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Could Hot Spots Confuse Diagnosis?

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 05:05 PM
Placing myself at the mercy of those who are entirely against purposeful breeding of dogs...

I have a dog who became ill during late estrus. She had symptoms of pyometra (poor appetite, vomiting, pu/pd, depression) but is not typical of the profile (younger and wrong part of cycle). No fever, CBC confirmed infection, palpation revealed a slightly enlarged uterus. She was considered a very good candidate for antibiotic therapy, but was also booked in tentatively for a spay 2 days later. Her symptoms nearly disappeared by the next appt. so the surgery was cancelled, and she was sent home to continue antibiotics and a hormone injection in a month, as long as she continues to do well.

Then I found hot spots - a rather large area compared to her small size. (By location, above and beside the tail, they would have been caused by the male whose aim was poor.) They cleaned up nicely. She is acting healthy, but acting pregnant (she has been bred before and there is a definite difference between behaviour after a not-bred versus pregnant heat). So I am wondering...

Could the skin infection have caused the elevated WBC, and sick dog symptoms? Could she actually be pregnant with a healthy uterus? Or would pyometra due to hormonal affects and enlargement of the uterus mimic pregnancy? Very little information seems available on the normal canine uterus during the first 3 weeks of pregnancy, or on systemic affects of a skin infection.

Reasons I am asking are:
1) I want to be well prepared before the next vet visit, and
2) I have a waiting list for the litter and want to know what to tell them.

14+kitties
March 17th, 2011, 05:18 PM
Mmmmm, let me pm Dr Lee for you as none of us are vets and can not answer those questions for you dearie.
I'm sure your own vet or your breeding mentor could also help a great deal my dear.

Ok, Dr Lee is pm'd. Hopefully he will be along soon. Sit tight and wait patiently please. He is a very busy man. :thumbs up

aslan
March 17th, 2011, 05:35 PM
As you've stated,,the majority here are against breeding and pro spay/neuter so i'm not sure other than Doctor Lee that any of us could provide the help you need. It would be in the dogs best interest to contact your vet with any concerns you may have.

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 06:13 PM
Thanks 14+Kitties, I appreciate it. I will look forward to Dr Lee's insight, or of course that of anyone else who might have input.
No, as far as breeder/mentors, this situation is quite unusual, so I'm taking the chance that someone somewhere out there might have gone through something comparable. If I knew a big-time breeder who always had a half-dozen litters around, maybe, but by choice I only know the sort who have the occasional litter and give their dogs and puppies personal attention.

<edited out>

Wasn't starting anything of the sort, Carnac. No interest in fighting, as I specifically said in the deleted portion, but I chose to voice my concern directly, rather than walking away from the forum entirely.

BenMax
March 17th, 2011, 06:36 PM
I am very curious as to what Dr. Lee has to say. I wonder if this condition can be inherited in the off spring. This subject is very important as I have a dog from a breeder that has hot spots as a life long condition. Personally, if it turns out that it can be inherited then I would love to sue the breeder if I could. But of course...the lemon law will do me no good as this poor dog was dumped at a shelter for euthanasia and the breeder had no interest whatsoever to take the dog back.
Welcome.

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 07:07 PM
Hmmmm at no point did i attack you so of course you don't need to defend yourself..i stated the the simple truth,,those that don't breed wouldn't be able to give you the information you are looking for..as for skin conditions i have an extreme amount of experience as a retired groomer,,but i can't say that i have ever seen a hot spot from a stud with bad aim. Sorry you're finding the need to feel defensive,,wasn't my intention. All i can suggest is wait for Dr. Lee to return and see what he says..Oh and I would have said welcome off the bat if it had been a welcome thread,,but better late than never..." welcome to the forum".
Thanks for clarifying. Yes your original reply came across badly, glad it was not intended so. Just because most people here are pro spay/neuter, I did not assume that none are breeders or have never been so.

Minor rub marks from breeding are actually quite common (via vet), but would not always progress to a hot spot. Bathing during or just after estrus is best avoided, so I would not be surprised if your clients usually postponed grooming appointments until later, if they chose to have their dog groomed during pregnancy.

aslan
March 17th, 2011, 07:27 PM
The only two i can think of off the top of my head that breed would be Goldfields or Erykah...from what i gather Goldfields has more experience but being in Australia she usually posts early in the morning our time.

