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Category: Dog Veterinary
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Four days ago I took my 2 yr old Chihuahua in because his right

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Four days ago I took my 2 yr old Chihuahua in because his right top eyelid was swollen. The vet gave him a shot and sent me home with amoxicillian for him. The next day his eye was worse and pussy, vet said give it another day. The next day, both top eyelids are swollen and pussy, the vet added 1/4 tsp benedryl to his regimen. this morning, both top an bottom of both eyes are swollen and pussy and starting to crack and the lymph node behind his right ear is the size of a quarter and pretty firm. The vet doesn't open for two more hours. What is going on?
Hi, I'm Dr. Friend. I'll help you with a plan for little Louis. Do you know if your vet has done any testing yet? Some good tests would include a skin scraping for parasites, fungal culture, or bacterial culture. Do any of those sound familiar?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, he is a country doctor, we are rural, and did not do any tests.

OK. These tests would be a good idea to make sure that we have a diagnosis and know what we are dealing with.


From what you describe though, I am suspicious of adult onset juvenile cellulitis. Your vet might know this as "puppy strangles". This is a sterile condition that is not caused by an infectious agent. It is treated with high doses of steroids. It is best practice to rule out infectious diseases before starting the steroid treatment, as high doses of steroids are immune suppressive and could make infectious disease worse.


I would consider switching his antibiotic from amoxicillin to Clavamox or cephalexin and then starting steroids (prednisone) right away. The steroids should be continued until resolution of the skin problems and enlarged lymph nodes, then the dose is tapered over 2-4 weeks.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Theses tests will take a week to get results back according to the vet when Louis was seen last Monday, what do we do in the meantime, before starting the steroids? I was suppose to leave town, is it ok to leave Louis with a sitter for a couple of days?

That's the hard decision. Although it is best practice to have those tests done prior to starting steroids, we've already lost 4 days to this disease. Early aggressive treatment is necessary to prevent scarring. Without appropriate treatment, it can even be fatal.


With that in mind, I would simply change the antibiotic NOW, and start the steroids NOW. We hope to minimize risk of immune suppression by giving the antibiotics concurrently.


The pustules should resolve dramatically within the first week of steroid treatment. The choice to leave him with the sitter is up to you. If you think your sitter is observant and trustworthy, I don't think it would be a problem. Make sure your vet knows he or she will be in charge, and whether or not they can make financial decisions for Louis. You may want to leave a written note in case he needs any emergency care.

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Hi Leoma,

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

Dr. Susan Friend