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Question About Dog's Nose

JoM
December 8th, 2010, 11:00 AM
My 7 year old border collie mix, Penny, was outside chasing stray cats in our fenced in yard about a month ago. She did something to her nose, we think she possibly banged it against the fence or possibly one of the cats punctured the side of her nose with its claw . . . not sure what exactly. Approx. two days after she was out chasing these cats, her nose started to swell on the top and on the right side, just below where it was swollen on the top. She has 'skinned' her nose several times (chasing cats I'm sure) and once it got a bit swollen but not like this. We kept an eye on it and the swelling did start to go down on its own. But she started breathing loudly so two weeks after the incident, we took her to the vet.

He gave her a shot of cortisone, which helped with the swelling and thus, her loud breathing for about 4-5 days, some ointment for the side of her nose (turns out what we thought was just swollen under her black fur was actually a scab formed over a cut or something) and 7 days worth of antihistamine. He said if things didn't improve to come back for a try of antibiotic. At the time, he did not think there was any infection.

Fast forward three weeks. Her breathing is still really loud (through her nose) so I took her back to the vet Monday. It was a different vet, I've never seen him before. Anyway, he said it could be one of several things. A localized infection (she has no fever), a fungal infection, a bacterial infection or a tumor. He looked up her nose with a flashlight and you could see just on the inside, where the nose 'bumps out' normally that on the right side it was swollen. The swelling is likely the cause of her loud breathing. I told him she did something to her nose about a month ago but . . . his take was that it was more a tumor that had 'popped' through to the outside (the sore/scabbed part on the side of her nose). His suggestion was to go to a specialist he recommended to get a $2,000 scope/biopsy.

:confused: ? ? ? ? ? :confused:

Um, I asked him - twice - that he didn't think it more likely that she did some kind of trauma (infection, sever bruising, broken something inside, something stuck inside) and that was the problem, rather than a tumor.

No. :rolleyes:

I suggested that we try what the first vet said and go with a round of antibiotics. He said ok, we can try that. He didn't give her any anti-inflammatory because he said it might mask symptoms. Um, wouldn't it only mask the symptoms while she was on it? Wouldn't a course of say one week of anti-inflammatory along with the two week course of antibiotics be ok? Wouldn't an short bout of anti-inflammatory to help ease her breathing while the antibiotics were working be a good thing? (I'm just wondering out loud here).

So, she's on day three of the cephalexin (500 mg every 12 hrs). This morning she is getting snot bubbles out of the right side (the side that is swollen). I'm thinking that is a good thing?? Also, she had left-over deramaxx from a previous visit so I gave her a dose about two hours ago.

My questions:

If it is a localized infection, would it necessarily be oozy and discolored runny,? (because it isn't. Her snot bubbles look pretty clear).

If it is a localized infection, would there necessarily be any outward signs?

How long would an infection take to heal?

If it is a fungal (rather than bacterial) infection, how do you know?

If it still isn't any better by the end of the meds (two weeks), what is the next step?

Shouldn't a vet be able to scope a dog's nose (rather than sending us to a specialist)? Isn't that what a vet is for?

So sorry this is so long and rambly, just trying to paint a clear picture. I'm frustrated by Monday's vet visit and feel as if the vet didn't really give a crap about my dog. Thanks for any input anyone can provide.

pbpatti
December 8th, 2010, 12:47 PM
I have no answers to any of your questions, perhaps a visit to a new Vet may help? Since she was playing with kitties outside my thought would first be an infection from a scratch...but I am not a vet and do not know your dog. Do you think we can have a picture of Penny to make sure she is ok :D:D patti

JoM
December 8th, 2010, 02:26 PM
I have no answers to any of your questions, perhaps a visit to a new Vet may help? Since she was playing with kitties outside my thought would first be an infection from a scratch...but I am not a vet and do not know your dog. Do you think we can have a picture of Penny to make sure she is ok :D:D patti

Yeah, we're looking around for another vet. I'm worried about Penny but also am really frustrated over the vet's indifference.

Ah, pictures! Oops, they are awfully big pictures. I'm not sure how to make them smaller.

In the second one you can see where her 'boo-boo' is (which is where something cut her nose) and in the third one you can see how it's still a little bumped on the top.

Wow, ok those pics are ginormous. Sorry.

growler~GateKeeper
December 9th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Penny is adorable :lovestruck:

Looks like there is still an unhealed sore on the outside, is there/has there been anything draining from that? Clear fluid, pus, blood?

