Archive for October 19th, 2009


October 19, 2009


One of the many pleasures of taking care of little rescue animals is the added thrill of the unknown.  In addition to fleas, ticks, heartworm, malnutrition, and intestinal parasites, there’s an occasional lucky moment when you discover *RINGWORM*!  Bonus points!

Puppy: "It's like the heartbreak of psoriasis."

Puppy: "It's like the heartbreak of psoriasis."

Ringworm is actually not a worm, but a fungus, and there are numerous internet sites with information about it.  The last time I encountered a case of ringworm was in a motherless litter of four kittens.  I took them to the local spay/neuter clinic to be spayed once they got old enough to be spayed/neutered, and the clinic refused to do the surgery because of *RINGWORM*.  Bonus!  They got to live in my master bath for two more weeks until the clinic had more vacancies and I got the ringworm cleared up. 

The best treatment I have tried, without fail, is to use a dilute solution of Chlorox and water to dab on the spots.  (Use rubber gloves, people!)  Then rinse the area with plain water.  You can continue this treatment for a few days, and you should see improvement quickly.  (I’m not a vet but I play one on television…) 

This little pup is one of the litter of ten pulled from under the old house.  She’s in good health, except for the ringworm, which should clear up soon, and then she’s ready for adoption!  This one reminds me of Flannery.  I’ve been able to place the rest locally, but I might have to foster this one until I can find a home for her. 

The Pup's Alma Mater with two-lane highway

The Pup's Alma Mater on two-lane highway

If the pups hadn’t been pulled out from under this house, they would surely have ended up on the highway.  There’s a lot of logging in this area, and the log trucks fly through here.  The photo shows one out of two of the highways that the mother dog was crossing to get food. 
Sometimes things in the universe mysteriously converge for the better.  And a little networking doesn’t hurt.
Pup and friend share their lunch

Pup and friend network over a power lunch

AskTheVet: What Are Those Lumps on My Dog?

October 19, 2009

Here’s another installment by my employer, Dr. DognCat.



Your pet, especially as it ages, may develop lumps, bumps, and/or skin tags on various parts of their body. In general, most lumps or masses that we find on dogs are the result of some type of cancer. The word CANCER strikes fear in the concerned pet owner. Cancer is a class of disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth. Cancer, also referred to as neoplasia, may be benign or malignant. In simple terms, benign cancer refers to a type of disease in which the growth doesn’t spread and can typically be cured by surgical removal. On the other hand, malignant cancer displays the ability to spread and possibly invade organs, and typically requires aggressive surgical removal with or with out concurrent chemotherapy. It is important to point out and understand that benign and malignant cancers collectively represent an extremely wide spectrum of disease. It would be beyond the scope of this article to further classify various types of cancer. In the veterinary medical profession, just like the human health profession, we study and learn about different types of cancer everyday. It is impossible to describe and diagnosis any lump over the phone. If your pet has a lump or growth, it is important to see your veterinarian for an examination. Your veterinarian can observe the growth and find out a thorough history of the pet, taking into consideration the age and breed, when the lump developed, the growth rate, and any distinguishing features it may have. In some cases, the lump may only require close monitoring. Other cases may require the collection of tissue, better known as a biopsy, for a pathologist to examine. Your veterinarian can discuss your options after this assessment.

Disclaimer: This section is provided for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for regular veterinary care though a licensed veterinarian, including regular office visits.


I’ll just say this.  If you find a lumpy area on your dog, get your happy little self and your dog to the vet pronto.  And if you don’t handle your dog regularly, start now.  You need to develop a familiarity with your animals so that you have a standard on which to base future comparisons.  One client stopped by the office – without her dog – and demanded antibiotics for her dog.  She said that she knew her dog and that she knew that the dog had a urinary tract infection.  When she brought her dog in for an exam, the vet detected a mass in the abdomen, performed an x-ray, and discovered that the abdomen was full of a cancerous tumor which was interfering with the function of the internal organs, including the urinary tract. 

Lots of lumps are fatty tumors.  Your vet will know the difference.