Skin foreign bodies

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Skin foreign bodies

This is a discussion on Skin foreign bodies within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Bus has either some sort of growth, or a foreign body under/in the skin on his left side. We have been hitting the beach at ...

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Old 02-18-2017, 09:58 PM
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Skin foreign bodies

Bus has either some sort of growth, or a foreign body under/in the skin on his left side. We have been hitting the beach at the park a couple times a week the last couple months, which means traipsing through the brush and along deer trails from the main trail to the beach, which for that reason is rarely occupied and pretty much his favorite place ever. We frequently encounter sticker/thorn bushes, and as he's low to the ground, he gets little scratches/tears from them and other brush along the way. I usually find a couple thorns in each of us (mostly my clothes, but his skin) when we get back to the car, or later that day/the next day.

Anyway, last Monday night, I noticed a little scab on his right side, looks like the normal type from a sticker. Tuesday, I felt something weird on his left side while we were doing his therapy dog visit at the senior center, felt like a sticker with inflamed skin/slight swelling around it- so I pulled it (it was on the side facing away from me, so I didn't see it). It was actually slightly "attached", and from that I figured it might be a scab instead- but it was already off by that point. I left it alone after that, but once we were back in the car, inspected the spot- just a tiny spot where it might have bled, and a little BB sized swelling above/beside that. I gave it a little squeeze to see if it was an abscess (not the first from the same sort of thing), but nothing came out, and not wanting to keep messing with it if it was actually a growth, I left it alone after that. It was slightly red after the manipulation, but that has since resolved, leaving just a little defect in the first layer of skin (maybe where a FB entered?). I noticed that the swelling under the skin seemed to be dark colored at its widest point, and also seemed to be oblong/conical in shape.

Since he goes to work with me every day anyway, I had one of his vets look at it the next day, and she agreed that it's weird, linear in shape, and about 1/2" long. She said just to keep an eye on it for now, and agreed that antibiotics might not be a bad idea, in case it is a FB, so he's been on baytril for the last 4 days, and I think the swelling has reduced somewhat. The dark colored area seems to be smaller and not as dark anymore, and the "mass" has IMO taken on a very stick-like shape, which has me thinking that a FB is most likely at this point. I'll probably wait for her to return Tuesday to see what she thinks about its current state, but was curious whether anyone else has experienced something like this? Did it eventually work its way out through the skin? Or need to be surgically removed? I keep thinking about grass awns, and how they work their way deep into the body (we don't have them here), but at the same time, would rather avoid surgery if possible. He is acting completely normal, and doesn't seem to be remotely bothered by it.
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:30 PM
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Just an update since we now have a resolution

Bus' "bump" was a thorn which hung out within the layers of his skin for about 3 weeks before starting to work it's way toward the surface. All the inflammation had been gone for probably the last 10 days, which made the swollen area feel smaller in general but firmer. Could still see a darker area, and it felt pretty "stick" like in shape. Last night I noticed a little open spot and eventually I managed to coax out the item, which was a thorn. I've never noticed ones like this before, but will be on the lookout when we hit the beach in the future.

Took a few pics over the last few weeks to compare, as well as one of the culprit- Bus hasn't seemed to care one way or the other but I'm glad it's gone

2/18, a couple days after I noticed it-

Yesterday evening


Saved it to show the vet, who was curious as to what it might be- it's about 1/4" long
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:25 AM
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GAH! Wow, thank goodness for short hair, right? My staffie is constantly getting thorns while plowing through our back woods. Once we get back home and are sitting comfortably on the couch, I run my hands over her to see if she's got anything stuck in her, and invariably there is.

That last picture reminds me of a much shorter version of locust tree thorns, and those are particularly vicious. (When I was a child, my father tried chain-sawing down a large locust tree and ended up getting a 2 inch thorn stuck in his chest. I vividly remember seeing the base of it flush with his skin. It was awful, and he had to go to the hospital to get it removed and cleaned up.) The ones Spicey gets are curved, so when they "grab" her and break off, there's usually a nub I can feel to get them out. I know they must bother her, but she's so stoic she rarely complains. She'll know I'll find them.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:08 AM
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Ouch! That's a long spike!
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