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Dog having issues...update... Very ugly snake bite

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  • Dog having issues...update... Very ugly snake bite

    11 year old Golden/Shepherd mix who has not had any health issues in her life until last few months.

    She had started having issues jumping and needed a dental...so I had them pull a full panel, do dental, and exam...the blood work came back a little high on her lymph nodes, so they want to retest this coming week.

    In the meantime, I had my acupuncture/chiro vet come and adjust/acupuncture. She feels that my dog has arthritic hocks...so we start Metacam.

    Dog reacts positively immediately....jumping on the bed, much more happier, more energy.

    She's been on the Metacam since Monday.

    Today, I took them for their normal walk, came home gave them raw meaty bones....all is normal.

    At 530pm, all the dogs come to meet my 530 student..and she looks odd to me...and then I notice that she is having trouble moving, she is standing on her right toe..I pick up her right leg, hoping she has something in her paw pad...when I put her paw pad down, her back end gives way and she falls. I find something that feels like a hemotoma on her back right hock..I'm thinking snake bite since she's been outside. I carefully got her in the house......called my vet, but they couldn't see her until Monday...so we took her to the emergency clinic.

    By the time we get to the Small Animal clinic (730), she is much more mobile....acting much more normal...I explain every detail including the last blood test....Young vet palates the swollen leg...and tells me it is a swollen Lymph node and this is causing the problem. She did not find any other swollen nodes...told me to take her home and keep an eye on her, if it gets bigger, get her into my regular vet ASAP. Gave me Tramadol for pain.

    We come home, she's a little slow...but acting pretty much normal. I gave her the Tramadol and she went to bed. I was feeling fairly confident that she was going to be okay. Vet felt like if it was Lymphoma, more of the nodes would be swollen...she felt like the right leg node was draining for whatever reason....but the previous blood panel was something to take into account. But since she was back to normal, I was starting to feel better.

    She sleeps on her bed for about 45 minutes...goes to get up and again...can't get up...she finally gets up and goes to another spot to lay down...she looked as bad as she did at 530pm...

    WTH.....Has anyone dealt with anything like this and have any advice. My gut says that she's pulled something and it locks when she lays still....but the node is swollen. It's aprox 3cm whereas a normal one is around 1cm and it's right on her hock.

    I asked about possible slipped disc, etc....she said that a slipped disk would not present like this.

    Any thoughts, advice...Jingles much appreciated. I hate seeing my sweet girl in pain trying to get up from her bed....I've got her on metacam and tramadol. She just had acupuncture and chiro.

    All her vitals are normal.
    Last edited by dalpal; May. 11, 2013, 10:22 AM.
  • Original Poster

    little better this AM, not walking as stiff, but still having a tough time getting up. I felt a very small scab above her right hock. The doctor didn't feel like this was a bite, but I still wonder if it is. We live in the woods, snakes are starting to come out, and this came on acutely. I had an Animalintex pad....so I poulticed and wrapped the leg this AM...leave that on for about four-five hours and see what she's like after that. She definitely didn't like me touching that little itty bitty scab area.


    • #3
      I'm so sorry your sweet girl is sick. An elevated lymphocyte count a week ago with even one obviously big lymph node now is worrisome. I'd ask them to repeat her blood work and do a needle aspirate of the lymph node to try and give you some answers as to whether this is cancer or not. If she's really not right call the ER back and tell them (and take her back) or see if your vet can get her in over the weekend if they're open. (((Hugs))) and big jingles.


      • #4
        Agree, you need FNA's those can generally distinguish hyperplasia vs. lymphoma. One large lymph node "usually" isnt indicative of lymphoma if its squishy. If its rock hard I would be a little more concerned you have something "real" happening (not nesessarily lymphoma). A single lymph node up means something in the near by area is inflammed usually. Assuming this is a popliteal lymph node (a few inches above her hock?) it could be anything. I have seen them pop up from an anal gland abscess, anal gland carcinoma, multicentric lymphoma (abdominal lymph nodes were enlarged upon ultrasound) etc. It sure could be local infection as well (bite, like you mentioned). With older dogs, we always prepare for the worst...this is so we can be thrilled when its really nothing major

        The one thing that DOES sound worriesom to me is that she is sore on the leg. I have never ever seen an enlarged lymph node (from lymphoma etc.) cause a lameness. When they are stiff/sore, slow to rise etc. its generally not because of that particular leg...but abdominal discomfort.

        Mild to moderate abdominal pain can make a dog seem like their hind end is not working properly. However, if your vet did a full abdominal palpation and they didnt mention anything you probably wont have to worry about this much.

        If metacam helped, and now its not then something is progressing - is it possible there is a foreign body in that leg? I know it sounds bizarre but we have seen it before. A porcupine quill, a pine needle etc. which has caused a local infection. Bone tumors generally dont cause enlarged lymph nodes, but a bone infection or local abscess could.

        Is your dog "lame" or just sluggish in the back end?

        I'd repeat bloodwork soon and maybe have a path review of it. If the lymph node is still there monday, have your vet aspirate it and send it off for cytology. An abdominal ultrasound (by internist or radiologist) would be warranted to scan the abdomen for any other enlarged or odd looking lymph nodes. I would ensure your regular vet has someone capable come infor this, as lymph nodes are not alwys the easiest to see on ultrasound unless they are absolutely massive.

        Good news is if it IS lymphoma, sounds like it could be a low stage. Generally, its one of the best cancers to treat and current statistics have dogs living much longer than 5-10 years ago. Most of the internet searches on life expectancy are a little obscured because they dont take staging into account and are based on older data.

        Jingles for your pup, let us know how she does!

        (Edited to add - if she misses or doesnt finish a meal, or has difficulty getting up today I would get her back to the clinic asap.).


        • Original Poster

          Squish...interesting you mention abdomen because I hear her's pinging a little bit. But she's very ginger about her right hind leg. You can push and mash all over her until you get to that hemotoma feeling area and then you get a reaction....a wince and tries to get away from you.

          I've got her wrapped up in the Animalintex pad, I've had great luck with those before for lameness....I'm going to leave that on until about 9am and then see if she's as stiff.

          She's eating and drinking..holding everything down. She does seem a bit sluggish, but she also had two Tramadol last night and I'm guessing she's pretty groggy.

          I am definitely planning on taking her to the vet no later than Monday.

          I am pretty worried, that's for sure.

          When this first happened, she wouldn't even put weight on that leg, by the time we finished at the vet, she was a little off, but better than at 530....by 11pm, she was back to not being able to push off to get up...but managed to do so.

          I fed her at 430 this morning....took her food over to her and she ate. I gave her the Metacam. Went to get her some water and turned around..she was standing up coming to me....drank her water. She went and laid down and I wrapped up her leg.

          Another worry that I have is that she isn't going to be able to pee because of the pain in that leg.

          I just wish this hadn't happened on a weekend.....emergency clinics aren't always the best for mystery illnesses.


          • Original Poster

            On the way back to vet. Her back right foot is twice the size of left hind and has blood in between toes. I still think something bit her. Wish us luck


            • Original Poster

              Very very ugly snake bite between toes


              • #8
                Jingling for your girl.


                • #9
                  Ouch. Jingles for your girl.


                  • #10
                    Jingles for your girl!
                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                    And I love to run.


                    • #11
                      Big jingles!

                      A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                      • #12
                        Glad you have an answer!! Local infection and hopefully responsive to antibiotics!!! Better than the C word! Jingles!


                        • #13
                          Jingles for speedy healing.


                          • Original Poster

                            Definitely relieved about the c word. But this just breaks my heart. Her foot is red.black,blue. Incredibly swollen. She's on the highest dose of Tramodol that we can give so she's semi out of it. Foot is draining. We're giving Tramodol, metacam, and Clavomox. Soaking foot in Betadine twice daily. I hope to god I never go through this again. Watching her dealing with the pain/and being so drugged is painful to watch. I'm just praying that she will be ok. Makes me so damn nervous...told husband I'm ready to pack up and move back to our .18 city lot. I love our new home but now stressing about copperheads in the yard.