On Monday morning, I noticed Zoe was fussing her right back paw, and I saw this.
Ever since her sarcoma, I’ve been checking Zoe’s paws on a regular basis. The surgery site appears to be healing, but the neighboring digit looks lumpy. Her foot pads have been cracked and mottled for several months, too. But, a week ago Thursday, I noticed a gooey layer on the largest pad of her back right paw. This was the result by Monday.
Her foot and forelock are also swollen, and she tucks the hip when she walks. I recalled this was the same leg she had pulled up when coming onto the deck two weeks ago. This is the same leg she stumbled on during our walk last week.
Concerned about cancer recurrence or a contagious infection, I made a vet appointment. The good news is that this is not cancer or an infection. We discussed the other possibility, which can only be definitively confirmed with a tissue biopsy. At Zoe’s surgery follow-up, I had pointed out another possible tumor and expressed I was leery of another sedation and surgery. Respecting my earlier assertion and erring on the side of optimism and caution, the vet started her on antibiotics and pain pills.
By Tuesday, the pustules were open and oozing. The foot pads on her other feet are showing precursors of what is going on with the right back paw. I observed more ulcers by Zoe’s mouth, under her chin, and inside her lip.
I called the vet back, and we discussed that other possibility. My husband and I decided to start her on a steroid treatment and hope for improvement.
The not-good-news is that it is most likely Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).