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My dog's toe is swollen...
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LeHermit posted:
I have a German shepherd mix that is about 15 months old. Recently, we've been dealing with a tic infestation in our yard. I have pulled a number of tics off of both of our dogs, but he definitely has gotten the worst of it. I am reasonably certain that I have pulled the entire tic off each time, and since we check them as soon as the come in, none of the tics have really had a chance to embed very well anyway. A couple of days ago, I noticed what looked like a blister on top of one of his feet kind of between two of his toes. It wasn't warm to the touch, but he has since nipped it and it bled quite a bit. It bled a bit more during and after his bath yesterday as well. Today I noticed that the area around one of his toes on the other foot is red, a bit swollen, and tender to the touch. I'm going to try to get him into the vet tomorrow, but I was trying to get an idea of what I might be dealing with now. Any ideas?
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Dear LeHermit,
Sounds like you need some environmental pest control to try and get the ticks under control. I dislike fleas but I seriously hate ticks. They, like fleas, are blood sucking parasites and can transmit several diseases. I am so glad that you routinely examine your dogs and remove the parasites. Ask you veterinarian about tick killing medications such as Frontline or Advantix...with this product, be sure the dogs do not have contact with cats.

The swelling that you described may be due to foreign material that has embedded itself under the skin and festered. Living in Southern California, such a lesion can be due to the plant awn, foxtails. If you have sharp, prickly weeds in your area, a piece of one could get under the skin. I am glad that you are taking your dog to your veterinarian. He/she will be able to give you a better idea of what is going on.

Best of luck...
Dr. Bernadine Cruz


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