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Diarrhea and lump on face.

Species: Dog
Breed: Husky
Age: 11-15 years
My dog is a female Husky, 12 years old, 45 pounds. She had severe diarrhea (completely liquid) with a little bit of bright red blood for about 4 days before seeing the vet. Unknown cause. Fecal culture came back negative for the "big" bacteria (salmonella, etc.), but had some kind of bacteria overload. Vet prescribed Primor 600mg, 1x/day, with Fortiflora. Gave this for 4 days, and diarrhea going away. Stool has no blood, is nearly fully formed with the last little bit still pudding-ish. However, my dog got a lump on her face that she was pawing at. Vet said to discontinue the Primor. Could be an abscess but could be allergic reaction. Vet prescribed Cephalexin 500mg, 2x/day. I gave her one pill over 24 hours from the last Primor dose. Now both sides of her face have lumps and she's pawing at her face. Also seems restless.

Should I discontinue the Cephalexin? Or is the swelling residual from the Primor? I don't want to put her at risk, but I don't want the bacteria to come back with the diarrhea. Suggestions?

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Nikita is having these problems. What you are describing is quite unusual.

Primor (sulfadimethoxine) is generally a safe drug. It is possible for a dog to react to this drug and yes, facial swelling is one of the possible (but rare side effects). It is a little bit unusual though that the swelling started on just one side of her face. Usually an allergic reaction to something ingested would be pretty symmetrical. Also, if the Primor was causing the swelling then it's unlikely that the second lump would come up after you had stopped the medication.

I don't think that the Cephalexin is causing problems.

It's possible that maybe there is something else causing allergic reactions. At this time of year, wasp stings can be common. Is this a possibility?

A swollen lymph node could cause a lump (or lumps) on the face but these are not usually itchy.

Are the lumps just under her eyes? It's possible that she has something called a carnassial tooth abscess. It would be a little bit strange for a second one to develop just after the first though.

I think it is probably a good idea to have your vet take a look at Nikita again as this is not something that I would consider normal. Also, she seems uncomfortable so if the vet does think that this is an allergic reaction then they may prescribe some antihistamines.

I hope things are better soon!

Dr. Marie



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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.

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