Was there a fine needle aspirate (FNA) done on that spot? That would check the tissue under that spot with the microscope for cancerous cells/bacteria/fungus/infection.

Does the spot bother her at all? Any rubbing or scratching? Will she let you touch it without flinching?

:2cents: I think I'd be going for a 3rd opinion at a different clinic maybe getting a FNA and/or a skin scraping done. It is possible there is a splinter or such embedded under the skin that is causing the swelling/infection.

The fact that whatever this is, is causing impairment in her breathing would have me at another vet to check it out definatively.

:goodvibes:

JoM
December 9th, 2010, 08:36 AM
Penny is adorable :lovestruck:

Looks like there is still an unhealed sore on the outside, is there/has there been anything draining from that? Clear fluid, pus, blood?

Was there a fine needle aspirate (FNA) done on that spot? That would check the tissue under that spot with the microscope for cancerous cells/bacteria/fungus/infection.

Does the spot bother her at all? Any rubbing or scratching? Will she let you touch it without flinching?

:2cents: I think I'd be going for a 3rd opinion at a different clinic maybe getting a FNA and/or a skin scraping done. It is possible there is a splinter or such embedded under the skin that is causing the swelling/infection.

The fact that whatever this is, is causing impairment in her breathing would have me at another vet to check it out definatively.

:goodvibes:

No, the vet didn't even offer to do a FNA and I didn't think to ask. In fact, he didn't offer to do anything other than recommend she go get a $2,000 scope. :frustrated: I was the one who asked about anti-inflammatory and an anti-biotic. He's the doc . . . why the hell isn't he making suggestions? I have to tell you he seemed really indifferent.

She is on day four of the cephalexin. We can't tell if it is doing any good or not. She sounds more stuffy and possibly onto the left side as well. At times it sounds really 'juicy' . . . which we are hoping means an infection is breaking? How long would be reasonable before expecting any type of change? I am thinking if she still sounds the same by Monday (that wouuld be the 8th day of 20 days of meds) I would go to another vet . . . but I don't know if dogs take longer to heal than people. Maybe I should just wait until the full course of meds is done?

Yes, the spot on the side of her nose is still not fully healed and this is 5 weeks after injury. It isn't pussy or oozy or inflamed but the fur hasn't grown back. I also wondered if a splinter got in there (we have a post and rail fence) and is the main problem. But wouldn't it 'look' infected? <sigh> Very frustrated here. Thanks for any input you can provide.

JoM
January 18th, 2011, 01:23 PM
figured I would update this. We ended up taking Penny to another vet. He spent a solid 1/2 hour with us and her, thoroughly examining her nose. He said without a cat-scan there is no way to know for sure but he thinks that she may have fractured some of the fine bones in her nose. BUT, that otherwise she is happy and healthy and that if it were his dog he wouldn't know what to do about getting a $1,500+ scan plus possible surgery (if needed/possible).

I really liked this doc (he's the only vet, it's his business) and he has a new customer. I was relieved that he so thoroughly examined her nose and inside of her mouth and teeth, looking for any other possible problem or injury. I asked again if it could just be infection (because that is what my gut was still telling me). He said possibly but there wasn't any pusing/oozing/discharge from the spot so he thought the possibility was remote. I told him I thought we should finish out the meds anyway and he agreed. This was Friday night, day 5 of the antibiotic.

Sometime over the weekend I noticed that her breathing sounded different . . . not as bad, not as loud. Hmmmm. Sunday afternoon she jumped up on the sofa (why of course she's allowed to do that, isn't your dog? lol) and she ZONKED OUT. I mean she was out cold for about 2 hours or so. She hadn't slept like that in over two weeks or so. It was then that I knew the antibiotic was doing it's job and that she'd be fine. It's now six weeks after and she's back to completely normal dog nose. My one concern that none of the docs I saw was that the injury was a bright pink so long after she hurt it. To me that means it wasn't healing. After a week on the antibiotic it started turning a dark color and a week after that the fur started growing back in. She does have a scar there . . . it looks just like someone took an unsharpened pencil and poked her there. Perhaps because the first doc spent over a minuted poking at the scab that was in no way ready to come off? I don't know. I do know that once again, listening to my gut was a wise thing to do. Still glad I took her to the new vet but even he didn't think it was infection. I guess the infection was just under the skin and inside her nose.

hazelrunpack
January 18th, 2011, 02:10 PM
I'm glad the antibiotics worked and the wound finally healed! It's always nice to find a competent and caring vet! So congrats on both counts!! :D