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Discussion Starter #1
I posted several months back about bumps on Rizzo’s ears, she has seen 4 vets for this and they can’t seem to figure out what is going on. Up to now we have treated using antibiotics, topical steroid, vetericyn, neosporin, empsom salts and a all natural salve used for sebaceous cysts, staph, acne and mild abrasions. Two weeks ago she had a pretty bad bout of diarrhea and got a steroid and antibiotic injection (seemed to help but still there). The vet that treated her for diarrhea is convinced there’s sutures in them but I told him they didn’t suture the top, he was supposed to get in touch with someone who does cropping and get back to me but he never did. I’ve emailed my breeder, waiting on a response but at this point I’m out of ideas on what to do...any suggestions?

79D7B1F5-7BCF-4B03-A17D-56F8FB1CE857 by Corinna Morris, on Flickr

67750A0B-1BF8-4C36-AEBA-0D077C5E9B3A by Corinna Morris, on Flickr



66309BC0-BEB8-429A-ABF0-A402EFAA6683 by Corinna Morris, on Flickr.kr/p/29CFmiZ]414C4CD7-2FCD-43E2-90EA-788616BDCEC2[/url] by Corinna Morris, on Flickr
 

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Control Freak,

Are you serious? They don't suture the top? I've had Dobes since 1959 and all of them were cropped and all of the ears were sutures along the back side of the ear where part of the pinnae was removed as well as at the base where a "V" section was removed to give a clean look (front to back on a cropped dog).

My dogs have been cropped by some of the best croppers of Dobes in this country. So over time I've seen a lot of cropped ears on my puppies and other peoples puppies when I was helping new comers to cropped ears learn to post their puppies. And that's just Dobes--I've seen a whole lot of crops in Boxers, Giant Schnauzers and Great Danes as well.

And if I saw bumps like the ones in the pictures I'd agree with the vet who said it was from a retained suture. But I'd modify that a little. Some suture material is kind of fiberous and even a fiber left in an ear edge can form a lump like that.

Did the vet who cropped your puppy real not suture the ear edge?

The way the ear is sutured varies from cropper to cropper--the one I've seen most often that ends up with bumps like that show up when the vet puts in a whole lot of tiny little sutures. For some reason those seem to be the ears that form bumps. I've had a couple of puppies who ended up with bumps and the one with the most (and worst) bumps ultimately ended up at the point where the bumps were very big and you could squeeze them and a whole bunch of "goop" would come out but when the healed up the bump was gone and never returned.

A puppy I worked on (who had a million tiny sutures on the ear edge) ended up taking my recommendation to go back to the cropping vet and have him surgically open each of the bumps--she did and the vet pulled out five bits of suture material from the ones he opened. After that they healed clean--no more bumps.

If the bumps were small I just left them alone. If they were big and unsightly I'd either pop them or take them in to my (non-cropping) vet and have him explore the bump--there was almost always something (not necessarily suture material--one time it looked very much like a shred of cartilage) in the bump and once the area rehealed --no more bump.

If what you mean by "don't suture the top..." was the very tip of the ear? Lots of croppers don't suture the last 1/4 or 3/8 inch of the ear tip but it looks like you've got bumps mostly lower than that?

So I'm kind of confused...

Can you clarify a bit?
 

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These looks like scar tissue. Keloids I think? Especially at the very tip, when posting did his ears get irritated at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So to clarify, they were sutured using a continuous stitch from the base of the ear until about a half inch from the top, I would say maybe right up to the area near the largest bump on the inside but not at the very tip where they most irritatiting bumps are. The large bumps at the bottom never really seem to change, they don’t open or leak and liquid. The bumps at the top will fill with fluid and open and leak. At first the vet thought it was caused by dirt or derby from removing the suture but then she started getting bumps closer to the tip of the ear. The vet cleaned them out and they just came back. The ears were nice and healed with no irritation from posting and then toward the end of posting they showed up out of no where. I only posted a couple times after they showed up.

My breeder emailed her vet and she emailed me, she said she thinks they aren’t healed and something is irritating them, asked a few questions for clarification. I’m waiting for a response now.
 

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While you are waiting you might try a small dab of organic coconut oil massaged in several times a day will, at a minimum, soothe and protect from spreading infection, if that is the culprit. It is also proven to reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin biome, which has likely been upset from medications.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/320227-how-to-use-coconut-oil-for-infection/

Our vet clinic did cropping for Danes and Boxers from several states for many years. I’ve seen suture reactions like that but not confined to just one area - usually, a dog whose body reacts to the sutures, the reaction is along the entire sutured ear edge.

Are any of the bumps NOT on the edge? Away from the suture area? How many total bumps? Has any vet taken a culture? That would be my next immediate step. You probably want a specialty dermatologist at this point. Most general vets fall out on solutions after all the standard stuff has been tried.

