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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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10 days ago - Small puncture inbetween toes in rear paw (ankle was also swollen), so took

Customer Question

10 days ago - Small puncture inbetween toes in rear paw (ankle was also swollen), so took to vet, supposed Foxtail removal minor surgery 10 days ago but THEY FOUND NOTHING- Has since been on amoxicillin twice daily, all swelling is gone, been soaking foot 3x daily for 5 mins each time in blue liquid solution, no limping no problems now, BUT back to vet tomorrow, nurse said to wait till off antibiotics to see if swelling comes back but the vet wants him back tomorrow to look at "trails" in foot, even though now he is fine and swelling is gone... not sure if I should wait as nurse suggested or bring him back. I don't want unnecessary poking and prodding... ?? I am confused...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And what happens when they find nothing, everything I read about foxtails talk about the horror stories of these things traveling through the body, and I know it's bad if they get them in their nose or head, but if there is something there in the foot, what do they do? And can't they see it on an MRI or other imaging device without having to cut into my boy again? Thank you...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also I am just wondering how many of these "ünfound" foreign things they search for (maybe it came out?) - if everything heals and he is off the antibiotics for a while, and he is all ok, how long till we know if whatever was in his paw is gone / out? Do they every appear much later on??
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pics are from 2 days ago
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hello. If the wound has healed and the swelling is gone, I wouldn't go trying to open it up again. I would have the vet take a look at the foot to document the look of it now, but I wouldn't do another surgery. If this were a foxtail, I would expect to see a continued wound on the foot and some drainage. I would then want to open it up again and explore further. We follow the drainage tracts up to the foreign body and then remove it. I think I would just have them take a look at it and stop meds. If any wound returns, then get it explored again at that point.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Vet had me soak the paw in blue liquid 3 times a day to keep it open and draining I guess, does this make sense? Otherwise it would have closed up and healed, but it is looking good and very small between the toes. It looks fine, but if something is still IN there, then it would cause it to get infected again, correct?? She said she followed the track 10 days ago, and they found nothing..... So they either did NOT find it, or it already came out. I will go to my apt. But I am hesitant because he seems fine and his foot looks good, but I guess the reason for soaking is to keep wound OPEN in case something needed to drain out...? DO these things ever stay in the body --?? Thanks for your advise. I guess what I am looking for here is what are the chances this will get worse or travel to other parts of his body? And if it's still there, could it be days, weeks, months before I can relax and know nothing is in there??? Thanks.
I would have the vet take a look at the foot to document the look of it now, but I wouldn't do another surgery. If this were a foxtail, I would expect to see a continued wound on the foot and some drainage. I would then want to open it up again and explore further. We follow the drainage tracts up to the foreign body and then remove it.I think I would just have them take a look at it and stop meds. If any wound returns, then get it explored again at that point.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
The soaking was more for the skin to keep it clean and allow it to heal. I would have recommended the same. Once healed, I wouldn't soak it anymore. I don't think it'll need to be opened and explored again. If there is still a foreign body, it'll form another draining tract and abscess through the skin again. They have a tendency to do that. If it doesn't, then it probably already came out and now the draining tract is completely healed. I don't think it'll migrate too far, even if in there. It should stay in the foot if it's in there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi again Dr. Gary. Thanks, ***** ***** SECOND vet visit on Monday 29th, doc found another little bubble between same toes, and took him back to look into it, she said that THAT tract was connected to the same tract in the same paw, so maybe whatever it was is still trying to get out. She recommended keeping him on the Amoxacillin antibiotics AND continued soakings (I am now alternating between blue solution and Epsom salt warm water soaks 2-3x daily.) So I am doing this, and yesterday a very small little piece of something (his foot maybe?) came off, could be dead skin... could be something else...? Got it in a baggie. (Yuck) Anyway, the little inter-digital bubble she did find Monday (second visit) has gone down between his paw pads and I am still left to wonder if I should take him to nearby UCDavis for the dye thing, or just wait this thing out. I hate waiting tho if there is more I can do for my boy....? What do you think about putting that dye (or whatever they use for imaging something like this?) - My own vet said she doesn't use it that it was a mess?? Please advise.. - And thanks again, love this service here. =) - Kat & Jaxson in CA
