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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Throat injuries?

Anyone have any experience with throat injuries? Tomorrow morning I'm taking Lightning in to the vet to get checked out, but my guess is that he may have a sliver or some foreign body in his throat. This morning when I had the dogs all out running/playing in the fields he came up to me making an odd face, like he had something stuck in his mouth or had tasted something bad. He was not choking, and upon examination I could not find anything unusual, no cuts anywhere on his face or in his mouth, except a scratch on his nose (which he may have gotten when I let them out of the back yard from where they all then run and dash under the barbed wire fence to play in the fields). I kept an eye on him, the odd faces stopped and he seemed to be back to normal. With the gray, dismal day it's been here today my dogs have spent most of the day just lazing around the house, so I didn't notice anything further wrong with him. This evening however I noticed he seemed to be more subdued than usual, and he had developed stinky breath. He's usually a good eater but wouldn't touch his supper tonight, even with chicken and broth in it and he has some swelling on his neck in the area where the skin is kind of loose below the jaw. He's not drooling excessively but every now and then I wipe up a stringy bit of drool that is tinted just ever so slightly pink coloured. I've taken his temperature and he has a fever and with that and the suddenly stinky breath I'm guessing he is developing an abscess. I've given him a shot of penicillin to help until I can get him to the vet in the morning. We have no 24 hour clinic here so after hours it would be an emergency visit with whichever vet somewhere in our area is on call. The vets take turns who is on call so even if I call my clinic the answering service would just have whichever vet is on call get in touch with me and tell me which clinic to take him to, and it may not even be a vet I would necessarily want to use. Since his breathing is not laboured and he is not showing any signs of dehydration or shock I think it's safe to wait for office hours and go to my regular vet. He was fine first thing this morning, ate his breakfast and was playing as usual when I took them out for playtime. I'm thinking that maybe he picked up a stick or something else and got a piece slivered in there somewhere. If he does have a foreign body in his throat, I don't know how they would get it out without surgery, unless under anesthesia they can see further down into the throat than I've been able to. Has anyone had a similar type of surgery done and if so how long was the recovery? Did it end up affecting their breathing and performance? Lightning is the superstar command leader on my team and he helps me train the younger dogs. In races he takes the team through any necessary turns without any glitches and keeps them moving well for nice clean passes with the other teams out there on the trails. I really hope he doesn't end up having to sit out this season, and that this doesn't have any long-term effects. :sad:
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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:37 PM
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I'm so sorry to read what's happening with Lightning. I don't have anything to offer in terms of advice as we've never experienced this. I just wanted to send and for Lightening vet visit. Whatever it is, I hope he recovers quickly.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 11:01 PM
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Did you check the roof of his mouth, Gail? Sometimes our nudniks get sticks caught crosswise up there... That wouldn't cause the swelling on his neck, though

I hope it's easily fixed, whatever is wrong with Lightning

for a quick recovery!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 12:18 AM
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Hopefully your vet has an endoscope or can borrow one to check deeper into Lightnings' mouth/throat easily

Sending along speedy healing for Lightning
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Old November 20th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Please keep us posted, Gail!

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Old November 20th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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I did check the roof of his mouth, and all over inside and in the cheeks (he's such a good boy letting me look around in there when he's not feeling well ) I couldn't see anything anywhere, no foreign objects, cuts or scrapes.

Went to the vet and she couldn't find anything specific either. She said I had two options, antibiotics and monitor it over the weekend, or anesthetize him and do a more thorough exam. We went with the antibiotics and monitoring, as he seems to be feeling a bit better this morning than last night. His fever is down some and he showed some interest in food, though doesn't have his usual appetite yet. He usually gobbles up his food whether it's plain dry kibble or has extras in it. This time of year when they're in training I'm usually feeding them something extra (meat, gravy, broth etc.) and last night when he wouldn't eat, his bowl had roasted chicken and broth added to his kibble and he wasn't even interested. This morning I guess he was hungry enough that he tried a few pieces of plain kibble, but I didn't give him much in case he had to go under anesthesia at the vet. After the appointment I made him a very soupy mix of some kibble, chicken and broth and he slowly ate most of it when I hand fed it to him.

