Bishop, our oldest dog … a gorgeous, shaggy Australian Shepherd … had a nasty infection in his foot. It had been there off and on for a long time. Mostly on, rarely off. I’d taken him to the vet several times and he’d had multiple rounds of high-powered oral antibiotics.


But the infection was back. Again. With a vengeance. The antibiotics knocked it down temporarily, but never knocked it out. As soon as the prescription finished, a few days would pass and the paw would be red, raw, swollen, and obviously painful.


I didn’t see the point in another trip to the vet or more antibiotics. The vet had no idea what was causing the infection or what would cure it.


I was feeling that particular kind of helplessness one feels when a pet is sick — and not getting better. When you’ve done everything you can think to do … and it isn’t working. Being me, I had to do something, however ineffectual or lame, so I slathered his paw with over-the-counter triple action antibiotic cream. The stuff I keep in the house for my own and Garry’s cuts and bruises.

Bishop Almost Christmas

The next day, the paw looked nearly perfect. Most of purple mottling and swelling was gone. I slathered the paw again that morning and a second time in the evening. The next day, there was no sign of infection. Unable to believe I had somehow cured an antibiotic-resistant infection with an over-the-counter remedy, I kept applying the cream to his paw for another few days. Then, when there was no sign of returning infection, I stopped. And waited.

When the frame is completely full, your picture is by definition in the middle!

Three weeks later, his paw looks normal. No limping. He will let me hold the paw and examine it without any sign of discomfort. He had that infection for more than a year. I despaired of curing him, yet in less than a week, it’s gone. My son wonders if maybe, that was all Bishop needed in the first place. Antibiotic cream applied directly to the infection site rather than oral antibiotics. Hard to argue, considering the outcome.

72-Bishop_08 q7

Talk about a Hail Mary pass, this was a classic. I did it because there was nothing else I could think of to do.  It worked. If it weren’t me, I wouldn’t believe it either.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets

cee's fun foto chall

Categories: Animals, cee's photo challenge, dogs, Health, Humor

Tags: , , , , ,

42 replies

  1. It sounds unbelievable but then all is well at the end . Bishop is feeling better and infection is gone.
    I am travelling to JOdhpur, Rajasthan, will be staying there for a week . Will try to be in touch and post a picture or two. Take care. Keep inspiring.


  2. OK about the foot infection but does Bishop realize that in the second photo that’s not his real right eye.., or did you not show him that shot? Maybe you could Photoshop a non- infected foot on as well… 🙂


  3. Sometimes the best solution is also the cheapest and easiest solution. Well done Dr Armstrong


  4. Yay for beautiful Bishop! And kudos to you, Marilyn–a ‘mom’ who never gives up! ❤ 🙂


  5. Great job. Sometimes the vets don’t see the forest for the trees I suppose.


    • I think they sometimes “over-think” the problem. I should have tried this much sooner, but when the vet prescribed the first run of antibiotics, I assumed he knew what he was doing. Apparently he was just guessing too.


  6. Gorgeous photo. The poor thing probably just had a cut or something stuck in it’s skin all this while. Smart thinking Marilyn. 😀


    • thanks Cee. Honestly, my thought was it couldn’t hurt and might help, so why not? It worked out a lot better than I imagined possible. Maybe he had a splinter or a thorn that started the whole problem, but he has a big, hard pad on his paws, so you can’t really see anything. I’m just glad it fixed the problem!


  7. Good job, Marilyn. I must confess to a certain affection for Bishop. I’m so glad you got him fixed up.


  8. Love good dawg tails (LOL!) like this. So happy the infection cleared up, even if it took awhile to figure it out. Antibiotic creams work wonders.


    • There was no visible infection site. No “wound” or sore. I think that’s why it took so long to figure out. It wasn’t like he had gotten cut and it had infected. It appeared to be internal … but I think it was original maybe a puncture that had healed over, but afterwards, infected. Whatever, it worked and I’m SO glad it did!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so happy for the positive results! Sometimes good old common sense goes a long way!


    • I’d like to take credit for that, but in truth, I didn’t expect it to accomplish anything. I was simply out of things to do, so I figured it was worth a try. I was right, but not because I knew what I was doing. I was clueless.


  10. The makers of this miracle cream could make a killing if they knew about this and could tout that their product works wonders on infected paws. Of course, the FDA would never let them legally advertise that without years and years of studies on real dogs with placebos… and then the lawyers would find some way the cream was actually harmful to obtain a billion dollar settlement for themselves… which would then cause the cream to cost $1,000 a tube…

    You know, sometime home remedies really are the best…


    • I’m sure you’ve noticed that identical products which have dog or kitty pix on them cost three or four times what the same product costs for a person. Like Glucosomine, which is the same stuff whether I take it, the dogs take it, or you give to your cat or horse. Identical product. But you can get the human version cheap and generic, but if it’s an official PET product … yup. Probably (at least) $20 a tube instead of $2.99. Because it costs THAT MUCH to put a dog or cat picture on the tube!!


  11. When all else fails….So happy for Bishop. Mom truly does know best. Good on ya’, Marilyn!


  12. Trouble with oral antibiotics – I think they blitz the whole system, without targeting the specific problem. Repeat courses then further reduce natural immunity. In fact I’m wondering if dogs’ systems might not respond very well to antibiotics at all. They’re designed to be scavengers after all. You did so well with the cream.


    • I’m pretty sure the vet thought it WAS something systemic. There was no visible sore, wound, or scab. No external sign. It was probably some kind of injury that had healed over, but was infected. Apparently the cream was absorbed through his skin and very quickly because this stuff did in one night what three runs of antibiotics taken orally for 10 days each could not do. It wasn’t that the infection was so rare, it was that it was really so simple. Crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s amazing and I am so glad it worked. I know you have been worried about him.


    • It was really worrying me. Foot infections can be fatal, eventually. Especially in horses, but also in large dogs. Bishop is much too big for us to carry, so if he can’t walk, we’re all in trouble. I’d like to claim that I knew what I was doing, but I really didn’t. It was luck. And apparently, the right ingredients.


      • I am kind of surprised the vet didn’t try something similar but the main thing is that he’s better, he looks a lovely old dog.


        • I’m surprised, too. He isn’t my vet and I don’t like him much. I think he was holding out for tests which would have been a huge waste of money. But I also blame myself for not trying the simple remedy first. If it had been a person — me, my husband, my son — I would have slathered it with antibiotic cream from the beginning and I don’t know why I didn’t listen to my own advice.


          • I guess you thought that you knew more about people medicine than animal medicine. Don’t blame yourself, you did cure him which is more than you can say for the vet. No other vet choices locally I suppose.


            • He’s part of the group as my vet, who I like very much. They are not all created equal. This guy is a know-it-all. I’m sure you know the type. The guy who makes a lot of assumptions because he knows everything. I’ve known a lot of doctors like that — and they make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes lethal ones.

              Liked by 1 person

  14. which would argue it was an external problem rather than in internal one. It would also argue that sometimes we know best without even knowing we do. Im also so glad that Bishop is better, truly.


    • To be fair to the vet, it didn’t look external. No lesion or visible cut, or abrasion … nothing external except the redness and puffiness. But I think he may have gotten some kind of thorn or other puncture in his foot at some point and the skin healed over, but infected the pad of the paw. What’s amazing is that the antibiotic ointment was so easily absorbed through his skin. And so FAST.


  15. Good job Dr. Armstrong!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Pets – WoollyMuses

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