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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1178
Experience:  over 13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My dog is a rat terrier that has just been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Resolved Question:

My dog is a rat terrier that has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. He is taking Dexamethasone. I just noticed a U shaped reddish bruising around his penis, and the skin is also hardening. I'll be paying over $700 for his chemo so I would really appreciate any information you can give me. I am already really overextended with vet bills now. But this looks scary and I don't know what to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Bruce :

Hello, this is Dr. Bruce and I would like to help you with Chuyo.

Customer:

I just got a notice that my question was already answered

Dr. Bruce :

I am the expert that is answering your question.

Dr. Bruce :

When did you first notice the bruising? Does it seem to be bothering him?

Dr. Bruce :

Has the chemotherapy already been started?

Customer:

A week ago, and he's been liking the area and biting the fur away.

Customer:

No, not yet. He'll start sometime this month when I get my college grant.

Dr. Bruce :

Is he on the dexamethasone as part of the protocol for the lymphoma?

Customer:

Yes. To keep him comfortable until he starts chemo.

Dr. Bruce :

The reason I ask is that it is considered to be a good idea to not give steroids (such as dexamethasone) prior to starting chemotherapy. There is a reaction in the cancer cells that makes them more resistant to the chemotherapy drugs when steroids are given. I would strongly suggest asking your vet about the benefits versus risks of using steroids before the chemo is started. Having said that, I would like to address your specific concern about the bruise. Is it possible for you to take a picture of it and upload it so I may see the bruise?

Customer:

My vet said the meds were anti-inflammatory. I'm checking the name of the meds right now to see if I got the name mixed up.

Customer:

It's Deramaxx, I'm sorry.

Dr. Bruce :

Ok, that's better. Deramaxx is not a steroid. Make sure that your vet discontinues using it once the chemotherapy is started.

Dr. Bruce :

Getting back to the bruise. Are you able to take a picture and upload it for me?

Customer:

Yes

Customer:

Full Size Image

Dr. Bruce :

OK. I see the picture that you sent. That is worrisome. Did Chuyo injure himself, or did the bruising occur spontaneously?

Customer:

He hasn't hurt himself as far as I know. The redness has gotten worse and I don't like how the skin is hardening.

Dr. Bruce :

Do you see any other bruising anywhere else on his body? Look in his mouth at his gums for small spots of bruising. Look on his ear flaps. Look in his eyes at the whites of the eyes.

Dr. Bruce :

Also, his gums should be a nice pink color. Please check for that as well.

Dr. Bruce :

Is he acting ill or lethargic at all?

Customer:

No redness anywhere, but his gums look inflamed. I haven't had his teeth cleaned for in just under 2 years. I couldn't afford it. He has been acting normally.

Dr. Bruce :

OK. That is good news. My suspicion is that he has injured himself and because his blood cells are not normal due to the lymphoma, a large bruise has formed. This is not an uncommon occurrence in lymphoma cases and can lead to some pretty spectacular bruises. The way to deal with it is to prevent further trauma to the area. I would suggest getting an e-collar (cone) to prevent him from licking at the area. The more he licks, the more trauma which will worsen the bruising.

Customer:

I do have an e-collar.

Dr. Bruce :

I would also suggest taking him in to your vet tomorrow if you can, and have a CBC (complete blood count) run to make sure that he is not having a loss of platelets secondary to the lymphoma. This would be more serious but I would suspect that he would be acting sick if that were going on. The CBC shouldn't cost more than $40-50 to run.

Dr. Bruce :

I would give him Benadryl at a dose of up to 50mg twice daily to really make sure to stop the itching even if it sedates him a bit.

Customer:

He does take benedryl twice daily. I just don't have money to take him again. That would be the 3rd time in 2 weeks.

Dr. Bruce :

How high of a dose do you give him of the Benadryl?

Customer:

25 mg 2x a day. But I will increase it.

Dr. Bruce :

OK. So use the e-collar, and increase the dose of Benadryl to 50mg twice daily. Hopefully, that will keep Chuyo comfortable and prevent him from bothering his belly.

Customer:

I hope so too :(

Dr. Bruce :

Is there anything else I can help you with at this time?

Customer:

No,I can't think of anything else.

Dr. Bruce :

OK. Please be aware that even after you "Accept" my answer, you can always come back at a later time and ask follow up questions by replying to this post. I will get back to you as soon as possible. I would certainly welcome an update on Chuyo's condition at any time in the future, if you like.

Customer:

Okay, thank you very much.

Dr. Bruce :

You're very welcome.

Dr. Bruce, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1178
Experience: over 13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
Dr. Bruce and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.
Hi Heather,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chuyo. How is everything going?

Dr. Bruce

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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Dog Veterinarian
1178 Satisfied Customers
over 13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian