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Lumps in Ears

Justcat
February 17th, 2011, 03:46 AM
My little Yorkie has developed multiple lumps on the inside of each of his ear flaps. I had taken him to my vet, who had never seen such a condition. She took samples of the fluid in one of the lumps and sent it away for testing. The results suggested a chronic infection and Maddy was then put on antibiotics for about a week. The problem did not clear up, and now there appears to be even more lumps. He isn't irritated by them. It's more my problem than his. As well, I've just come back from vacation and he has "the sniffles". Apparently, his breathing has sounded "wet" for the last couple of weeks. Could the two conditions be related? Any suggestions on what I should do?

Dr Lee
February 17th, 2011, 09:34 AM
I do not know if the respiratory and ear symptoms are related. Probably not. Anytime breathing truly sounds "wet", it is very important to have his lungs ausculted by a vet asap! If there is water on the lungs, this is serious.

With regard to the ear:

If the lumps on the inner ear flap are solely from an infection, then antibiotics should be used for a prolonged period of time. If a culture can be done to establish which antibioitcs the bacteria is most sensitive to, then this is ideal. Either way, a course of 4-6 weeks of antibiotics should be a minimum. The reason for this is that if "lumps" are created from infection, then this is proliferative inflammatory tissue. When you have proliferative tissue, it will take much longer for antibiotics to resolve. If after 3-4 weeks, there is improvement, then the antibiotics should be continued out for approximately two weeks after complete resolution of signs - be that at 6 weeks or 4 months, etc.

If the lumps are not improving/enlarging/spreading or the veterinarian is not convinced that it is only infection, then a biopsy should be submitted along with a culture.

Do you have pictures btw?

I hope that this helps. :pawprint:

Justcat
February 17th, 2011, 10:27 PM
Hello Dr. Lee,

Thank you so much for your reply. I don't think Maddy's wet breathing is coming from his lungs. It sounds more like it's in his nose...like he's got mucus blocking his nostril. Upon looking closer, I see he's got a couple of these strange lumps now growing beside his nose. I've taken some photos showing some of the lumps in both ears and alongside his nose. They are quite firm to the touch, feeling more solid than fluid filled, and are of various sizes. Not only are they directly inside the flaps, they also run along the outer edges of each ear. Right now, each ear has about 5 or so of these lumps.

I thank you for looking at these photos and giving me your opinion.

Regards,

C.

Dr Lee
February 18th, 2011, 02:50 AM
Thank you for the pictures. I would recommend biopsy +/- culture. This would be most helpful. Based upon those pictures, I think this will be the best method to understand what is going on. :pawprint:

Justcat
February 18th, 2011, 06:17 AM
Ok. Thanks for your advice. Are you willing to suggest what may be wrong with him? I'd just like to have an idea of what I may be dealing with.

Dr Lee
February 19th, 2011, 11:06 PM
Unfortunately it is very difficult to guess here. I would say that my differentials include primary inappropriate tissue growth or infection. The first would include autoimmune reaction, response to foreign material, cancerous or non-cancerous tissue growth. Infectious causes would mainly include bacterial or fungal causes. I am sorry this is so broad but many times when a tissue like skin reacts, its response may be non-specific. A biopsy should be able to differentiate these.

Justcat
February 20th, 2011, 08:21 AM
Ok. Thanks for your responses. I've got an appointment for Maddy to see the vet on Wednesday. Hopefully his treatment will be simple and effective.

hazelrunpack
February 20th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Good luck with the vet appt, Justcat! I hope Maddy is good as new in new time! :goodvibes:

Justcat
February 23rd, 2011, 05:46 AM
Thanks for your good wishes. I took him in yesterday and he's having a biopsy done this morning.

Melinda
February 23rd, 2011, 07:40 AM
well lets keep our fingers crossed.

hazelrunpack
February 23rd, 2011, 04:31 PM
Keep us posted, please! :goodvibes:

kathryn
February 23rd, 2011, 09:32 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histiocytoma_(dog)
http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesconditionsfaqs/f/FAQ_histiocytom.htm

^ my guess

Justcat
February 25th, 2011, 06:38 AM
Thanks for the links, Kathryn. I took a look at them but the photo showing the lump is quite different from the lumps in Maddy's ears. His are more under the skin than on top like the one in the link. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed though that this is the problem. I should hear something on either Monday or Tuesday.

