It's Not a TOO-MAH.....

Thank Goodness!

Last week we reported that Libby had an infection on her back paw, and we needed to put on her Elizabethan collar so that she wouldn't lick her bandage. We treated her paw with a topical antibiotic for a week with little positive result. So last Friday we decided to take her to the vet so he could give us some new medicine.

Dr. David Cohen has been Libby's vet since we arrived in Israel. He's Canadian, and is probably the most loving vet we've ever met. When I walked in on Friday, he took one look at Libby and shook his head. He told me that her paw didn't look good at all. However, before we even got to his examination of her paw, he told me that her ears smelled and that she probably had a double ear infection. When we took off the collar, he looked inside and confirmed his assessment. He then looked down at her paw and told me that she had a mass on her paw. The mass was soft and mushy - either a cyst or a tumor. He did a fine needle aspiration of the mass and unfortunately no liquid came out. He said that it was probably a tumor, but we won't know until he removes it and sends the mass to the histology lab.

He cleaned Libby's ears, gave her a once-over, and scheduled her surgery for Sunday morning. At that time, he would also clean her teeth, flush her ears, clean her anals, remove the mass and send to histology, clip her nails, and basically give her a tune-up. We also decided to discuss allergy options for her as her paw licking is out of control.

Today we dropped Libby off at the vet around 9 am and waited to discuss her allergies after the sedative for her surgery kicked in. The doctor said that Libby's allergies are chronic, are making her miserable, and affecting her quality of life. He also mentioned that she has the potential to lick her paws until they bleed (which she already does), thus causing her a cycle of skin infections (which she has)... and damaging her system in the future. He suggested putting her on prednisone, a steroid, that would help counteract the histamines and decrease her allergy symptoms. We'd start her on a combination therapy of prednisone and an antihistamine every other day and monitor her until we have the correct dosage. More on this in a few weeks...

We finally left so that Libby could have her surgery and tune-up, and returned back around 4:30 pm to pick her up. The end result is that she probably doesn't have a tumor as previously thought. She had a large scab on the bottom of her paw, which was covering a decent size hole in her foot, which was housing a lot of hair, debris, and a 1/2 inch quill (or similar object) that was irritating her foot and causing the infection on the top of her paw. No kidding! The hole ran diagonally through her foot, and when the doctor removed the mass, he was able to do a cross section of the mass and found more of the same debris there. He cleaned and irrigated her foot, ensuring everything that wasn't supposed to be there was gone, stitched up the top, and sent off the mass to pathology. Even though he's 75% sure that the mass was due to the foreign object, he wanted to cover his bases. We're thrilled.

Libby was mighty drowsy and slept most of the evening on the couch next to me. We had to put the collar back on her since we know how much she enjoys eating bandages off her legs. We have a ton of antibiotics to give her over the next 10 days, and a few follow up visits with the vet. But in the end we have one healthy, expensive pooch back at home. The girls couldn't be happier. Neither can we.

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