The Strange Incident of a Dog in the Day and his Nose

04/06/2010 - 14:46


Happened 2 days ago.....around mid-day and involved.....what ???? Dylano the dog spent morning as usual, nothing different usual routine.  Walk (on lead) first thing, breakfast followed by digestive biscuit, then a short kip on own rug on portico followed by a check on security (stock fence) for signs of intruders or errant cats....   Owners busy doing what they do.... Around mid-day Dylano the dog appears with red raw area just above nose area (the black wet bit).  As the day progresses this saw spot shows signs of approx 10 or more small blisters....examined under strong magnifying glass. Could it have been caused by a) hedgehog                                                 b) snake                                                 c) Irritant plant                                                 d) toad                                                 e) or any other mystery plant or animal ??? Should point out he is normally a bit of a wosser and usually lets you know if attack has taken place but not a peep this time....and his general spirits remain as exuberant as ever (just enjoyed nice bone). Appreciate any suggestions as to cause and possible in lotions and potions.... 

Last week Harry wandered in with what looked like a dirty nose.  Assumed digging again and went to rub off offending mass to discover that it was actually skin.  Over the last few days we have veered from thinking stuck nose under fence, something scratched him, to now believeing something actually bit his nose.  At no point has he made fuss and now that red "scratches" are turning to white you can clearly see several scrape paths right on the end of his nose, some quite deep.  This happened within our "garden" which is all completely fenced, though 3/4 acre.  Part of garden is very wild and on slope and we thought maybe badger as we have seen badger cubs on the road previously.  Sorry to be no help on solving what it was for sure, but hopefully to reassure no ill effect!  As with Dylano, Harry is exhuberant as ever.

Not quite the same thing but my little Simi [half Yorkie] had a swollen cheek with eye almost closed all day yesterday.  She is never outside without me and we are in the middle of the city.  Today the swelling had gone down considerably but I took her to the vet anyway.  He suggested a bee had stung her but I would have seen it.  He gave us a prescription for two lots of medication and said she will be fine. Down here in Sicily a lot of humans are complaining about "the worst year for seasonal allergies" too but they don't say to what! Anything that can affect us can affect our dogs so I'm wondering...  Oh, nearly forgot to say Simi's spirits were unaffected too.

I wonder if you have pine trees surrounding you?. This is the time of year that the pine tree caterpillars emerge from their winter nests high in the trees, and in procession march down the tree and across the land to burrow into the soil, to emerge later as moths and start the whole process over again. The nests look like large cobweb type structures and hold up to 300 caterpillars, the barbs of the caterpillars are extremly toxic, and can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets, they are especially dangerous for smaller animals especially if they are ingested. We had our nest removed last week by a local builder with his cherry picker as we were very worried about our 4 cats. Something to be aware of for the future.

I had previously read that these caterpillars were harmful but didn't realise the process at this time of year.  We have no pine trees in our garden but will make sure we keep both our boys away from areas where they are growing.   As you know Jake prefers under tables!!  Harry is currently out chasing the farmer's tractor (big game - our side of fence) whilst he sets his sunflower seeds, so definitely no lowering of spirits there.  Off to vets this morning though for annual jabs and tick prevention drops, so probably not going to feel to great this afternoon.

Ummmmmm caterpillars.... Hi Angie, Karen and Patz, Many thanks for replies and thoughts on possible causes and eliminating others..... Forgot to say have a few 'teucrium' plants down the bottom of the 'fenced' garden, also have a number of mature oak trees whose fallen leaves have made a good 6" thick layer around these and other established shrubby plants.   Dylano the dog and his partner in crime 'Tom Cat' have been spending alot of time snuffling and diving into these plants ???? We only have 3 pencil pine trees - young and max 8' high....could the caterpillars have established residence  in these or are they too small and young....unsure.  Will inspect garden for nests - cobweb like strustures and try clearing leaves away from under and around the 'interesting' plants and shrubs. The nose seems to scab over nicely until he has a scratch or a rub and then it bleeds...have put tea-tree cream on but he likes the taste of that too !!!!  Considering a beaker tied on snout but know it will stay on for a mere nano second...back to the drawing board....Many thanks anyway for thoughts and suggestions.

Took Harry to vet this morning for his annual injections, not because of nose which like Dylano's is healing nicely until he sticks it into something!  Vet immediately said Ferret bite was cause of Harry's scratches/gouges.  Hopefully he has learnt not to stick his nose in strange and interesting places, though I doubt it. 

Thanks, Angie and Robert.  There are loads of pine trees around here so these seem the likely culprits.  I'd never even heard of them before!  Poor Dylano - I wish I could think of a way to stop him scratching his nose!  Poor Harry, too!  Simi sends wags and woofs to them both!

In reply to by Patz

Not sure if Nose made 'subject box', but now Tom cat has bad nose...same initial diagnosis...same place but as yet no visable blisters...... What a 'to do' and what to do ????  Whatever, whoever is the culprit  hasn't gone away..... Have examined garden for possible sourses and raked tons of leaves up to expose possible cause to no avail.... Will continue investigating and report back...... PS Glad Harry's 'culprit' identified and hope Simi's face much better....