Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunday Jul 1, 2012 interesting cases

Jul 1, 2012

1. Pekinese with right eye ulcer. Owners had run out of eye drops. Around 10 days since tarsorrhapy done by Dr Daniel.

Eyelid stitches removed. Dr Daniel used fluorescein eye stain. NO more staining indicating ulcer had healed. I took some images of pre- and post-injury corneal ulceration. I wil use this as a case study for video production. Excellent surgical outcome in this case. This was because the owner's mother knew how to care for this dog. The eyelids did not have any discharge or dirt on Day 12 when I saw him as contrasted to other dogs with similar problems and being cared for at home.

2. Foul-smelling "decomposed dog" case Shih Tzu had been warded here for 15 days. No more bad smell. Main problem is an intense ventral contact dermatitis. Dog just had to scratch belly -- traumatic injury and smells. Will follow up. 

History. Shih Tzu, Male, Born Sep 2004.

Seen other vets in Dec 5, 2009, Apr 16 10, May 10, 10, Aug 6 10, Oct 31 10, Apr 5, 11, Jul 10 11. 
Wanted to send dog to SPCA if I can't cure this "smell like dead dog" lower half of body. "The decomposed dog smell comes back 2nd day after bathing," the serious gentleman told me. "Not all skin diseases in the Shih Tzu are curable," I said to him. "Hospitalise the dog for a few days and let me observe him." The dog had a full coat with no hair loss. Some scales drop off from the lower belly and chest areas which were inflamed. I expressed the anal sacs.

They were filled with dark brown oil and very smelly. The flies appeared from nowhere and landed on this oil when I took the tissue with the oil for photography outside the Surgery. "Can't be the anal sac oil causing this smell," the owner disagreed with my findings and the fact that the flies were so interested in this anal sac oil. Normally, flies don't come at all. My hypothesis was that the oil might have licked out and stained the dog with the smell of dead flesh. The owner was not convinced as he said the groomer and the other vets had expressed the glands. Well, I had the pictures of the flies but it was poinless to show him since he had discounted this as a cause.

I smelt the dog's body on Day 3 of hospitalisation with medication given and skin washes done. There was a faint oily smell but not the decomposed meat smell. "Not that smelly," I said to the owner. But I observed that the dog's lower body was very red. As if the dog had rubbed it or more likely scratched it vigorously. The inflamed neck and groin was seen on and off. So, this was the problem. My hypothesis is that the dog just could not help scratching the lower body, due to conditioned reflexes. He had been scratching it for months as it was a way to relieve the itchiness. Some anal oil would have contaminated this traumatised skin and made the skin much more itchy and infected. So, 2 days after bathing, the rancid dead flesh smell came back.

Altogether, I hospitalised the dog for 14 days. "How much it will cost me?" the owner asked. "Not much," I said. "Since there is no surgery done." After 14 days of medication and washing, I sent the dog home with instructions that he wear a shirt to protect his lower chest and groin. The owner did that and on July 9, 2012, I phoned him. He was very happy as the dog did not smell anymore. Before sending the dog home, I expressed the anal sac. Another lot of dark brown anal oil came out.

This dog was not sent to the SPCA now and should live a normal life much loved by this serious gentleman. Dogs with skin diseases are sent to the SPCA to be put to sleep usually. Skin diseases in Shih Tzus are more common than in other breeds, in my practice experience. It is possible that the busy and time-pressed Singapore owners don't have time to do the daily brushing and grooming. This leads to skin infections and continuous itchiness. Many of these skin disease cases need reviews and strict compliance with medication prescribed. But this owner said that his dog passed blood in the stools when the other vets prescribed oral medication and so he did not do it. He did see 7 vets in 7 times as the vet practice has different vets on duty at times he went.   
Yesterday, July 9, 2012,  I phoned the owner to find out the fate of this Shih Tzu.  He said: "No smell,"
"Did you buy the shirt for him to wear?" I asked. "Yes," he sounded quite happy. I hope this Shih Tzu's anal sacs don't produce more of the stinking oil again. I doubt the owner will come for review when there was no apparent skin problems!  

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