Warning: somewhat bloody pictures ahead.
Poor Bella. I told her all we were doing was going to talk to the vet. Just a quick talk, a looking-over, a small bill to pay, and we'd be done. I was wrong, darn it.
Bella has had this swollen gland under her jaw for about 3 weeks now, maybe a month. I wasn't very worried about it, figured it would go away on its own, but then it didn't. And her skin condition has been getting better with the Fungasol but only very slowly. She's supposed to go to the trainer soon. So I figured I'd haul her to the vet. $35 for the exam and maybe some more for meds of some sort, but it would be fairly painless. Wrong.
The skin issue was fairly straighforward. He thinks it's some kind of contact dermatitis (I'm not sure I agree) and he prescribed steroids. I am very much looking forward to seeing those annoying bumps disappear. But the swollen gland wasn't a swollen gland.
He took her inside to check it out, and whoops - I've never clipped her before. It was too scary for her so he sedated her, clipped her, and we led her into the stocks. He stuck a needle in there and quickly filled the syringe with pus, which meant it's an abscess. Great. Here I'm thinking about Tonka's bad cheat grass abscess from a couple years back that cost hundreds of dollars to treat, with injections twice a day. This is a different vet, with a different approach, and probably a different and less dangerous bacteria. He cut her open and then took out a chunk of skin to make sure it stays open and drains. That's it! No antibiotics, no injections, no hot compresses or flushing. All I have to do is keep flies off, and I still have a spray for that from when Scout was gelded. Nice.
She wore a bandage home to contain the blood a bit. I don't think it helped much.
In other news, I'm allergic to the sun. I've had this happen before but it's been a few years since it was this bad. I looked it up and it's called "polymorphic light eruption." What a lovely name. What it means is I itch so bad I even wake up scratching in the middle of the night, and I have an unappealing rash all over my arms and my collarbone. (TMI, I'm sure.) And I need to stay out of the sun. So tomorrow on our trail ride I'll be wearing a long-sleeved shirt and lots of sunscreen. And I'm trying to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Not easy, this time of year.