Note that steroids, topical or internal, are going to simply mask an underlying issue at this point!! Find out what the problem is, first. Which leads you back to a specialist. Good luck and please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
While you are waiting you might try a small dab of organic coconut oil massaged in several times a day will, at a minimum, soothe and protect from spreading infection, if that is the culprit. It is also proven to reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin biome, which has likely been upset from medications.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/320227-how-to-use-coconut-oil-for-infection/

Our vet clinic did cropping for Danes and Boxers from several states for many years. I’ve seen suture reactions like that but not confined to just one area - usually, a dog whose body reacts to the sutures, the reaction is along the entire sutured ear edge.

Are any of the bumps NOT on the edge? Away from the suture area? How many total bumps? Has any vet taken a culture? That would be my next immediate step. You probably want a specialty dermatologist at this point. Most general vets fall out on solutions after all the standard stuff has been tried.

Note that steroids, topical or internal, are going to simply mask an underlying issue at this point!! Find out what the problem is, first. Which leads you back to a specialist. Good luck and please keep us posted.

I spoke with the cropping vet (very well known and widely used in my area) she confirmed that there were not any sutures in the affected areas of the ears, All of the bumps are near the edge of the ear and there are no bumps on her ears where there were actually sutures. She recommended leaving them alone for a few days and then getting a culture, to be followed by a long course of antibiotics. Said she has only seen something like this one other time in an adult dog that ended up having an uncommon bacterial infection.
 

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While you are waiting you might try a small dab of organic coconut oil massaged in several times a day will, at a minimum, soothe and protect from spreading infection, if that is the culprit. It is also proven to reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin biome, which has likely been upset from medications.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/320227-how-to-use-coconut-oil-for-infection/
Having read the rest of the responses including the one from the breeder regarding the problem I think I wouldn't even use coconut oil--it would probably be harmless but where a cause is unknown you are probably better off leaving it along and following the recommendation by the vet who did the crop.

Our vet clinic did cropping for Danes and Boxers from several states for many years. I’ve seen suture reactions like that but not confined to just one area - usually, a dog whose body reacts to the sutures, the reaction is along the entire sutured ear edge.
I very much agree here--I've seen enough suture reactions to say that this doesn't really appear to be one. And the suture material most commonly used when cropping (that continuous loop suture is a type the a number of the croppers I know use) is one that rarely causes suture reaction.

Are any of the bumps NOT on the edge? Away from the suture area? How many total bumps? Has any vet taken a culture? That would be my next immediate step. You probably want a specialty dermatologist at this point. Most general vets fall out on solutions after all the standard stuff has been tried.
I'd probably be taking a dog of mine to a local dermatologist--they can do the culture and sensitivity if none of the vets you've seen so far has thought to do that.

Note that steroids, topical or internal, are going to simply mask an underlying issue at this point!! Find out what the problem is, first. Which leads you back to a specialist. Good luck and please keep us posted.
Steroids, topical or internal not only just mask symptoms they can actually delay healing and cause tissue deterioration (the topicals).

Good luck with this--and please do keep us posted on the treatment and the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@dobebug

I completely agree with everything you posted. The cropping vet wants me to not put anything on them and wait at least a few days so that there is not interference with the C&S.

It’s definitely not suture reaction.

I’m going to call my regular vet tomorrow to inquire about a C&S, but if they can’t help me I have a few other options. I live close to MSU and I know they have dermatology there because I’ve used them in the past, not with any success but it was an extremely rare case. Also, my last vet specializes in allergies and skin issues, but I left him after almost 10 years on not the best terms....long story short I wasn’t happy with the level of basic veterinary care he was providing anymore but he is a great specialist and I wouldn’t hesitate to call him if necessary to get her better.

I’m hesitant to give her oral steroids because I lost my girl Athena to a GI bleed from high does steroids to treat meningitis. I was hopeful of the product from natural dog company because it had phenomenal reviews but it seemed to cause her more irritation.

It’s just so frustrating because no one can seem to figure it out, hopefully we’re on the right path and we can get her ears looking normal. The only positive is that her ears stood so early on, I didn’t have to worry about choosing to post or not post...although I probably would have posted awhile longer to get them straighter had she not had this issue.
 

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If I lived close to a vet school especially one with the good reputation of MSU I be there as the first choice in a heart beat.

Lots' luck with this--it's these bizarre things that'll drive you crazy--nevertheless please do keep us posted and I'll think good thoughts and keep my fingers crossed in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I lived close to a vet school especially one with the good reputation of MSU I be there as the first choice in a heart beat.

Lots' luck with this--it's these bizarre things that'll drive you crazy--nevertheless please do keep us posted and I'll think good thoughts and keep my fingers crossed in the meantime.
MSU is a great school, I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth with the dermatology department though....took a cat in and spent 3000$ to see a student, tested him for everything u dear the sun except for food allergies and it all came back negative. They treated him for everything they tested for except for an autoimmune (biopsy came back negative), plus a food trial. He got worse.....that’s how I ended up at the vet I was at for years. He did a good allergy panel, poor boy was allergic to everything and treated him for pemphigous complex, within three days he was almost completely better. The food MSU was having me make for him he ended up being highly allergic to. Poor boy had open oozing sores on more than 50% of his body until we figured out what was wrong with him. I was at the point where I thought he needed to be put down because he was suffering so much, I had tried everything and taken him to the best vets and he just wasn’t getting better. My Doberman breeder recommended the specialist to me and I made up my mind that if he couldn’t figure out I was going to end his suffering. Thankfully, he figured it out right away and my boy is a happy fat 22lb kitty cat. A friend of mine has a GSD with awful skin issues and she did the same thing ran her to vet after vet, spent thousands at MSU, and then they prescribed injections that were over a thousand dollars a month and it just barely helped her. She finally took her to my old vet and same thing, figured out what was going on right away and with an inexpensive medication she is all better.

