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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28521
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My female pit had several big lumps on her side that after

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My female pit bull had several big lumps on her side that after an extended period of time she had a hard time walking. I took her to the vet and he said it looked like valley fever and gave her antibiotics. The lump decreased in size but she loss all use of her back legs. Forward two months, she's walking better however the lumps are now on the top of her spine and very tender to the touch. Gave her another round of antibiotic and started her back on pain meds. She never regained her strength in her hind legs and then tonight, one of the lumps protruded off her spine that when I squeezed it, blood squirted everywhere. It now has a hole with a boil looking mass but the lumps decreased in size. Help?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: She used to be very active, walked 3-5 miles a day but hasn't walked in over two months. I noticed her ribs are sensitive to touch and the lumps seem to take different shapes every day.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you tell me, please, if coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) has been confirmed? It can be definitvely diagnosed via cytological examination of exudates (as from a ruptured bump on her skin), sputum or aspirates, or biopsy of tissue as well as several serologic tests.

It sounds as if coccidioidomycosis hasn't been treated long enough. The decision to stop antifungal therapy should be based on resolution of clinical signs, radiographic lesions, and serologic titers. Therapy must persist at least 2 months beyond resolution of clinical signs and radiographic abnormalities, which may be greater than 12 months with disseminated disease, especially if there is bone involvment. Her persistent "bumps" and central nervous system signs (paresis/paralysis of her hind legs) tell me that clinical signs never resolved.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Something strange happened. After I sent you a message, my pitbull got a boil looking thing on her back and blood started oozing out of it. For three days, blood and pus gushed out of it and the other lumps came to the top and now they are gone. Is it possible there was a worm in there? My roommate was giving her ivomec which is used for horses and treating lungworms, live, roundworms, grubs and mites. Since we started this it seems that something crawled out of her back. Maybe you could shed light on this.

We do see Cuterebra fly larvae that find their way under the skin which then causes a solitary, non-painful swelling that fistulates (larval breathing hole). These don't bleed as you've described, however. What you're describing is more consistent with coccidioidomycosis.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Dr Michael,
My dog has new symptoms...when she wakes from sleep, her jaw chatters rather quickly and when we are sitting here quietly it does the same thing. Could this be related to what's going on with her back?
The home on her back semi closed back up but now has a bald spot...the size of two quarters put together. I don't see an opening and it's impossible for her to scratch it since it's on the top of her spine. I'm at a loss and my vet isn't taking me serious...any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Jaw chattering can occur due to oral pain but also represent simple partial seizure due to encephalitis. Encephalitis is seen with disseminated valley fever but other encephalopathies (brain disorders) such as brain tumor can also cause these seizures. Her vet needs to know what you're seeing. It would be difficult to not take jaw chattering seriously.

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