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 07:35 PM
I am very curious as to what Dr. Lee has to say. I wonder if this condition can be inherited in the off spring. This subject is very important as I have a dog from a breeder that has hot spots as a life long condition. Personally, if it turns out that it can be inherited then I would love to sue the breeder if I could. But of course...the lemon law will do me no good as this poor dog was dumped at a shelter for euthanasia and the breeder had no interest whatsoever to take the dog back.
Welcome.

BenMax,
Hot spots are a skin infection, so they can not be inherited. There may be an inherited condition causing your dog to have delicate skin, but more likely not. In my dog's case physical trauma to the skin was a factor, that's not her fault.
You can have a lot of bloodwork, allergy tests, etc. done to try to see what is going on with your own dog, but in the end even if it turns out your dog suffers an inherited condition, it is a breeder's choice whether to guarantee a puppy at all. Mine are guaranteed free of all hereditary/congenital problems for life. Yours, having come from a shelter, would only have the health guarantee the shelter provided you.

BenMax
March 17th, 2011, 07:40 PM
Yours, having come from a shelter, would only have the health guarantee the shelter provided you.

I am aware as I am in rescue and work with many. I would still like to hear Dr.Lee's take on it as I am certain that the condition that this dog (my foster) is ailing of is far more than just hot spots. Vets cannot determine underlyning issue as there is no allergies. Also, he does indeed have auto immune difficency and he is terminal due to heart condition (faulty valve). As you can well imagine I am furious about this situation and I find it not fair that the breeder is 100% reponsible.

Regardless, I will continue to monitor this thread to see what I learn out of it.

Dr Lee
March 17th, 2011, 07:51 PM
Was diagnostic imaging performed? X-Rays? preferably ultrasound?

What about vaginal swab cytology?

Abdominal palpation and CBC are helpful but not the best methods to diagnose pyometra. If the uterus can be felt on palpation, then I wouldn't consider it "mildly enlarged." Furthermore CBCs can be elevated for many reasons. Also for several reasons, life threatening infections, including pyometra, can be present with a "normal" CBC.

In general, no pyometra is a good antibiotic candidate. They are typically only surgical candidates.

For non-infectious ovarian/uterine problems, false pregnancy or inflammation can be present.

If the pet has not been bred/with a male, then the dog cannot be pregnant. If you are not sure, the best method to evaluate is an ultrasound - not only can you see the fetuses but can also ensure that the puppies are alive. It is also the most straighforward method to look for pyometra.

There are also two types of pyometra - "open" and "closed" pyometra. Open pyometras have an open cervix which allows fluid to drip out. CLosed or partially closed pyometras will have little to no discharge. Thus the amount/frequency/presence of discharge is NOT a good method to evaluate pyometra. In fact, a pyometra with little to no discharge can be MORE dangerous then one that does because the pus has no where to go. Any type of pyometra is considered life threatening.

When pyometra is a concern, you need to get a diagnosis and if the disease is confirmed, then surgery should be performed right away.

I hope that this helps. :pawprint:

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Was diagnostic imaging performed? X-Rays? preferably ultrasound?

What about vaginal swab cytology?

Abdominal palpation and CBC are helpful but not the best methods to diagnose pyometra. If the uterus can be felt on palpation, then I wouldn't consider it "mildly enlarged." Furthermore CBCs can be elevated for many reasons. Also for several reasons, life threatening infections, including pyometra, can be present with a "normal" CBC.

In general, no pyometra is a good antibiotic candidate. They are typically only surgical candidates.

For non-infectious ovarian/uterine problems, false pregnancy or inflammation can be present.

If the pet has not been bred/with a male, then the dog cannot be pregnant. If you are not sure, the best method to evaluate is an ultrasound - not only can you see the fetuses but can also ensure that the puppies are alive. It is also the most straighforward method to look for pyometra.

There are also two types of pyometra - "open" and "closed" pyometra. Open pyometras have an open cervix which allows fluid to drip out. CLosed or partially closed pyometras will have little to no discharge. Thus the amount/frequency/presence of discharge is NOT a good method to evaluate pyometra. In fact, a pyometra with little to no discharge can be MORE dangerous then one that does because the pus has no where to go. Any type of pyometra is considered life threatening.

