Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Retrobulbar abscess

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 2-5 years
My 3 year old, female border collie was treated late yesterday for a retrobulbar abscess. The vet put her under anesthesia and punctured the roof of her mouth to create a drain, and also gave her an injection of penicillin, as well as a prescription for oral keflex to fill today.

When her mouth was open wide during the procedure, we were able to see irregular red marks on the roof of her mouth on the affected side.

I really like my vet--he's an older guy who has primarily a large-animal practice, but he also sees dogs at his home on occasion. His set-up there is pretty basic; no x-ray or ultrasound, for example, and I serve as the veterinary assistant when we're there. I love taking my animals to him--I feel like we're all in a James Herriot story.

My question is this: should my dog have some kind of imaging study to determine the cause of the abscess? (He says it's not necessary, but in this instance, I wonder whether he is perhaps being too cursory and brusque; his large-animal side is coming into play, perhaps? Just felt moved to get another opinion....) In looking around on the internet, I see that tooth problems and migrated stick fragments are two of the more common causes of retrobulbar abscess. (Given the marks on the roof of her mouth, and the fact that she likes to chew sticks, I'm suspecting the latter.)

She does seem like she's on the mend this morning. Her eye is still quite red and bulging slightly, and her manner somewhat subdued, but the swelling in her face has gone down, and she had no trouble eating breakfast. I would expect the swelling to go down, though, from the combination of drainage and antibiotics--even if there was still a stick fragment in there. (No way a stick fragment would get out of the hole that was made for drainage.) What do you think--watch and wait, or make the effort now to determine the cause of the abscess?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi,

It sounds like your vet is doing all of the same things that I would do. The vast majority of the time, draining the abscess and starting antibiotics is all that you need to cure a retrobulbar abscess.

Now, if for some reason this abscess is not healing well within a week or two, or if it starts to return in the future, then I would consider having further imaging done. The problem is that an xray is unlikely to show anything. A CT scan may show you something, but it is quite expensive.

In my opinion, doing further testing right now is not warranted.

I hope things continue to improve!

Dr. Marie.


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Hi, Dr. Marie--

Mattie looks even better this morning--nearly back to normal.

Thanks so much for offering this service. It gave me a lot of peace of mind to be able to get a quick and inexpensive second opinion.

I also appreciated the additional information I got from you regarding what kind of imaging would be needed.

Since I have three dogs, and they are always into something, it's very likely I'll use this service again in the future!

Thanks,
Lindsay


Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Reduce allergies to cats. I'm allergic to cats but I would love to have one. I've recently heard that there is... (8761 views)

Not eating or using litter box. about 4 or 5 days ago my cat stopped eating and using the bethroom for about 2 days.... (15404 views)

Crusty cat nipple. My 8 year old male cats nipple was hard and crusty. I pulled it and it came out and... (72851 views)

Dog toe xray. I took my dog Cooper to the vet last week and he believed he had a bone... (24738 views)

Small puppy. Rnt? Hi, I just purchased a purebred BullMastiff puppy. He is very happy and seems to... (31008 views)

Spot in cat's eye. About a year ago our cat was looked at by a vet. He got all his shots and was... (25446 views)

Strange cat behavior. I've looked a bit online and have not quite found everything my cat is doing. I have... (61009 views)

Should we do surgery? Hello Dr. Marie, My cat Gus will be 15 in 3 months. We have been working with his... (10802 views)

Can a dog transmit HIV or hep c Hello, I know you've had a similar question before but I'm unsure about... (65667 views)

Kidney problem or diabetes? Hi Dr Marie, Hicks is 17 years old now. Still moderately active. 2 years ago, she... (6476 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.