Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Wart

Our Dogs, Nate and Lucky, have trouble with the hot, dry Summer we experience here in the Cariboo District of BC. It makes them itch; hence there is much scratch, scratch, scratching going on. There is much banging as their elbows hit the floor during a particularly delicious scratch.

We treat their coats with a drop or two of insect that will fight off Ticks and Mosquitoes and it works fairly well. But somehow, somewhere...Nate received a big bite from one of the flying bombers last year, on the back of his neck. Or so we thought...

He couldn't scratch was situated perfectly in the middle of the upper neck, almost right behind his head but in front of his collar. It looked a little odd, all bulbous and round. I knew we could have a mess once it popped, if it ever did.

Years ago, our family had a dog called Roscoe.  He had an insect bite which blew up into a bubble very like Natey's. It was situated on his inner thigh...not visible unless one was brushing or bathing or drying him with a towel after one of Roscoe's many dips into the Lake.

Because Roscoe could reach it, he took care of it himself. The lump eventually drained, he would clean it...and then leap into whatever body of Water happened to be nearby. The combination of his cleansing of the wound and the River or Lake Water eventually healed it, although I like to think the herbal salves and antiseptics I used on him had something to do with it.

When we first noticed Natey's lump, I thought it looked much the same as the one Roscoe had. It didn't seem to bother didn't appear to be itchy or painful. The lump stayed static for the longest time...we would bathe it with antiseptics and made sure the area was clean, but since it didn't bother him, we left it alone.

As an old farm girl, I am accustomed to using old tried and true home remedies on my pets.  During my youth, in the small town I lived in, there was no vet available. We relied on ourselves and our knowledge of herbs and salves and antiseptics when it came to dealing with our animals.

But when Natey's lump burst and drained, and all our remedies did not work, it was time to realize I was in the 21st century...and there were veterinarians available.

After scaring myself silly looking on the internet regarding lumps and bumps on Dogs and what they could be, Graham made an appointment with a vet.  The idea of taking Nate to a vet took longer because Nate is a big Dog who suffers from arthritis. Getting him into a car could be painful for both Nate and me, since I also have problems with arthritis and chronic pain.  And...there was the not so small problem of Nate's great dislike of Cats and small white Dogs.

There are often many Cats and small white Dogs in a vet's office.

Nate has a memory like an Elephant.  He was only a Puppy when a Cat decided to take a swipe at a tender nose; yet he has never forgotten the insult. The small white Dog...well, it was actually Lucky, his kennel mate, who was frightened completely silly by a small, white Poodle, when he was a very young puppy.  Lucky would shiver and shake each time he was near a Dog who was small and white...and Nate decided it was up to him to defend his friend. I believe Lucky outgrew his fear, but Nate has not outgrown his protection of Lucky.

The fact that Lucky is a fair bit bigger than Nate matters not at Nate, Lucky is still small, afraid and in need of defence.

And so, it was Graham who took Nate to the vet's office, one early morning a week ago. Graham is stronger than I; it was a good thing he took him in since the vet's office was indeed full of Cats and small, white Dogs. But strength on Graham's part and perhaps the fact Nate is ageing and becoming more mellow allowed the appointment to go on without incident.

The vet proclaimed his weeping lump to be a "wart gone wrong". A wart?

After all the Dogs I've had the pleasure to live with, none had ever had a wart. I didn't know Dogs could get warts.

But indeed they can. It was rather a grisly subject I researched on the Internet after hearing the news about Nate.  Some Dogs even get them in their mouths...and the photos accompanying the articles made me think Nate's wart was hardly anything to worry about.

The vet wanted to operate and take the wart off. She proclaimed it to be infected, which it may have been, since Nate was now rolling in mud. He'd been rolling in Snow up till now, but Spring comes to the Cariboo eventually, melting Snow and leaving mud behind.

