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Abscess

vedward
October 2nd, 2007, 01:23 PM
Hi,

My ten year old lab, Argus, has an abscess from a wound on his hind leg. He has gone through three courses of antibiotics and surgery and the infection persists. I really don't want to put him on any more antibiotics--can he be treated with something like echinacea? Any idea why the infection isn't clearing up? Thanks very much for your input.

Vicki

Love4himies
October 2nd, 2007, 01:43 PM
I understand your concern about overuse of antibiotics, it can upset the bacteria levels in the digestive system. An abscess though is quite serious and I am wondering if echinacea should replace prescription strength drugs. I would take my dog to a different vet for a second opinion and expert advice on the antibiotics and the strength that have been used to date on Argus. You don't want this to get any worse.

hazelrunpack
October 2nd, 2007, 02:30 PM
Some grasses have dangerous awns that work their way into a paw or a leg and migrate. We had a lab that fought an abcess for years until the vet finally managed to locate and remove some plant material. It can be very difficult to find.

If your first vet has run out of ideas, try to find a vet that specializes in hunting dogs. These dogs are more likely to run into problematic grasses (some foxtails, speargrass, etc) as they run the fields and a vet that caters to sporting dogs may have some insight as to what is going on with your lab's leg. At the very least, he may be able to rule out a plant-induced abcess and suggest other treatments.

Good luck with Argus! :fingerscr Please keep us updated on his progress.

vedward
October 2nd, 2007, 03:23 PM
Thanks for your response--I'm curious, how did the vet finally locate the plant material? In Argus' case, the abscess started with a fairly large puncture wound he got while running in the woods, so plant material certainly seems like a possibility. Had your lab had previous unsuccessful surgeries?

Thanks again,
Vicki

hazelrunpack
October 2nd, 2007, 03:31 PM
Thanks for your response--I'm curious, how did the vet finally locate the plant material? In Argus' case, the abscess started with a fairly large puncture wound he got while running in the woods, so plant material certainly seems like a possibility. Had your lab had previous unsuccessful surgeries?

Thanks again,
Vicki

Yes, he'd had at least one previous surgery...possibly two (he was my hubby's dog and it was just before we were married). It was in a front paw--in the 'wrist'--and I think the first time(s) the vet was trying to spare the tendons and wasn't as aggressive as he could have been. :shrug: It's a tricky tradeoff.

At any rate, whatever it was had migrated to a different spot and a new abcess had opened up. The next surgery successfully removed the irritating material and the abcess healed. :thumbs up

Sometimes it seems like it's a matter of luck--especially since the soft plant material doesn't image well with xrays. So the surgery always has an element of exploration to it.

rainbow
October 2nd, 2007, 03:34 PM
I sounds like it definitely could be what happened to Argus. This is from http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1592&articleid=2964

Once seeds and awns become buried, either in the skin, mouth, or other places, it is often very difficult to find them, and often requires surgery. The entry point may or may not be visible, and it is often difficult to find the tiny seed itself, especially if it has migrated several inches. Having to make several different incisions in an attempt to find the seed is often necessary, and there may be more than one seed. Some animals have had to be placed on antibiotics or antifungal medications for very long periods of time due to infections caused by plant seeds and awns.

Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes: