Foxtail, somewhat graphic story
So, after living in CA my whole life, I had my first encounter with Foxtail many months ago. Kobe got covered in them, and I removed them all. Or so I thought.
A few months later, my groomer said he had pain in his inner leg. They shaved the area, and found a foxtail seed sticking out. The skin was a big bump and it had started to heal over the foxtail.
I took him to the vet, and they removed it. All was well as far as I thought.
Many, many months later I found a red bump with a white "pimple" looking thing next to it. It popped when I touched it. I talked to the vet, and he said to just keep an eye on it and disinfect it. So I did.
A few weeks later (a couple days ago) I noticed there was a bump there still, skin colored, but no irritation as far as I could see. So I scheduled an appointment to see my vet. No rush, or so I thought.
Today, the bump burst. It revealed an deep in his skin, like a tunnel. I took him to the emergency vet.
GRAPHIC WARNING!! I will indicate when the graphic talk ends in all caps, so skip if you get grossed.
The doctor handled the wound, and squeezed it. A thick chunk of pus and blood came out, probably the size of a quarter if it were a sphere. Huge chunk. He started cleaning the wound, and kept squeezing as much of the pus out as he could.
once it was cleared, it revealed a tunnel going in to him. It appeared to be at least 1" deep. It has been there so long that the skin had begun healing, forming a tube of skin going downward into him. This was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed them to locate and remove the foxtail easily.
The tube went in 2-3" deep.
END GRAPHIC WARNING!
Fortunately, he did not need sedation to get it surgically removed. And fortunately it was located before it made it all the way to his heart, assuming bone did not stop it before then.
I feel sick at the thought that he had this infected tunnel in his shoulder all this time, without showing any indication whatsoever that it was bothering him.
Kobe getting kisses upon his return. The shirt is just to keep Syl away from the wound.
In the future I am going to have to make a more thorough effort at locating Foxtail if I ever find some indication that he was in it. It's so hard with his coat, but I'll have to make the time for it. This could have ended so much worse.
But he is okay, home, and on the road to recovery.
Kobe the Fluffy Cloud, Alaskan Malibu-te, Mar. '05
Syl the Stormblessed, Border Collie, Dec. '13