Another appointment was made for the operation and Nate once more made the trip into the vet's office, where Graham left him. Lucky, who had been left at home, of course, moped and looked as if we had done him a great injustice. He wouldn't drink or eat; his best buddy was not with him.  This situation may have reminded him of the time the two were separated, when we moved here.

I understand the vet operated on Nate under sedation, rather than a full-blown anaesthetic. We requested Nate's nails be cut, since he won't let anyone near his feet. Even under sedation, Nate fought mightily against having his nails cut. Why would a Dog fight against this so hard?  In all our time with him, never once has the quick in his nails ever been cut, and he was a very young Pup when he arrived into the family. He will not even allow us to hold his paws. It is a conundrum.

Nate came home with a six-inch scar running from his shoulder to the middle of his neck. Much of his hair in the same area has been shaved. He is rather proud of his perceived war wound and knows he has to take antibiotics for the previous infection. He will come to me when it is time for them...but I feel he probably desires the bit of wiener in which the pill is hidden more than the antibiotic pill.

I have done much reading on dog warts over the past few days. Nate's first diagnosis has not been corroborated with the vet, as yet. I imagine we will know exactly what it was when the stitches are removed.

The Internet has many stories about these disorders which can really raise anxiety. On the other hand, I have learned some remedies for warts in dogs...Vitamin E or castor oil can be rubbed on the wart, Vitamin C and Vitamin A can be given for the Dogs various immunity protections, and then there are surgical removals, electrocautery and cryosurgery.

An interesting part of my research is the idea Dogs cannot digest the many grains which are a part of commercial dog food. We feed Nate and Lucky a very expensive Dog meal made of Oatmeal and Fish. It is locally made and is meant to target skin problems. It is a last resort regarding Nate...he either gains weight or his skin becomes very dry with other foods we have tried over his life span. Or he is highly he is to Chicken and to Chicken products.

Now, of course, I am wondering if he can digest the Oatmeal.

I do not recall the Dogs of my youth having many health problems.  I remember they were fed on leftovers, bones, and homemade Dog food. Possibly a very unbalanced diet, all around...and yet. They had few, if any, skin or digestive problems, other than the odd flea or two.

Many Dog foods list wheat or corn as the first ingredient in a bag of food. I have read Dogs require a small amount of grains, which they would have received from the stomachs of small prey if they were in the wild. But I wonder if Dogs can really digest as many grains as they are now receiving.

And so I believe I will research a little further and find recipes for homemade Dog food.  I met a lady from the UK the other day who does just this. She feeds her brood only meat and vegetables...and not many vegetables, at that. She vehemently believes Dogs are carnivorous and we personalize Dogs when we think they can eat "porridge" as a regular diet.  

It seems to make sense to me, when I remember what we fed our Dogs in my youth.

All it needs is a little tweaking in the nutritional department.

And Nate? Well, he's recovering well, albeit he now sports a limp.

A limp which gets worse, when he's in need of sympathy.


  1. Hi Marion, This was so much fun to read. I love how you wove the furry friends from your past with your beloved doggies of today.

    I've heard that dogs can get just about anything that humans get so I imagine the a version of warts for dogs would not surprise me. And I know from personal experience (thank you Tanner) that dogs will EAT ANYTHING.

    Hope Nate is now healing well.


  2. I think you should turn on the TV. Poor dog.

    You didn't mention fleas as a dog malady where you live. I lived most of my life in the subtropical region of the U.S. where pests abounded that aren't so bad here in the Pacific NW, fleas being the worst.

    I'm glad Nate is okay.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. How we worry about our little furry friends and learn all we can about how to give them better lives. They do know, I'm sure, how important they are to us.

  4. Marion, what awesome photos of your doggies. I'm glad Nate is doing okay.... Believe it or not, I have a black cat who has warts. I should say 'had' because he's scratched them off. I've been doctoring him with antibiotic cream and they're getting better, thank goodness. That's what he gets for eating frogs. (LOL!) Blessings!