When pyometra is a concern, you need to get a diagnosis and if the disease is confirmed, then surgery should be performed right away.

I hope that this helps. :pawprint:

Thank you for your reply Dr Lee.

She has been bred, and if she had not become ill, I would assume a successful breeding and current pregnancy. Under the toxic environment in a pyometric uterus, however, I would not expect the zygotes to survive.

The decision to try antibiotics was made due to several factors that made her a better candidate than typical (age, breed, stage of pregnancy, etc.), and due to her subsequent complete recovery of symptoms, seems to have been the right decision. Yes I am aware that immediate surgery is the typical recommendation for the typical patient with pyometra.

Pyometra was the most logical diagnosis based upon symptoms, examination, and the testing that was done. There was no discharge to swab, she is closed. Her blood was looked at under a microscope to confirm the results of the machine.

Based on your reply, it sounds like I am right to wonder. The skin infection could have been the true illness; the uterus may in fact be healthy or under a non-infectious condition. It is too early to ultrasound for puppies, but that may be the best thing to do to confirm pyometra versus pregnancy, before she gets that hormone injection.

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 08:59 PM
I am aware as I am in rescue and work with many. I would still like to hear Dr.Lee's take on it as I am certain that the condition that this dog (my foster) is ailing of is far more than just hot spots. Vets cannot determine underlyning issue as there is no allergies. Also, he does indeed have auto immune difficency and he is terminal due to heart condition (faulty valve). As you can well imagine I am furious about this situation and I find it not fair that the breeder is 100% reponsible.

Regardless, I will continue to monitor this thread to see what I learn out of it.

Well hopefully you are able to manage all his health problems to make his last days relatively comfortable.
Yes, of course you are furious, probably on a daily basis as you are in rescue!

Goldfields
March 17th, 2011, 10:14 PM
I agree with Dr Lee, SamIam, about an x ray or ultrasound. Ditto the swab. Can you tell me what breed she is, what age, and what date she was mated please? Oh, and exactly when she became ill.

SamIam
March 17th, 2011, 10:33 PM
I agree with Dr Lee, SamIam, about an x ray or ultrasound. Ditto the swab. Can you tell me what breed she is, what age, and what date she was mated please? Oh, and exactly when she became ill.

She is a long-coat chihuahua, will be 4 in June. She was bred daily from the 8th to 11th, became ill on the 11th, was worst on the 12th.

Love4himies
March 18th, 2011, 08:10 AM
If this was my dog, I would play on the side of caution and get her spayed, period. There is no litter worth risking the life of a beloved pet, plus, there are too many dogs in the world now, so, it's a win-win situation for all dogs! :D

exkalibur
March 18th, 2011, 08:49 AM
By the way, I missed your introduction but, Welcome to the forum :D

Goldfields
March 18th, 2011, 10:45 AM
Are you positive, Sam, that it was a heat you were seeing and not discharge from an open pyometra? Males can be very interested even if it's an infection they are smelling? If he was a forceful dog and given human help he could easily have served her without her being in season. Only you know whether she was cycling like clockwork and due in season. If she was usually regular but not this time, I would be even more suspicious of a pyo, especially when there was an enlarged uterus.
Whatever happens, keep a very close eye on your little one, Chi's are so delicate and when things go wrong they can go into shock quickly.
With a sheltie I was encouraged by a vet to go the antibiotic/hormone way, but never again. You only delay the inevitable I believe. I wanted her spayed then and let him talk me out of it, the result was a bad pyo next time around. Just not worth the risk. I've had another one, a cattle dog, get pyo just after a heat, so they don't always do it by the book.
Re the hot spots, did you bath her before the mating? If you did, and didn't dry her totally, there would be a good cause of hot spots. A sheltie breeder/judge friend firmly believes that leaving long coated dogs damp causes hot spots. I have never heard of any to do with a dog serving a bitch but I'll run that by her out of curiosity. She has bred a lot of shelties over 30 or more years and often helps people train their young sheltie stud dogs.

