 10:09pm PST 
Thanks Sonny Jim!
I never used to care about what my vet thought of different foods, but at this point, I think I need a vet who can at least understand the choices I make for the dogs and work from there, instead of trying to convince me I NEED some special food that is really a lot worse than I can do myself.
I'll be calling the new vet again soon (called earlier and their lines were full and then my car broke down so I couldn't visit the office.) and talking it all over with him.
I feel much better about this whole situation though now that I think I have SOME idea what it is. I can't be sure, but so far all the symptoms seem to match. I think she got an infection in the area a while ago when she was scratching at it (she would scratch right through her skin so we had to put the cone collar on her) and I think that was what made her kinda bloaty and sick for a few days every once in a while (again, this is all speculation) and I think that led to an abcess that has been in there making life difficult. I'm REALLY hope we can resolve this all soon!!!!

Can I chase it?!
Barked: Fri Apr 17, '09 12:39pm PST 
*bump* Does anyone else have any input?
Mina- (1/21/1996 - 9/12/2009)

I WOULD like- some cheese with- my whine!
Barked: Fri Apr 17, '09 4:59pm PST 
Wow! I have one of those, too, above my right eye, and multiple vets haven't been able to give my mom any definitive answers as to what it might be or how it came to be. It's a dark lump that inflates and deflates, and sometimes breaks open and bleeds for a short while, and then the cycle is renewed. A needle aspiration biopsy was performed on my lump at a university veterinary hospital a few months ago and even *that* was inconclusive, but they did say that it wasn't cancerous, and so they weren't concerned about it affecting my health. My mom has tried various natural remedies with no success, but she thinks there's a correlation between my immune health and the lump's condition. I seem to experience more health problems when the lump is acting up, so mom is now focusing on improving my immune function and hoping that my lump will deflate once and for all. I am going to see a very popular holistic vet for the first time next week and maybe I'll learn something new about my lump. If I learn something new, I'll be sure to pass that info on to you smile
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