I guess my point is MSU’s reputation can only carry them so far....
 

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MSU is a great school, I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth with the dermatology department though....took a cat in and spent 3000$ to see a student, tested him for everything u dear the sun except for food allergies and it all came back negative. They treated him for everything they tested for except for an autoimmune (biopsy came back negative), plus a food trial. He got worse.....that’s how I ended up at the vet I was at for years. He did a good allergy panel, poor boy was allergic to everything and treated him for pemphigous complex, within three days he was almost completely better. The food MSU was having me make for him he ended up being highly allergic to. Poor boy had open oozing sores on more than 50% of his body until we figured out what was wrong with him. I was at the point where I thought he needed to be put down because he was suffering so much, I had tried everything and taken him to the best vets and he just wasn’t getting better. My Doberman breeder recommended the specialist to me and I made up my mind that if he couldn’t figure out I was going to end his suffering. Thankfully, he figured it out right away and my boy is a happy fat 22lb kitty cat. A friend of mine has a GSD with awful skin issues and she did the same thing ran her to vet after vet, spent thousands at MSU, and then they prescribed injections that were over a thousand dollars a month and it just barely helped her. She finally took her to my old vet and same thing, figured out what was going on right away and with an inexpensive medication she is all better.

I guess my point is MSU’s reputation can only carry them so far....
I guess. You have my sympathy when it comes to dermatology and allergy issues. I actually have a cat who is now 16 but who wasn't going to make to his third birthday--he developed what turned out to be an allergy to food (essentially that was it--we didn't do all the testing because my general practice vet--a jewel--decided before we did that we'd try him on a totally hydrolized food.)

It worked and he's eaten Royal Canin Hydrolized Protein now for years and when Purina started making a fully hydrolized food we now feed him a mixture of the two.

Poor guy--everything else gave him blowout diarrhea and mostly he vomited up what he'd eaten within a couple of hours of eating.

But sounds like your vet/dermatologist has the right training and is good at what he does.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I had a lengthy conversation with my vet about the recommendation of the croppping vet.

My vet said that he could do a culture but he is concerned that there won’t be large enough sample to get an accurate result and his opinion is that it isn’t an infection but rather calcinosis circumscripta. Basically calcium deposits that were a result of the healing process. He wants to take a biopsy of one of the masses and send a masserated tissue sample to the lab, which would tell us if it is bacteria or calcinosis circumscripta or both. A culture alone wouldn’t show the CC. He said that he wouldn’t be actually taking any ear tissue but can not say for certain that there wouldn’t be any adverse side effects....keloid, ear not standing anymore etc.

If it comes back as CC the only option would be to remove the affected tissue (recrop) and then treat with plasma to hopefully prevent it from reoccurring. She has a long show crop so there is enough ear leather available to recrop but I am concerned that it would come back and then we’d be in the same boat with smaller ears and he isn’t a cropping vet so what would they look like when he’s done.

Obviously I want what is best for her, but I’m not really sure what to do....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Small update

We left Rizzo’s ears alone over the weekend, didn’t put anything on them and no touching. They seem to be doing a little better, the bumps on the bottom are a little smaller and look like they are drying up, some of the bumps at the top have scabbed over and also seem to be drying up a bit. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or from leaving them alone. So with that being said, i am going to let them be for a little while and see what happens on their own. If they don’t get better I’m going to have the vet do a C&S, first and see if we can get answers before doing a biopsy. I’d rather err on the conservative side and see if that helps before allowing them to cut into her ear for a biopsy.
 

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........... Two weeks ago she had a pretty bad bout of diarrhea and got a steroid and antibiotic injection (seemed to help but still there). The vet that treated her for diarrhea is convinced there’s sutures in them but I told him they didn’t suture the top, he was supposed to get in touch with someone who does cropping and get back to me but he never did. I’ve emailed my breeder, waiting on a response but at this point I’m out of ideas on what to do...any suggestions?
Read my post #3 / re on-going diarrhea diet fix.

https://www.dobermantalk.com/food-feeding/304033-liver-levels-raw-food.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Interesting information, thanks for sharing!

Rizzo’s diarrhea was actually caused by a bacterial overgrowth, hubby gave her a pig snout that had been in the cupboard for god knows how long....I didn’t even know they were in there! She cleared right up after treatment, thank god!

Also, Rizzo can’t eat a fish diet or she gets infected anal glands. Actually left my long term vet over this because he refused to believe that a 12 week old puppy could have infected anal glands, especially when she never had any diarrhea. But good information nonetheless.
 
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