Get Pet Questions Answered by Pet Experts
Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.
Do you have a copy of bloodwork that was performed?Were any antibiotics utilized during this time? If so, what?Do you have pictures of the area?
Differentiating a phlegmon from an abscess can be difficult. That said, a phlegmon is not a drainable so if this were truly a phlegmon and not an abscess then, no, just draining it would not have been an option. It's very possible that bacteria from the phlegmon did enter the blood stream, but your vet did what could have been done in this case by providing antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications to help your companion battle the affliction. Unfortunately, no matter how healthy the pet, there are some condition that will occur and will claim the life of a pet no matter how quickly we act.
Infections can be lethal, but typically are not. That said, we cannot predict how a pet may react to a bacterial infection which makes it even harder.Digging holes is not a sign for the end of life. Some dogs do this because they feel unwell and want the comfort of a sunken bed, some because they prefer the cool earth against their coat, some dig holes to remedy stress or anxiety. It is, however, noting that is directly attached to impending death.
For dogs the typical approach is antibiotics and NSAIDs. I have yet to see a resection of tissue required to treat a phlegmon, but I presume the more severe cases might require such an approach. Typically we do try to do all we can before removing large volumes of skin, connective tissue, etc. as this can predispose a pet to other problems, as well.
If he was septic at that point and/or his organs were failing, we would see an avoidance of eating and vomiting may start as well. We see this quite often with dysfunction in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, etc.
It's possible that it could have been, but I think we would have seen that far before the 13th day.
That certainly makes it quite difficult to know. That said, the black stool and symptoms mentioned could simply have been GI-related. I don't think there's any way to be sure. Antibiotics can be rough on the GI tract though it's a necessary evil for overcoming infection.
I highly recommend the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement: http://www.aplb.org
Typically it occurs when there is damage to the skin whereby bacteria is introduced. This could be anything from trauma to just licking.