How to cure a retrobulbar abscess?
September 27, 2008 5:20 AM   Subscribe

DisgustingAbscessFilter: Has anyone had any luck clearing up a retrobulbar abscess in a dog? We thought we'd cured with antibiotics.

Our 1.25 year old English Lab has a retrobulbar abscess behind one and possibly both eyes. Two surgeries have not been successful due to location, and she is on her second round of antibiotics (Clavamox 375g).

Would love to hear from anyone else who has been through something similar: were you successful in treating this? If so, how?

This much-loved dog (from a legit breeder; all other puppies healthy) has incurred over 20K in medical bills year one. We're at our wit's end. She already eats organic food (Innova) -- are there any vitamin recommendations?

(And I will definitely get my next dog from a shelter -- for various reasons we needed a known quantity this time).
posted by mozhet to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I assume in the course of spending 20K$ they did do what used to be called "culture and sensitivity". They grow it on a plate and throw everything against it to see if any of the antibiotics will kill it, just like it sounds. (I am assuming they did, and that you know perfectly well what it is and all about it, but do not wish to overlook anything. Also for historical purposes; someone else may not not be familiar and could use the information.)

Is there such a thing as a dog eye specialist, and if so has your veterinarian consulted one? They have some awfully specialized areas of medicine these days, even veterinary medicine.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:35 AM on September 27, 2008

Thanks -- unfortunately they cannot get to the abscess due to proximity to the brain, so were not able to grow a culture. Antibiotics are trial and error. She has been in and out of Angell Memorial and the care seems excellent. I'm hopeful someone here has or knows of a success story.

The $20K figure are all vet bills for year one, including two eye infections, one post spay infection (which took a month to beat), three UTIs, a cut paw -- and now this!
posted by mozhet at 8:44 AM on September 27, 2008

As a rule, abscesses have to be drained. Antibiotics don't penetrate into them.
posted by neuron at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2008

I hate to say it, but sometimes you have to call it quits. It can't be any fun for the poor dog
posted by A189Nut at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2008

I don't claim to know about dogs,but I do have a tendency to abcesses, and they have fed me enough antibiotics where I pee grass will never grow again, and it didn't do diddly, so neuron probably has a point. Mine never went away until somebody left a 3" scar where it used to be. I have a couple of those.
Dammit. I sure feel sorry for the dog, though. Sorry there doesn't seem to be a good answer. I didn't think about it being too close to the brain to do the test.
Looking at the history, I'm wondering if this poor dog has some kind of immune system problem, maybe congenitally because she is so young to have so many problems. Has the vet got a comment on that?
Please stay in touch. I am worried about the dog and would appreciate knowing how it goes for her.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 4:54 PM on September 27, 2008

Thanks so much. We will keep trying with the antibiotics and the painkillers. Angell says giving antibiotics alone *sometimes* works, and they have made a hole in the back of her mouth for the abscess to drain if it is so inclined. It's a longshot, for sure.

We're not sure whether it's an immune system problem, and apparently it's hard for the vet to know. We will see how this next course goes and the options made available to us. I agree that this may be the one we call it quits on -- we love her a ton, and can't bear for her to suffer. I want to A) do the right thing by our sweet dog B) not break my son's heart and C) continue to pay my mortgage.

Will update when we know more -- thank you.
posted by mozhet at 10:17 AM on September 28, 2008

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