Monday, April 12, 2010

26. Large toe granuloma. Just cut it off?

As part of my training, I asked my assistant what to do in this case of the Labrador Retriever with a large lick granuloma in his 5th toe? It is good to ask for ideas although one may be deemed incompetent in asking.

"Just cut off the toe from here and stitch up from there to here," my assistant outlined the approach of "de-clawing in the cat" to cut off the large granuloma that had existed for one month. The owner finally sought veterinary advice as the dog kept licking and licking. If only he had consulted the vet early, the treatment was so simple and effective as it would just be a simple wound.

"If you cut this large granuloma, you will have a very unhappy owner," I said. "The hole will be so big as the granuloma now covers the second and third phalanx too. For cat declawing, only the first phalanx is cut off. In this dog, the area is inflammed and infected. After cutting off, the wound will not heal well. The owner is going to spend more money and the dog is going to lick."

"We can hospitalise the dog and treat for him after surgery," my assistant suggested.

"No owner will be happy if the dog's wound does not heal after hospitalisation," I explained to him. "There is the money to be spent and the worries."

"The first method is to reduce the granuloma size using drugs," I explained to him. If the granuloma disappears, there is one happy owner. "If not, the size will be reduced and surgery to cut it off will be easier and the hole will be much smaller."

Toe and other lick granulomas are common in dogs. Owners neglect early vet attention. The instinct of the vet is to cut it off. Veterinary surgery is not always the answers to inflammatory granulomas in the toes.

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