Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Anchorage Alaska
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Sorry it took me so long to get this posted but thanks for all of the notes and wishes!
The lump was a bit bigger the next day, so we got to a vet first thing; he immediately put us at ease. He said it was grass, believe it or not. I have never heard of this before so I thought I'd share (even though I've owned multiple dogs). He said that sometimes when dogs eat grass such as foxtail, a piece of it migrates through their throat and sinus passages to other parts of their head. Most common is the top of the head, but he does see throats as well. It gets infected and swells into a lump rapidly. He could tell this was what it was by the way the lump felt.
He recommended hot packs on it a few times a day to bring it to a head and then said it would break open, probably within a few days. We were to squeeze out any extra pus, apply hydrogen peroxide to the wound, then get in touch with a vet for a round of antibiotics.
We applied hot packs that day. I am so very glad that I knew what to expect, because if I'd seen what I did with no warning, I think I would have lost it. Soon after waking up the next morning, I noticed Mickey licking his paws. I went over and lifted his head higher--his entire front side was covered with blood and pus. It was awful.
We followed all of the doctor's orders, and it has gone exactly as he said. Aside from initial soreness at the site, Mickey has had no ill effects. The vet did note during the exam that at this time of year here in Alaska, he sees 2-3 dogs with these lumps. I find it strange that in all my internet searches, I found no reference to this, so I am hoping that passing this along will help some other Hav owners!
Mickey & Maddy's mom