Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps

Just recently Dr. Nancy Kay wrote a great article, Don't Just Do Something, Stand There, pointing out the fact that both doctors and veterinarians often feel obligated to prescribe something even though the situation does not call for it.

Why would this be a problem?

It reminds me of an episode of House MD, where a teenager went to a doctor with a mild cough. The doctor felt he ought to do something and so he prescribed cough medicine. A pharmacist, however, messed up and gave him gout medication instead. All hell broke loose and the kid almost died.

Of course, this was an extreme case for a TV show. Prescribing something by all means, though, still doesn't come without a price. All medications come with side effects. With the over-use of antibiotics, we are literally begging for resistant strains.

Not every situation requires a prescription.

From an owner point of view, I fully agree with that. I am always quick to see a veterinarian but I'm also always slow to resort to drugs.

Last week, when giving Cookie her nightly belly rub, I noticed some kind of bumps on her belly and thighs.

I don't like finding bumps of any kind.

I went to fetch a flashlight, which caused a lot of confusion among the dogs because it was something that didn't belong into the routine.

Upon close examination I saw those indeed were bumps. There were no heads on them. What caused them and what were they?

I decided to apply some betadine solution and monitor. 

The next day was Friday before a long weekend. Bumps were still there, unchanged. What were the odds, with our luck, these few innocent-looking bumps exploding into something nasty? In our case, pretty good.

I did not necessarily want to medicate but I wanted to make sure we're not in for some unpleasant surprise. I called out vet, described it and he said that if we can make it, to bring Cookie in for a look-see. So that's what we did.

He examined the bumps and concluded that Cookie has a bit of staph infection going on, probably from running through the bushes and brambles. (I was suspecting the swamp she likes to run through myself) He felt it should be self-limiting and the betadine treatment should be just fine.

I was happy that we had a better idea what this was and I was happy that we didn't need to medicate.

One of the things I love about our vet is that he doesn't push a prescription when it is not in the best interest of the dog.

On my part, I did get to do something.

I had it checked to make sure it is not anything sinister brewing and I got to treat it with betadine. Beyond that, it was a job of Cookie's immune system. After all, that's what the immune system is for and a little exercise is only good for it.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks  
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog? 
Cookie Knows A Farm Day From A Work Day

Do you have a story to share?

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What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

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  1. Shiner gets probably the same bumps on her sometimes... I noticed a few last week. This is a very good point, but sometimes I think vets may feel pushed by the clients to do something. Some clients aren't happy when the vet doesn't want to prescribe something.

    1. Yes, often they get pressured by the clients, Dr. Kay was talking about that in her article and offered solutions too :-)

      I think the problem is that people go to the vet to "get something." I go to the vet to find out/confirm what is going on and discuss what is the best thing to do - or not to do.

  2. I am like you - medication is last resort. I look for a change in diet or something homeopathic first.

    1. Diet didn't strike me as a likely suspect in this case, because of the acute nature. I'd look at the diet with a chronic type of issue. Btw, the mystery seems to be solved, more on that on Tuesday.