  5. Hi Marion,
    I have been giving my dog a half carrot everyday to keep the doctor away. :D You mentions Vit A and C, I also have been giving her a pro-biotic too to help her immune system since she eats stuff on our walks. It's down the hatch before I could wrestle it away!

    I am glad Nate is doing better.

  6. hope nate is well. we have ticks problem with our dog chewie and don't know how to overcome. the poor dog has been itching all over. we fed garlic pills, according to a friend who adopted chewie's brother (jack), it works for him. no ticks, but didn't work for chewie.

  7. Thanks for your words of comfort - it'll all work out in the end I believe.

    I have a friend who feeds his dog raw chicken and that's all. Haven't checked with him lately but last time we talked he felt it was a great diet for his dog. Makes sense in a way.

  8. Marion - how funny! I didn't know dogs could get warts either! Curious ...

    As for the dog food, we started Tetley out with Orijen Puppy, but it was so rich in protein that her stool was quite runny ... I was trying to be a responsible pet owner, picking up after her on walks ... but you just can't pick up a puddle! Now she is eating Horizon Complete, which has rye, barley & is protein rich ... but now I can actually scoop her poops!

    It is interesting how we try to humanize dogs ... but they do love it, don't they?


  9. I read avidly, having three beagles. Fat beagles. Fat beagles who will die early because my husband loves them by giving them his food and a bunch of doggie treats. Anyway. Glad Nate got himself fixed up. You sound like me, researching potential horror stories on the internet. I'm not going to retrace your steps, but will take your word for it that warts are disgusting.

  10. My beloved friend, now I am just one post behind. I read every word you write but I can't comment until I am ready to say something.

    Your are a good Mom to Nate. You have me thinking about stella's diet. She eats a healthy dry food with alittle chicken broth. She is mad about chicken so sometimes that is a special treat,

    I'm glad nate's on the mend. Please give him a lick for me.

    Happy mother's day, dearest Marion. I hope the day is peaceful for you. I know you will get love from above


  11. Annie,

    It's the funniest thing! I have done nothing but notice warts on dogs since I wrote this post. I don't even have to know the dog or the owner, but I see them or feel them when I pet the dog. They are mostly small little protrusions on the pets...someone told me it is because of the strength of the Sun here.


    Heh! I have no idea what Lucky, here as a young dog, was looking at! He sat there for a long time...long enough for me to get the camera and take a few shots! Perhaps he was imagining a movie about the canine group. Heh, Canine Group sounds like an investment or insurance firm.

    There are no fleas here in the Cariboo. There are, however, ticks, horseflies and mosquitoes...big ones! A bite from a horsefly or deerfly can really, really hurt, and that's what I thought Nate had.


    You probably know all about warts and dogs, given your experience. I would have liked it if you had lived next door to me, when I was wondering about Nate's lump!


    See, I've learned something new again...a cat with warts! I've owned cats most of my life, until my two hounds came into my life...and didn't know they got warts,either. Amazing.

    Heh, heh...tell your cat in order to find the prince, the cat needs only to KISS him. I believe eating the frog negates the process.

  12. Miruh,

    I tried the carrot go! They would have loved it, I think, when they were a lot younger and would consume anything...but they're getting on in years and are turning their noses up at anything less than prime beef.

    Ah, well...I guess age in a dog has its benefits. Not sure what those are,exactly, but they rarely roll around on gruesome and stinky remains anymore.


    Those ticks are a complete NUISANCE. I make Graham pull them off the dog...we've only had a couple so far this season.

    There is a product out that will target ticks and mosquitoes. It's a little drop placed behind the neck and on the rump and it's amazing. It lasts six weeks and they aren't bothered much by insects anymore. You can get it at pet stores.

    Not to worry you, and I've used the same remedy many times, but during all my reading, I discovered garlic is poisonous to dogs. If it is then my dogs must be immune to it, since they've consumed garlic since they were pups.