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I get another email (the previous one) to you? How do I do so please? Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the long wait. I didn't see that last message. I think I would be inclined to go to UC Davis and do the fistulogram. That's where a dye is injected and then x-rays are taken to see if there is a foreign body. They then go in surgically to find it, with the help of that contrast study to direct them where to cut.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HI Dr. Gary, thank you for your reply. Urgh. I am so worried. I appreciate your input. I don't mind doing that if you think it will end this problem - he has had 2 MCTs removed from his hind legs last December so I hope the dye doesn't cause an MCT flare up, I've got him on Benedryl and a grain free diet with fish oil and cottage cheese for lysine (I know, this is a whole other issue sorry) but if this will tell them where this thing is then I will do it. This pic was taken tonight after a 5 min soak but ankle not swollen (This hole here is the second hole I guess she made trying to get to whatever is supposedly in there?)... (still soaking his paw twice a day and on amoxicillin too) I don't mind paying you more if you can help more thank you... Kat and Jax in CA
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And when I soak just a tiny bit of puss seems to come out but his temperature is normal.... ? URGH I wanna help him I don't know what to do I hear the horror stories and like I said I don't mind paying I just want answers. =((
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Sorry) And the bubble she found a week ago per second visit with her was BETWEEN those toes, not this one. but she said the tract was connected to the original one... don't know if this helps you - appetite normal, stools normal, temp normal... I am afraid this will turn into a worse infection if I do as a nurse suggested and take him off meds, so if they can look and SEE a bubble that there is something in there.... But yes I will do fistulagram if this is not harmful... Urgh sorry thank you for your time. He is my son. <3
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
I do think the problem will end as long as they find something in there and get it out. It could all be allergic cysts or inter-digital cysts, but I don't like the pus that I can see in that picture. That tells me that there is some type of foreign material in the foot. A smear of that pus would be helpful. If there is bacteria in the white blood cells (intra-cellular bacteria), then I'd want to explore it. UC Davis will do a great job. They won't let you leave until the problem is resolved. The fistulogram is safe. It won't induce any more MCT's.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Urgh ok thank you. He DID have an initial puncture wound on bottom of that same paw pad which she did think was a foxtail. You said if there is intra-cellular bacteria then did you mean it would indicate a foreign body or did you mean something else all together like a cancer? Thank you so much.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if there is intra-cellular bacteria then I would guess it's a foreign body. If there is no intra-cellular bacteria and it's just inflammatory cells, then I would think more of a non-infectious cause like an inter-digital cyst. If there are mast cells present, then I would think cancer. That seems least likely.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you let me pay you more I don't mind... So I will call today and ask for the fistulogram AND they can take a smear of the puss and see what it is... I am on it. Thank you. Don't be surprised if I email you again. Again, thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
You already paid, I'm happy to help you get this resolved. Let me know how things go. You're very welcome!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** just looked at the FIRST photos I sent you last week, then the one from just now, and that hole on top of his paw was not there before in the first photos, did you see that??..... Not sure about why that hole is there now... Interesting =(( Ok thank you I will call Davis and get him in. Might be a few days before I email again. You are a Godsend that's for sure.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Yeah, I know- it's a new tract that needs to be explored. Keep me posted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok will do thank you so much =)
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
No problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Gary, not sure if it's ok to wait till his apt... probably early next week... If you could look at these, I just wanted to send you these pics. I don't wanna sit here if this is at all emergent. I called Davis, going to try for apt ASAP but I need to call back again in the morning. Can you just let me know that this is NOT emergency? He is fine, appetite normal, temp normal, not licking or bugging his paw & on antibiotics and carprofen..... He slept all day today then woke up and I then took the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th (80,89,85,88) photos TODAY all before soaking, then AFTER soaked his foot for 5 mins in blue solution is last 3 pics, (last 3 pictures numbered end 96,93 & 95) Please see pics, thank you =) Davis said the earliest apt would be early next week, do you think he's ok till then or should I try Loomis Basin for a sooner apt? I'm keeping him on AMOX & Carprofen and keep soaking it... If there is something in there trying to get out should I soak it more? Urgh, I hate waiting & if it's going to make it worse at all then --? Thanks again so much,.... Worried pibble mom in Nor Cal.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
I don't think that is an emergency. I would just get into davis for the contrast study as soon as they can get you in.