My Dog Has Drain Tracts And Wounds That Won’t Heal – Ace Health Update

Note: My dog Ace was very sick for about 8 months. My dog had multiple drain tracts, wounds and infections on his body that would not heal, but we finally found a way to help him.

First, let me say that today my senior mutt Ace is doing really well!

We think he’s feeling more energetic than he’s felt in over a year.

We finally figured out his health issues after working closely with a dermatologist since February.

Ace’s final diagnosis is panniculitis, which is a rare condition where a dog’s fatty tissue under the skin becomes inflamed, causing “nodules” that can break open and drain an oily, bloody liquid.

The cause is usually unknown.


More details, for those interested

It took several months and three specialists to finally diagnose Ace with panniculitis.

Because Ace originally had only a single wound and drain tract for several months, all the vets we worked with kept saying he most likely had a “foreign body” such as a foxtail.

The poor guy had surgery in December with our general veterinarian to remove the “foreign body” and needless to say, the surgery did not help. (I don’t blame our vet. He is a good vet.)

In February, we had a second surgery scheduled with a specialist because we were still thinking “foreign body” at that time. But literally hours before that surgery was scheduled, a second drain tract and wound burst open on another area of Ace’s body.

As awful as it was to see multiple wounds and drain tracts appearing on my dog (he would eventually have six), this is what led us to meet with a dermatologist instead of a surgeon.

Over the next few months, the dermatologists helped Ace get rid of multiple secondary infections that had developed, and then once those were under control we started him on an immunosuppressant medication called Atopica (cyclosporine) to finally treat the panniculitis.

This medication helped Ace feel better and heal almost immediately.

I’m thankful I still have my dog

I had truly reached my financial and emotional limits, and I had accepted that Ace was going to die from whatever disease was causing so many lesions on his body. I didn’t know what he had at the time; no one seemed to be able to help us.

And then … finally … he got better with the right medication.

Not only has Ace’s body healed, but his playfulness, goofiness and energy are back!

He’s still old and has arthritis, but he can walk 1.5 miles at a trot, play fetch, do tricks, joke around. His face is expressive again. He “laughs,” makes eye contact, follows me around, does all the things that a normal Ace would do.

It took us over 30 minutes to walk a half-mile in February. Today he trots a mile and a half in the same amount of time.

He must’ve been feeling so sick for such a long time. I didn’t quite realize how sick he actually was feeling. I thought a lot of it was just his age.

Ace and me

So thank you for all your positive thoughts in the last year. It really meant a lot to me to hear from so many dog lovers.

I know I’m lucky to have my old dog around for awhile yet.

Go and hug yours.

You can read about our issues in these posts if you’d like:

December “foreign body” diagnosis

January – I started losing hope here

February – Still no answers

27 thoughts on “My Dog Has Drain Tracts And Wounds That Won’t Heal – Ace Health Update”

  1. What a relief to have not only a name to put on the condition but also an effective treatment! So happy for you and Ace!

  2. Long time reader, first time commenter.. just wanted to say I’m so happy for you guys! Great to see Ace back to his old self again

  3. Lindsay, so glad your beautiful boy is feeling better and is feeling good enough he is back to his personality. It must have been so stressful and worrisome for both of you trying to find the crux of his problems! Love that his goofiness so back too! Enjoy every minute with him!

  4. I am so glad you finally found out what was wrong! I know how hard it is to see your loved one suffering and not knowing what to do. Great that it was a treatable condition.. Hope you and Ace have many more years together.

  5. Oh, I am so happy that Ace is doing better, and that you finally figured out what was happening and how to help him. It can be so difficult to figure some of these things out. Tell Ace Lambeau and I said we are glad he’s back to his old self!

  6. I’m so glad Ace is feeling better, and they you finally have an official diagnosis. It can be so stressful trying to figure out the whys of certain issues, and pets can make it especially difficult because they can’t speak. Again I’m so glad he’s doing better – I love seeing that smiling face of his.

  7. I am so thankful that you discovered what was going on with Ace and he has his health and spark back. I’m glad he didn’t have to go through that second surgery too. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how happy you must have been once you discovered what was wrong and he started acting like himself again. Give him a hug from me tonight!

  8. Sandy Weinstein

    i have never heard of this. i am so thankful that Ace is better and acting like a school kid again. may he live a long life. my oldest who is 15, has a little dementia, deaf now and almost blind. she also has some disc problems carried over when she developed vestibular yrs ago and hurt her back going in the tight circles. however, the past 2 yrs she has developed nodules on her head and other places but mostly on her head. the vet tested them, nothing came back. then most went away and now they are starting to show up again. the vet just cant figure out what they are and what is causing them. they are not soft but hard. mini schnauzer are prone to skin bumps as they get older, but they are soft not hard. evie also has a sarcoma on her toe, which she is having removed next week, they are doing a block so she wont have to go under anesthesia. if there is not enough tissue after removing the sarcoma they will have to remove the toe. she has been thru so much these past 2 yrs. i blame it all on the seresto collar. she was a perfectly healthy dog til i used that collar on her. she developed so many problems after using it. i wont go into great detail but beware of this collar. a lot of dogs have had major problems with it, some have had strokes, loss use of their hind legs, became lethargic, refused to eat, showed they had developed kidney disease, etc.

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