    You're will. You are too talented and creative not to find a way.

    The raw food diet has its proponents, all right. Nate is allergic to chicken, but I believe he would do really well on other raw foods. Lucky may or may not...he's very sensitive to many foods. He'd do well on toast and peanut butter, I think, lol!

  13. Nicole,

    Protein rich dog foods don't sit well with my dogs either. We had to stop feeding anything with high protein, since not only did they have diarrhea, they became very hyper, as well. The lady at the Feed Store told me that even sled dogs, very active dogs, have trouble with some high protein dog foods. But try and find a good dog food that isn't as rich...

    My dogs believe they are human. They even think they understand me when I talk to them about all my problems...and perhaps they do, since the sympathy I get exceeds that of any human I would talk with as much as I do with the dogs, lol!


    Ohhhh, don't go looking for warts on the 'net! You wouldn't believe what they look little cauliflowers growing on the side of their mouths and eyes and coats...and it turns out that kind of wart is contagious! Lucky doesn't have any, so I think Nate's wart wasn't contagious...and his didn't look like the ones on the 'net.

    Heh...the vet didn't believe Graham when he said Nate got less food than Lucky, because he's overweight as well. Nate, not Graham, lol. I could put him on a diet and feed even less than I do now, but gosh...he'd get hardly any food. Nate's just that way, I think, he's always been a big, stocky dog. Vet's don't necessarily believe us until they actually feel his body, which is very muscular and BIG!

  14. kj,

    That is exactly my problem when I read other's posts...I can't comment until I've thought about it and then what happens is by the time I've thought out my comment, the blogger has gone on to another post. Damn, late again!

    Umm...I'll tell him about your lick, ok? The thought of actually licking Nate kinda turns my stomach, hahahahahaha! but I know he will be pleased you thought of him.

    Thank you for your Mother's Day wish and for remembering my child above. She usually sends something on this day to remind me of her...I will be on the lookout! Happy Mother's Day to you as well!

  15. Glad Nate is recovering. Poor old man.

    There is a great simple dog food recipe at chicken, oats, carrots etc. Bought dog food ingredients are scary these days, plus of course it is tested on dogs who go through years of pain and abuse, which obviously put me off. My cat very old healthy eats raw free range meat.

    By the way I have found working at the health shop that older dogs who scratch find the homeopathic histamine mix helps a lot (same one you give kids to stop scratching from chicken pox). No bad side effects either.

  16. I'm so pleased the lump wasn't anything scary, what a releif for you :D I do envy your energy to write so much! I'll probebly need a lie down just after this hahaha. Take care and I sha;; be sending more soon :)) xx

  17. Jackie,

    Thanks for the link and the info on histamine. I went to the health food store yesterday and got some...I haven't tried it yet. But by visiting the health food store, I got ideas for other maladies that are plaguing either me or the dogs, so it was a good trip! I'm glad your aged cat is healthy and well...when I finally get a cat my idea is to begin with raw and organic food. I've talked with many and they are convinced it is the way to go with animals.


    Heheh...hope you feel better after your lie down. I know I write a lot...but I only write a few times a month, so I figure I'm up with those who write a little every day, lol!

    the only thing is I've been told people have to set a time to read since it takes forever to finish reading my posts. Ah well. It's all good!

    By the way, you are the most creative person I've come across yet. Your whole story is told on those canvases...I will be emailing you today. Hang in there, lady!

  18. It is the little white dogs which will get you every time!

    I don't think that I would look to nutrition as a solution. Probably just an infected tick or other-insect bite. ( I am not buying the "wart" diagnosis by the way)

    Our cat once had a lump on her neck with a little hole on it. As I peered at the lump a little eye was staring back at me. Ick, what the hell!! Turns out the vet claimed that horse flies lay eggs in the cats dermis and from that comes a worm which travels around under the skin eventually to emerge and drop off as a fly larva. Cattle seem to have a lot of them. Needless to say the vet removed it with no further problems save the image of tiny worms crawling around under the skin. eew

    We should have a contest as to who can present the grossest description of pet maladies! So far though, I think you've won.