I had an appointment booked for tomorrow morning anyhow to take some of the others in for vaccinations, so he's going to go back then too for a recheck. He's now on pain meds and stronger antibiotics than the penicillin I gave him. If that isn't enough and he gets worse over the weekend he'll go back Monday morning to get put out for a more thorough exam or surgery if necessary. Hopefully this does the trick
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Old November 20th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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I'm glad he's a bit better today! for continued improvement. I hope surgery doesn't become necessary!! Could it be a blocked salivary gland? I'd never heard of such a thing, but Chris said she's actually had one in the past!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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speedy recovery Lightning
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:32 PM
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Glad he's showing a bit of improvement Gail.

Is it possible he could've been bit by something?
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:43 PM
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Glad Lightening seems to be doing better .....I hope that it is nothing serious and good luck at the vet tomorrow.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:10 AM
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Change of plan. A few hours after returning from the vet, I noticed that the swelling in the throat area was no worse, maybe even a bit better but around the corner of his mouth was now swollen too. I was wondering, could it be a tooth abscess forming or did both the vet and I miss something? I decided to take another look in his mouth myself to see if I could find anything. Laid him down on his side, head flat on the floor and opened his mouth. His tongue fell over towards the floor and BINGO! There was something embedded under it. Examining him while in an upright position wasn't moving his tongue out of the way and neither the vet or I had tried to do that since the problem seemed to be the throat. So I called the vet, they said bring him back right away and leave him to be sedated and have "it" extracted. This is what they pulled out!

No wonder the poor guy was feeling bad and didn't want to eat. This thing was buried completely under his tongue with only the very tip visible when his tongue was out of the way.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:22 AM
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My dawg that's big! Lightning what were you doing?!

Glad you figured that out & got it removed quickly Was there any damage to the underside of his tongue?
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:29 AM
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OMG ....what is that?

Sure glad you found it ....poor Lightening must have been so uncomfortable.

Is he back to his normal self now that it's been removed?
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Old November 21st, 2009, 02:03 AM
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Well it sure ain't no sliver, more like a skewer! Guess when he was running around playing yesterday morning he must have grabbed for a stick and gotten stabbed by a twig or something He's always so fast and intense in everything he does, he probably dove for it. He loves frisbee and has competed in disc trials but I've stopped playing it with him because of injuries. If it hits the ground before he gets it he dives so hard at it that he has sprained a toe before, plus sometimes splits a nail and gets grass wedged in there. Also I think he pulled or tore something back in the early springtime when he was leaping high for them in the air. He was briefly sore in his hind end, but I wasn't 100% sure if it was in the muscle, back or hip. It only bothered him if he leaped upwards, not if he just ran around normally. That's when I put away the frisbee and now I'm kind of afraid to bring it back out again in case he hurts himself just as we're getting into heavier training for sledding. I also heard about a bad broken leg Flurry's sister received when she landed wrong when playing frisbee.

Half of our property is densely treed so when I take the dogs out of the back yard for a run around the fields it is impossible to prevent them from picking up sticks. They just don't normally attempt a tongue piercing

I haven't tried to move his tongue to look under it again, I'm sure it must still be quite painful and have a deep puncture there. The vet said she had a really good look all around his mouth once he was down and out and that she flushed it really well. He was dopey after the anesthetic but started to perk up more as it got later (11pm onwards) He is looking much brighter than he was yesterday and earlier today.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 02:15 AM
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Glad Lightening is feeling better ....hope he has a speedy recovery.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 12:56 PM
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Holy crap, Gail! Oh, that poor guy!!!!!

