I am new here and found this site while researching my Dobes skin problem. I'm hoping someone here can help, as my vet has not been much help and I'm worried. Without being too long-winded, I'm going to try to be as thorough as possible.
My dobe is a 3 year old, spayed, black and tan female. Within the last 3 months has developed these "cysts" right below her skin. They are round with some density, as I would describe them as small (pea size) to medium (Golf ball size) masses. They protrude from her skin, but only about half way. Like half of the cyst is above skin and half below. When I first discovered them, I thought they were absesses from teeth punctures from her and her sister (mastif/shepard mix) playing. I've experienced absesses with my cats. On some of them, the hair has fallen off. They don't seem to bother her. I don't see her licking them at all. I press on them or pinch them and she does not even flinch. So, no pain or itching. Also, no puss or fluid of any kind. I've even tried squeezing them to see if they would pop. Nothing. They are pretty solid. To the touch, they feel like pressing on an orange.
So, I took her to my vet. They did two needle biopsies. The biopsies revealed inflammation with a small amount of bacteria. I asked my vet if they could be from little bite marks from the dogs playing and nipping (absesses). She did not think so as there are no visable puncture wounds. So, with no idea what was causing the spots, they put her on antibiotics- Clindamycin - for 14 days. They shrank a little but still there. So, next comes a round of prednisone for 15 days, stepping down. Did nothing. The prednisone just ended on this past Tuesday. She is now covered with these "cysts". They are worse than ever.
I called the vet and she said we would need to do a complete biopsy of one of them. That's fine, but I am not very financially sound right now as I just got back to work full time and the first rounds of exams and treatment put me back $400.00. I'm NOT wanting to make this about money, because it's not. I will have the biopsy done as I will do anything I need to do for her. Here's my issue: I don't think my vet is capable of a good diagnosis. Dobes are different. My last Dobe was a red and she got hot spots and I didn't follow my vet's advice and did it my way and the spots healed.
As for food, I feed her Nutro Natural choice lamb and rice, puppy, large breed. I just switched her from Eukanuba two weeks ago. I cannot remember how long I had been feeding her Eukanuba, but not long. Prior to that, I was feeding her Purina ProPlan as recommended by her breeder. I still feed her puppy formula because her sister is a year old, and her sister being a mastif/shepard mix. The vet said puppy formula would not hurt Barkley. I do split a can of wet dog food between the two dogs each night. I do this because I add probiotics (PB8), ground flaxseed and yucca. And for the puppy, a fiber additive as she has problems with her anal glands not expressing themselves. The wet food is whatever is on sale at the time. I know that is probably bad. I don't give much creedance to what kind of wet food because it is such a small percentage of their daily diet and i just need enough of it to mask the supplements.
The ONLY thing I can think of that coincides with the onset of these cysts is her heartworm and flea and tick meds. I had to change them because Novartis put a hold on production of the meds (Sentinel) I was giving her. So, I in Feb or March, I started both dogs on Iverheart and Pet Armour. I was actually somewhat pleased with the change because both meds give them way more protection then Sentinel, which is what i was giving before. Both dogs got their vaccines last November, so no reason to think it's a reaction to vaccines.
My gut tells me it's either the new flea/tick/heartworm meds or, allergies. But I really don't think it's an allergy to chicken as she has been eating chix breast meat her whole life. I had a 22 year old cat that I had to be fed chix breast, so of course, Barks got some chix as well.
I said this post would not be long. Sorry. I just wanted to be as thorough as possible. If anyone can think of anything, I would be so appreciative. If I'm doing something wrong, please tell me. I'm not easily offended. If you think I should switch foods again, I will. Supplements? Obviously, I'm open to those. Benadryl? Did that when she had her ears clipped to stop the itching from her sutures.
Thanks in advance!!