SamIam
March 18th, 2011, 02:32 PM
Yes Goldfields, on the clock. The discharge was also normal and she was offering the usual flirting and standing. Her due date would be May 8 +/- 1 day, and I would have given you the same predicted date a year ago. Chihuahuas are not necessarily delicate, they can be the ones to beat all odds, which so far she is doing. Right now the only sign whatsoever that I have a sick dog is the vial of antibiotics on the counter. My vet has not been pushy, has been very honest, and is not someone who recommends this course often. I'm home with the kids all day, keeping a close eye, and have my vet's cell number if we need help after hours.

"Usual" for those of you unfamiliar with pyometra, is an old (>5 yrs, in fact usually >9) female who is not bred or has had previous mismate shots, has had many unbred heats, and quite likely has never been bred, and who was in estrus 4-8 weeks ago. Unusual but possible includes any intact female, even under 12 months old which would be the first heat, it can be concurrent with pregnancy such as pyo in one horn, pups in the other, and can occur any time during estrus or up to 4 months later. I don't know the stats for usual vs unusual, but it's so rare some veterinary/scientific resources don't even mention it as a possibility.

She was bathed recently, and although she was dried, I didn't poke through her fur earlier to know whether the hot spot may have started earlier and just been made worse by the male. He also did leak fluid on her fur that day (not sure which), so she was wet again at the time of mating. She does not have near as thick a coat as a sheltie, but would be susceptible to the same risks to a lesser degree.

Thanks for the welcome exkalibur.

Love4himies, the win-win situation you are looking for is in the elimination of random and unplanned litters, badly bred dogs with health or behaviour problems, and breeders who don't accept longterm responsibility for their puppies. The best of luck to you in all your efforts in these areas.

Yes, I love her. Very much.

Goldfields
March 18th, 2011, 09:22 PM
Sam, I've had a long coat Chi' so know what darlings they are, there's a lot of love in a tiny package, so good luck with her. I still wonder if it mightn't be a good idea to ultrasound her after she's off the antibiotics? When she is far enough along I mean.

When I blow dry dogs I always run my fingers through their coats thoroughly afterwards looking for a damp spot. Two worries with mine, a cold tail in the cattle dogs if you leave them damp around the tail and rump, and that is terribly painful, or hot spots of course on the shelties. What colour is your little Chi' girl? Mine was a black and tan long coat.

SamIam
March 18th, 2011, 10:05 PM
Thanks for your advice and support, Goldfields. She's a deep red sable with white markings. Her dad was a black tri. Now that she's had a hot spot this one time I'll definitely be more vigilant checking she's dried quickly after any bath or swim. We'll probably get another quick belly poke done in 10 days, which will be a good chance to talk to my vet about booking in an ultrasound.

Goldfields
March 18th, 2011, 10:48 PM
She sounds lovely, Sam, and what colour did you put her to? I was fascinated by the litters bred by my Jedda's breeder, she seemed to get such a mixed bunch of colours. You have to understand that my Australian Cattle Dogs are always born white, so seeing colour in litters was a culture shock. LOL. I rather adored Jedda's mother, she was a chocolate long coat. I'll have fingers crossed for your girl until you get the ultrasound results. Good luck, and how about posting some photo's, or have you somewhere else already?

emilie42
March 18th, 2011, 11:00 PM
Hi ! Any pictures of those little darlings ? I have a thing for chihuahuas but unfortunately can't fathom the idea of having one right now.

Love4himies
March 19th, 2011, 05:26 AM
Love4himies, the win-win situation you are looking for is in the elimination of random and unplanned litters, badly bred dogs with health or behaviour problems, and breeders who don't accept longterm responsibility for their puppies. The best of luck to you in all your efforts in these areas.

Yes, I love her. Very much.

No, the win-win situation I am looking for is a home to the millions of currently homeless pets that ALL breeders have contributed towards ;). Unfortunately my efforts will loose as there is too much selfishness in humans. There are currently over 13,000 chihuahua's/chihuahua crosses looking for homes on petfinder :(. I just thought perhaps you would love the breed enough to give your beloved pet a break from mommahood (and eliminate the risk of pyometra) and give these currently living dogs a chance to find a home.

