**** WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES *****
For over a month now Lancelot has been fighting a skin issue that is apparently extremely rare. Despite our efforts, we have been in an uphill battle to reach some sort of truce with his angry skin and it’s fierce determination. We have yet to come to a compromise.
On Lancelot’s ear and neck there is the large birthmark that you see on the faces of young children…or at least it’s the same make up, even though in appearance it differs slightly. We learned this on a second skin biopsy. We also learned at that time that he has a secondary infection due to Pseudomonas…a very ornery and resistant bacteria. I like to call it “Stupid-onas” and “Stink-o-monas.”
Here’s how it happened….
I noticed inflammation behind his ear one day but thought perhaps they’d been playing hard (which they do) and it was just red from chewing and biting. The next day it was still there, so I took him in for an examination. As we clipped his hair down to get a better look at it, we learned that it went all the way down his neck and to his chest. This is what it looked like:
From this point on it progressively got worse, even on antibiotics, prednisone, and topical sprays. It became more irritating to him and he would rub, scratch and anything else he could do to relieve the pain. We were now here, as shown below, with more inflammation and ulcers:
We did the biopsy, but unfortunately we came up with very little to go on. Doc sent pictures out, talked to others, but nobody had seen anything like it. We started a stronger antibiotic that he’d take for a longer period of time.
Just short of two weeks later, as I impatiently waited for good results, it grew worse. While we originally planned on a longer medication time frame before another biopsy, Doc said to bring him right in and we’d go ahead and try to get some results.
She also did a culture since there was slime and goo, and I counted the minutes for the biopsy results, praying that we’d have something to go on. He was miserable and it was breaking my heart. Pain meds weren’t helping, he was depressed and anxious, the antibiotics weren’t working, and nothing I tried provided him with any comfort. Neither of us were sleeping because of his pain.
The biopsy came back with the “birthmark” results, and the culture stated he had Pseudomonas. Pseudomonas is what we’re trying to aggressively attack at the moment, hoping and praying for results. We have him on medication to which it’s susceptible, as it’s resistant to most, and all of us are praying that it will take effect. So far it’s still not looking great, but it will take some time, as it’s a hard one to treat. We have to watch him carefully and see what our next move will be if the antibiotics don’t work.
He’s worn an e-collar now for weeks and managed to destroy a total of three…I’ll be getting a fourth one for him soon. He’s exhausted, frustrated, and I have to admit I’m right there with him because I can’t stand to see him like this. I try to keep it clean and dry. I try to make the pain or itch, or both, more bearable for him. His ear is showing signs of a hematoma which also causes discomfort. It angers me that such a gentle and tender dog is being attacked by such a ferocious and hateful … whatever this is.
If good things don’t happen soon we’ll have to visit the surgeon. Research and doctors suggest that the only way to rid the “birthmark” that causes this horrible ulceration and infection is via surgery (and in turn remove those, as well). I think (?) at that point it would take care of it and he’d be free of any illness or future episodes like this one (?)…the problem is the amount of skin that it affects. There would probably be skin graphs involved?? Long recovery?? More pain?? I’d heavily count on the surgeon for guidance.
I initially worried about this idea but later started to become a fan. I figured that even if they had to take off the ear from so much damage, he may look a little funny but he’d be better off. That’s when it hit me.
He’s heartworm positive. I don’t even know if he’s a candidate for surgery.
What I do know is that the doctors will advise me of his best interest. Right now I’m simply praying for positive results.
So, my Christmas request is that you join me in prayer…pray that this snuggly big boy with a heart of pure love continues to fight and remain strong. Pray that we can provide him with comfort and that we defeat this cruel affliction. Pray that his second chance at love isn’t defeated by this sickness. Not only will I be grateful, but he will be, as well.
Thank you. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.