It’s been a traumatic week for little Pixie Buttercup.
The snow shot is how she looked prior to the swelling.
I mentioned in my last post that she had what I believed to be a reaction to a lepto vaccination. She became very listless almost immediately after getting the shot, stopped eating or drinking, and had a fever of 106*. We took several trips to the vet and tried a couple medications, but the symptoms continued. Friday, we noticed a slight swelling in her left lymphnode under her jaw.
On Monday, there was noticable swelling under the jaw, about the size of a golfball. I took her back in to the vet. who then sent me to our friends at ACCES. The thought was that she had some foreign material stuck in there somewhere and we might need surgery to remove it. The surgeon took a look at her and said she was confident that was the case. Pixie underwent an ultrasound to give them an idea of how intensive the surgery would be. They found… nothing. There was no noticable foreign material or any pockets that they could open to relieve the pressure. She was still seriously dehydrated and at this time had dropped six pounds- 10 % of her body weight. She stayed the next two nights at the ER. Wednesday we went to pick her up. I was shocked at how swollen her head had become. Her poor muzzle was swollen to 15 inches around. As a reference, Loki is only 11 inches. Her neck was 22 inches. The doctors are not sure, but believe her to be suffering from sialoadenitis. That’s the inflammation of her salivary gland. Apparently, it is a rare condition. One study I was reading cited only 13 dogs in an eleven-year period. There is no known casue for the condition and while phenobarbitol will alleviate the effects, no one really knows why. She is also being treated with prednisone. While no one will come out and say they believe this to be a reaction to the lepto vaccine, I did spot one vet saying prednisone was usually used when it was believed a vax reaction to be an underlying cause.
After 3 days of the med combo along with a steady dose of clavamox, she is about 75% back to normal. Her nose is back down to about 12 inches around- still a little big. And her neck is 20 inches. The gland itself is still noticably large- about the size of half a tennis ball sticking off the side of her head.