Love4himies
March 19th, 2011, 06:31 AM
I am very curious as to what Dr. Lee has to say. I wonder if this condition can be inherited in the off spring. This subject is very important as I have a dog from a breeder that has hot spots as a life long condition. Personally, if it turns out that it can be inherited then I would love to sue the breeder if I could. But of course...the lemon law will do me no good as this poor dog was dumped at a shelter for euthanasia and the breeder had no interest whatsoever to take the dog back.
Welcome.

You know BenMax, almost every health condition is inherited in some way. Genes are what determines what an animal will be prone to or not.

BenMax
March 19th, 2011, 08:48 AM
You know BenMax, almost every health condition is inherited in some way. Genes are what determines what an animal will be prone to or not.

I know L4H. It just bothers me that in the end the breeder refused to take her dog back, which left him on death row. I love this little guy and it pains me that she continues to breed...

Regardless, the damage is done and there is nothing that we can do for him. I brought him to the groomer yesterday and she felt so bad for him but did her best to make him comfortable.

It is very sad L4H, as I see daily how many dogs are dumped. And chi's are high on that 'dump list'.

Blackbear
March 19th, 2011, 10:22 AM
Pls keep this thread on topic and helpful to the OP. Personal comments should be sent by PM.

SamIam
March 19th, 2011, 09:08 PM
No, the win-win situation I am looking for is a home to the millions of currently homeless pets that ALL breeders have contributed towards ;). Unfortunately my efforts will loose as there is too much selfishness in humans. There are currently over 13,000 chihuahua's/chihuahua crosses looking for homes on petfinder :(. I just thought perhaps you would love the breed enough to give your beloved pet a break from mommahood (and eliminate the risk of pyometra) and give these currently living dogs a chance to find a home.

Not one of my puppies is currently in a shelter, has ever been in a shelter, or will ever be in a shelter longer than it takes them to phone me and me drive to pick up. Nearly all of them were spayed/neutered between the age of 5 and 7 months. Of the one who went to an approved breeding home, none of her puppies is/has been/will be in a shelter for the same reasons, and as they are all spayed/neutered, there is no next generation for you to worry about.

If there were no animal breeders, I would not have by beloved pets or my dogs (whom I refer to as my kids, not as pets), and you wouldn't have yours either.

Anyone wanting to start a Let's bash SamIam or Let's bash breeders thread, fine, but this one is about my dog and about various medical conditions, tests, results, etc., anyone who might have similar experiences or insights, and so forth...

SamIam
March 19th, 2011, 09:10 PM
She sounds lovely, Sam, and what colour did you put her to? I was fascinated by the litters bred by my Jedda's breeder, she seemed to get such a mixed bunch of colours. You have to understand that my Australian Cattle Dogs are always born white, so seeing colour in litters was a culture shock. LOL. I rather adored Jedda's mother, she was a chocolate long coat. I'll have fingers crossed for your girl until you get the ultrasound results. Good luck, and how about posting some photo's, or have you somewhere else already?
Hi ! Any pictures of those little darlings ? I have a thing for chihuahuas but unfortunately can't fathom the idea of having one right now.
I hope you don't think I'm being cold by it, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to post photos, given the mixed company...
I found her a great little guy, long hair blue and brindled tan, now that's be a rainbow litter for sure, fawns, black & tans, brindles. Sigh. He's too young for now, so I went with the same guy as last year, last year they had two fawns and a piebald. Never had a one-colour litter, it's always exciting!
She's still acting 101%, so I've relaxed a bit. Last night I even let her sleep at my feet, which she prefers, instead of in my arms where I can hear every breath and heart beat.

rainbow
March 19th, 2011, 10:54 PM
I hope you don't think I'm being cold by it, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to post photos, given the mixed company...


:confused: but we love pics here. :thumbs up

I have never seen a brindled chihuahua ....in fact I've never even see a long haired one except for the internet so hope you will post some. :)

BenMax
March 20th, 2011, 03:46 AM
:confused: but we love pics here. :thumbs up

I have never seen a brindled chihuahua ....in fact I've never even see a long haired one except for the internet so hope you will post some. :)

Rainbow the long haired are quite cute as we have had a few pass our doors on a few occasions. I distinctly remember on named Bradley. He and his breeding partner (also a long haired) were dumped in a crate, in the sun, in the back of a race horse track. I don't know how someone found them..but fortunately they were discovered. I had never actually seen one until then. After that, a few more were confiscated a while later.
No doubt they are adorable little beings.