Interestingly, hubby knows a guy who had a similar incident with his dog--only it took them a year to find the stick! It was a chance xray that showed it--the whole thing had healed over without infection, but there were weird symptoms (gagging, coughing, etc) that had plagued the poor dog the whole time! So thank goodness you found it so quickly!

Speedy recovery, Lightning!!
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:01 PM
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I'm glad to say Lightning is feeling 100% better today. He's back to his usual self all happy, smiley and energetic and was eagerly awaiting breakfast this morning. He'll be on antibiotics for a while so that the puncture can heal cleanly, but looking at him now you'd never know he'd had anything wrong.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:07 PM
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YAY Lightening ...that is good to hear.

Speedy healing and hope no complications arise.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:12 PM
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WoooHoooo!

Good for Lightning!!
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Old November 21st, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Holy Croaks Gail, who would have thought something that large could get embedded that deep ...so glad that he is feeling better
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Old November 21st, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Holy Cow that hurts just looking at it! Glad you found it and the vet got it out. I just saw this thread now, and was going to answer because my last dog choked on a stick and we took her to emergency and it looked to have passed okay. A week later her neck was swollen and she had to be sedated to look deeper. It had punctured a hole in her throat and it was infected. The vet cleaned it and gave her meds. About two months llater it was all swollen again, back under only to find that they had missed a splinter of wood that was now infected. More surgery to clean that an no promise that she would be able to walk or anything after such delicate surgery in the neck area. Anyhow, she was fine other than having huge issues with drainage and about four more sedations to deal with it all. Lightning sounds just like her though, she loved frisbee but pulled an ACL playing and we had to stop that. She also cracked a toe nail and grass would wedge into it and she'd go lame so ultimately we ended up having that toe amputated because it was a disabling thing for her on a regular basis. Sadly her hips were crap (thank you BYB) and she was put down at 7 years old after tearing her ACL completely.

So glad that Lightning sounds like he's going to fully recover without the incidents that our stick choking involved. Good eye there Mom.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Incredible !!

What a brave, brave boy Lightning is! I can't believe the amount of pain some animals can tolerate.

Thank dog you found it Gail. Glad Lightning's feeling so much better already and hope his booboo heals really quick .
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Old November 21st, 2009, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Dancer View Post
Holy Cow that hurts just looking at it! Glad you found it and the vet got it out. I just saw this thread now, and was going to answer because my last dog choked on a stick and we took her to emergency and it looked to have passed okay. A week later her neck was swollen and she had to be sedated to look deeper. It had punctured a hole in her throat and it was infected. The vet cleaned it and gave her meds. About two months llater it was all swollen again, back under only to find that they had missed a splinter of wood that was now infected. More surgery to clean that an no promise that she would be able to walk or anything after such delicate surgery in the neck area. Anyhow, she was fine other than having huge issues with drainage and about four more sedations to deal with it all. Lightning sounds just like her though, she loved frisbee but pulled an ACL playing and we had to stop that. She also cracked a toe nail and grass would wedge into it and she'd go lame so ultimately we ended up having that toe amputated because it was a disabling thing for her on a regular basis. Sadly her hips were crap (thank you BYB) and she was put down at 7 years old after tearing her ACL completely.

So glad that Lightning sounds like he's going to fully recover without the incidents that our stick choking involved. Good eye there Mom.
That's too bad about your dog having to go through all that. That's the sort of thing I was envisioning for Lightning. Although that stick was an enormous thing to have jammed under his tongue, I'm glad it turned out to be something in an area where once he was sedated the vet could really get at it to clean it out. He's feeling so much better, back to giving me hugs and kisses and attitude to the other dogs. I was worried about what throat surgery would mean long term for his sledding career. Didn't know if there might end up being damage or scar tissue that would interfere with his breathing at all and for sprint racing he needs a strong and healthy respiratory system.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:36 AM
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Holy crap that is a huge piece of wood to be stuck .

I'm glad he is feeling better . Hope he continues to heal with "lightning" speed .

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