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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20612
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Cheatgrass injury?

Customer Question

I'm thinking that my dog ended up with a cheatgrass seed embedded in his foot, and that it went in between his toes. I was out of town and a friend was watching him so they didn't catch it. It's infected. I started to swell a couple of days ago and I thought it was a wasp sting. Today I did an ice bath on it and an epsom salt bath as well. I can't get him to stop licking it. I've tried the cone of shame, wrapping it, and putting it in a boot. He's managed to find his way around them all. Is this something that is going to require surgery? Or could it be something else that looks simsilar to the other photos of this type of injury? I have a couple photos if helpfulswelling comparisonbetween the toessite of initial injury?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Based on your photos (which I thank you for), I share your concern that we may have a foreign body lodged at the top of that draining tract in the skin. As well, the inflammation around this hole tells us that we have a secondary moist dermatitis. And if you are see swelling around and pus from the wound, we need to tread with care since these are signs of internal skin infection and makes that foreign body (which could be cheat grass, a fox tail, even a small stone or bit of glass) being present an even larger concern for us.

In this case, since we have signs of internal infection and severe irritation, we will at least need his vet to start him on systemic/oral antibiotics for the infection and steroids to reduce inflammation, swelling, and his discomfort. If they use this and all settles, we are happy. But if that hole remains and discharges, then we would need to think about having Bruce in for a sedation and exploration of the tract. Because if something is stuck in there and the body cannot flush it out, then this will continue to fester (and we can see abscesses, tissue damage, and even the risk of spread to the joint). Therefore, you have done well with your supportive care thus far, but the signs are just past a point where topical treatment would be enough to settle this for him. So, we'd want to get this seen too and hopefully if we can settle this infection with oral medication as can nip this in the bud before it can spread or progress.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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