  19. Ewww is right! I have never in all my born days heard about something like this! You win, hands down, regarding the description, lol! When your comment came in yesterday, I instantly received the image of this eye staring back at you from the poor cat's neck...and I've been trying to shake it ever since! Oh, that poor, poor cat! Can you imagine having something like that!!!? Yuck!

    Nate has been doing poorly the past few. He has bad arthritis in his hips and now his shoulder is also giving him problems. He had trouble walking yesterday. Sounds like another trip to the vet for the old guy...

  20. Marion,
    We had to put our dog Fred down last month at 17 years -- good life for a border collie. She would follow me around the lake every day during this cold winter but when her back legs stopped tracking and she could no longer make the trip we brought her inside (our dogs are outside dogs unless treated to a nap on the carpet on a stormy day or super-cold night). Two days inside with short trips outside to pee and she just lay there unable to move. Vet said Fred was ready to go, as she injected the poison and Fred just went limp. We took her home and buried her on a cold windy day with the soil just soft enough to dig in. But I was happy it was over for her. And the arthritis and pain were finally over.
    So I know it is hard but all life ends as we know. Maybe Nate can enjoy some sun on the deck for awhile. It is hard . . .

  21. Goatman,

    I'm so sorry you lost Fred. Every time one of my dogs go, it takes weeks before I don't hear their toenails clicking on the floor. I have stayed with each of my dogs, as well, as the Vet injected the lethal injection. As hard as it is, I wanted each dog to have me in his sight as he died, and each time, I needed to give each dog a final hug.

    Nate sleeps longer and longer these days. We took the stitches out ourselves...his scar is completely healed. I think the Winters here are quite difficult for the dogs, bringing on arthritis earlier than it may have taken hold otherwise. Nonetheless, we will treat him like the old dog he has suddenly become, and let him enjoy the Sun and his long snoozes.

    We'll see how he takes the cold weather later on.

  22. As a retired vet tech with 35 plus years experience, I love reading people's comments and suggestions :)

    I'm glad Nate is fine, first of all. Warts are common, as well as hygromas and ingrown hairs. Almost always benign too but they can get messy and irritating if/when they start to ooze. Removal is smart, esp since the vet did it with a local anesthesia.

    Now, the food issue. I love that many vets (and human docs) are finally getting their noggins into learning about proper nutrition!
    I'm not a proponent of a raw food diet for dogs. They're not the wild dogs of yesteryear. They're generations removed from having to hunt and kill their own food, and many dogs (and cats) have digestive issues and end up with irritable bowels and other maladies from such diets. There are many vets that would still argue this point. Not mine though and I completely trust her.

    Grains are a HUGE problem in pet diets causing anything from skin allergies to diabetes from the high carb load. I have a cat. A very fat cat who is allergic to most foods and all grains. She also has colitis and will get diarrhea from walking past a bag or can of food that's she's allergic to! And she's always in danger of becoming diabetic for having to have had steroids for her worst flare-ups of bloody skin. So what I've had to do is pick my battles and choose which ailment I think she could tolerate the most by keeping her quality of life. I chose obesity, sadly. Now she's on a hydrolized protein diet with no grain. She's playful and happy and tries her best to chase her toys with joy so we can work in a little exercise for her.

    I think if we all stay educated about our options and our pets individual needs we'll all do just fine.

    For your cat friends with food issues, there's a wonderful article written by a vet at

    Also, cats that are fed a home cooked diet MUST have taurine added to their foods. They can go blind instantly without it as well as other problems.

    Now, I'm just full of good news today! I hope none of this came across preachy. I do love to share what I've learned, especially if it can help someone furry ;)♥

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