Justcat
March 8th, 2011, 09:56 PM
Grrr. I've been phoning the vet each day and still nothing back. Today I forgot to call and then got home from work to find out the vet had called and I was to call her back. I did, but she had decided to go home early and nobody at the clinic would give me the results of Maddy's biopsy - just said that he needs to be medicated and to call back tomorrow.

hazelrunpack
March 8th, 2011, 11:08 PM
I hope it's nothing too serious. :fingerscr Bummer having to wait till tomorrow, though. :(

Justcat
March 9th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Finally! And it's relatively good news. Turns out Maddy has an autoimmune syndrome which has kicked his immune system into overdrive. He's going to be put on a high dose of steroids for a couple of weeks, until we see results, and then he'll be weaned off - hopefully completely. The vet believes his nose problems are related as there are probably similar lumps growing in his nose. Apparently I'll start seeing results within a week, which I'm grateful for, considering the trouble Maddy is having with his breathing. Phew!

hazelrunpack
March 9th, 2011, 07:29 PM
Whew! Glad you got some relatively good news!!! Best of luck with the treatment! :goodvibes:

I hope, once things are more settled and Maddy is on the mend, we can get some pics of more than his ears. :o We're kinda hooked on pics here... :D

Justcat
March 9th, 2011, 10:05 PM
Hey, I'm happy to oblige. Here's a photo of both my boys, Diesel and Maddy. As you can see, Maddy's not a particularly handsome yorkie, but he's got the most wonderful personality, which makes up for his looks. He melts everyone's heart and I'd be lost without him. Both the boys used to work as therapeutic dogs when I worked as a counsellor and Maddy, in particular, worked wonders with my clients. Diesel, on the other hand, is all boy and, believe it or not, he's absolutely wonderful at herding our llamas - better than the border collie! You may notice from the photos that Diesel quite enjoys having his photo taken and always strikes a poses, whereas Maddy is anything but photogenic and I have yet to get a good photo of him because he rarely stands still long enough to take the photo! Gotta love 'em.

hazelrunpack
March 10th, 2011, 08:04 PM
I disagree! BOTH your boys look pretty photogenic to me! :flirt: What a couple of handsome dudes!!!!

Justcat
March 10th, 2011, 09:52 PM
Thanks. I kinda like 'em. :)

Justcat
March 24th, 2011, 07:48 AM
I'm happy to say that Maddy is doing wonderfully. He's been on steroids for the last couple of weeks and all the lumps are gone from his ears. He's actually holding them up again (didn't realize how long its been since I've seen him with "perky ears"). He's still sniffling a little bit, which would suggest he's still got some lumps up his nose, but he's no longer having to gulp air, which is a relief to his mom. As soon as the sniffling stops he's begin weaning down the steroids. Hopefully it will result in a complete recovery.

hazelrunpack
March 24th, 2011, 10:28 PM
:highfive: Good news, Justcat!! :D I hope you can wean him off the steroids soon! :fingerscr

Justcat
April 9th, 2011, 09:02 AM
Not quite so wonderful. Yes, Maddy has done really well since getting on the steroids, but his breathing is still causing problems. Right now, we're weaning him off the steroids and we've added a strong antibiotic to try and deal with whatever is going on in his nose. Just started the treatment yesterday (he's to be on it for 2 weeks to start) and hopefully we'll see improvement in about a week. He's starting to get back out in public now that the steroids are being cut back, and he's thrilled to be able to get out for walks now that the weather has improved. Considering how wet and mucky it is, all I'm waiting for is next weekend when both the boys are going in to get their winter coats cut off! Nothing worse than taking them out for a walk and then having to carry them directly to the bath to get all the sand and muck washed off.

Shaykeija
April 9th, 2011, 10:06 AM
Awwe the poot little fart. :sorry:he is not yet 100% better.

hazelrunpack
April 9th, 2011, 08:31 PM
Sorry to hear that his breathing hasn't gotten better :( Sounds like he's in good spirits though. I know our crew always feels more cheerful when they've had a chance to get out and get mucky. :D

I hope the new meds do the trick for his nose! :fingerscr

Justcat
April 22nd, 2011, 08:13 AM
Well, Maddy is almost done his steroids. He's only go a couple more days of treatment and then he's done. I'm happy to say all the lumps in his ears are gone, but his breathing hasn't improved. We've just finished up 2 weeks of antibiotics to see if that would make a difference, but, again, no improvement. Right now, we're trying benadryl for a few days to see if that has any effect (doesn't seem to be). The next possibilities are a CAT scan and having a probe put into his nose (via his mouth) to see what's up there. It would mean taking him to the vet college to have it done, and my guess is it'll cost a small fortune. Has anyone had either of these done and know anything about the cost? I admit, I'm not sold on the idea of continuing to have Maddy be a lab experiment. I love him dearly, but can't stand the idea of stressing him out with all this poking and prodding. At this point, I don't think his prognosis is going to be good and would prefer to keep him happy and comfortable rather than keep mucking around with him.

hazelrunpack
April 22nd, 2011, 12:27 PM
I'm sorry Maddy's breathing isn't getting any better. :(

Vet colleges can be pricey but we've always had good luck with getting diagnoses from the vets there. They see so many cases that often they can diagnose with minimal testing. And before they do anything they should give you a written estimate of cost.

Sending along some :goodvibes: for Maddy! And whatever you decide is in Maddy's best interest, please keep us posted! :grouphug: