Friday, October 15, 2010

Nasty Toe Situation

A week ago, I suddenly noticed Hanna's toe (rear paw, right) looking like it was going to burst--it was shiny red and three times as big. I didn't hear her cry (if she stepped on something sharp or injured it while running/playing) or seen her limp. No visible signs of trauma or foreign body. It was just like she grew a big vine tomato on her toe (tomatoe!)... It didn't help that it was raining the whole week (the Pawz rubber bootie kept getting punctured). I was thinking infection so I nursed (povidone-iodine and topical antibiotic) it and kept it dry (those Wegman's medicine plastics proved to be very useful!). Fearing that it would get worse, we brought her to the vet 3 days later. Vet was stumped. She'd never seen anything like it in her decades of practice. At this point, there appeared to be a slight oozing from a small cut at the base of the toe. The vet also considered osteomyelitis. CBC was normal. Wound discharge culture was done. Hanna was started on Baytril and an anti-inflammatory. We did Betadine baths (soaking paw in Betadine & water solution) for 15 minutes 3 times a day. Hanna was such a trooper, just very patient.

Fast forward to 3rd day of antibiotic, + slight decrease in toe swelling. On 4th day on oral antibiotics-there was marked decrease in swelling and redness. On our check-up, we learned that the wound culture grew E. coli ( must be from the sidewalks where we walked on). The toe continued improving but our vet placed us on 4 weeks of Baytril just to make sure.

It helped that Hanna loved peanut butter so giving her the meds was so easy.

Lesson learned: inspect paws daily for cuts/bruises.

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