SamIam..please understand that this is a pro spay/neuter board. Alot of us are in rescue one way or another. Because we see so much despair it is hard to digest breeding situations.

If you take care of your pups, take them back if no longer wanted, and somehow contribute in some way with the breed that you love so, then I personally have no problem with that. Infact I do have a friend who is a breeder..who also stopped breeding and went into rescue to help not only the breed she loves so, but also all different breeds and mutts. She will go back to her breeding program but wanted to take a break to help others because I introduced her to a huge problem in shelters. She was touched and jumped right in.

t.pettet
March 20th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Even if a breeder takes back what she has produced it does not lower the numbers (thousands of dogs including chis who are pts every year at shelters) because there are not enough homes for them all. The only reason to breed is to improve the breed lines to eliminate genetic issues such as hip dyplasia, skin conditions, deafness etc. not make a new supply of pups for the sake of finances. There should be a 3 year cease-breeding moratorium for the sake of the shelter dogs, rescues and anyone else concerned with the bodybags coming out of pounds/shelters.

shirley1011
March 20th, 2011, 06:01 PM
:2cents:2) I have a waiting list for the litter and want to know what to tell them.[/QUOTE]

SamIam, this is not off topic...you are the one bringing up having a litter and we are just responding to what you really should tell your list waiting for puppies....that you are being responsible and not bringing any more unwanted dogs into this world while there are thousands waiting for homes. Just my :2cents:

shirley1011
March 20th, 2011, 06:06 PM
No if there weren't any to purchase, they would rescue...I bred for years because there was nowhere in Eastern Ontario to purchase.....but this site has educated me..and I will not breed again....why not do the same....what is your purpose other than $$$

aslan
March 20th, 2011, 06:09 PM
just wondering have you had the dog to the vet to find out if it is pyometra,,if it is how is not treating her going to affect her and the litter if she's even pregnant,,have you had that confirmed?

14+kitties
March 20th, 2011, 06:10 PM
No, the win-win situation I am looking for is a home to the millions of currently homeless pets that ALL breeders have contributed towards ;). Unfortunately my efforts will loose as there is too much selfishness in humans. There are currently over 13,000 chihuahua's/chihuahua crosses looking for homes on petfinder :(. I just thought perhaps you would love the breed enough to give your beloved pet a break from mommahood (and eliminate the risk of pyometra) and give these currently living dogs a chance to find a home.

Maybe this is where your waiting list can go? :shrug:

shirley1011
March 20th, 2011, 06:15 PM
Seems like you are very argumentative....however, I do know how a waiting list works and I have a waiting list as long as your arm...and I am not breeding!!! I have the dogs but not doing it!!!!!!! and there are none of my breed available in Canada for adoption but there are thousands and thousands of others who I recommend everytime someone calls to see if there will soon be a litter....

aslan
March 20th, 2011, 06:15 PM
Maybe you don't understand how a waiting list works? Or why it exists? Or why people put their name down on one?


few quick questions,,is your Chi AKC or CKC registered,,is she titled,,how many times has she been bred and starting at what age,,,how many pups per litter?

BenMax
March 20th, 2011, 06:16 PM
just wondering have you had the dog to the vet to find out if it is pyometra,,if it is how is not treating her going to affect her and the litter if she's even pregnant,,have you had that confirmed?

I was wondering the same thing. Did you get a second opinion? How is your dog?
Bigger question..are you planning on spaying after this litter in order to possibly save her life?

14+kitties
March 20th, 2011, 06:17 PM
Yes she's been to the vet twice so far. Not treating her would kill both her and the pups, which is why treatment was started immediately following the first vet appointment. It is too early to confirm pregnancy and distinguish it from other possible explanations.

Has it been confirmed she does not have pyometra SamIam? I think that was the question. We are concerned about your little girl. That's all.

shirley1011
March 20th, 2011, 06:19 PM
Our male was a Canaian Grand Champion..and all pups CKC registered but I would rather help where I can with any rescues of N.E. that come along...much more rewarding.

Blackbear
March 20th, 2011, 07:35 PM
This thread has most certainly run its course. Closed.