|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!
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