I have a 12 year old female German Shepherd who has had the best of care, has had regular check ups at the vet over the years, the last trip cost us a lot of money and didn't do any thing to improve her....
My problem now is, she sometimes at night pees and I noticed yesterday she has some lumps on the earflap...this is like a cluster of pimples they are not fluid like, just hard cluster, should I be concerned or is this a sign of an aging dog...
Hi. I am sure someone more knowledgeable will reply to your questions shortly - they are a good lot on here and many have more experience and knowledge than me. It sounds like age-related issues to me, but I would also double-check for fleas (fleas often irritate a dog's ears as there is ample blood supply there). Check back often as there's sure to be other suggestion replies shortly. You say you have spent a fortune on a recent vet bill, what was that for and could this be a related problem? Tony
Thanks, for your comments, I really know it is not fleas because she is a housedog, has not been in contact with other dogs since early summer and there is snow on the ground where we live....this doesn't look like blood vessels tho, then maybe so, as one is now dark like it might be dried blood inside of it...the cause is what I am concerned about....
Many dogs develop lumps, bumps, cysts, pimples, Lipomas.....etc. Some from the word go, and some as a result of aging. Very very often these lesions are NOT cancer. Most times, they can be left alone, unless they get infected, or show signs of irritation.
However, as one of these "pimples" on her ear seems to be bleeding, or is crusted over maybe it does need to be seen by a vet -just to rule out the possibility of skin cancer. My bet is that it isn't....but who am I to say?
The only sure-fire way of knowing is to get them checked.....needle-biopsied....whatever is needed.
If by chance it DOES happen to be cancer, and in your vet's opinion it has not spread, then the cure will be removal of the ear flap.
That of course is the worst-case scenario. There are a multitude of other possibilities. One of them is infection of hair follicles. It may well be this.
12 is pretty "senior" for a German Shepherd. But the so-called "rules" about how long breeds of dogs live are not necessarily so. A dog whose breed life-span usually averages around 13-15 was in the newspaper in the UK recently because he had attained the grand old age of 24! (and is either the oldest dog in the world, or the runner-up!)
So if your girl is going on pretty well on average, she may have a few good years yet! Who knows?
Oh I'm sorry, I meant to mention the incontinence problem too, and forgot.
Have you noticed her drinking far more water than normal recently? Even if you haven't, it might be wise to get her kidney values tested (a blood test) If she has any elevated values, get her on a strict Renal diet, and medication the vet may recommend. If kidney issues are caught at an early stage, there is a lot of hope for great improvement.
If kidneys are all OK...then she may have what is called "spay incontinence" (this can happen to older, spayed females) There are medical options, but sometimes medication for this can cause side effects -though not always.
Another safe way of coping with this problem is "doggy diapers".
She wouldn't need to wear them outside, but could wear them in the house, if she "leaks" sometimes on furniture or carpets, or wets the bed. An incontinence sheet in her bed (maybe placed under a cotton sheet so she'll be comfortable) is a good option. All you'd need to do if she wets in her sleep is throw the cotton sheet in the washing machine and wipe the incontinence sheet with a damp cloth every day.
Those doggy diapers are pretty good. You can buy a permanent "pair of briefs" and then get disposable liners -different thicknesses depending on how much she leaks. A clever option is to buy the cheapest self adhesive sanitary towels from a store, and use them. They are much cheaper than the diaper liners!
Thanks for your comments, I know exactly what you are saying, she has had a few lumps and bumps before and except for one they have all disappeared in time....these are sort of down just where you can see it on her ear...It doesn't seem to be bothering her at all, if I see it is I will take her to the vet....She started to get really bad hips in August 2011, but I gave her medication...it is Glucosamine with Chondroitin this is a human kind without salfate amd MSI...there are no side effects and it has done her hips wonderful.....Again thanks ...I have been watching often for the answers here, to me and others they are quite helpful.....
I just saw your reply on the doggie diapers, I was unable to get any diapers to fit her here, but that didn't deter me of course, I went and bought the XL depends for adults and cut the tail hole out, works really well, I only need to wear them some nights, so I don't have to wear the all the time even at nights, so I went to a Trifty Store and bought Children PJs and cut the legs to fit her, and use a t-shirt pinned to the PJs and also the diaper and that way it doesn't come off.....she is doing well with that now...I think it is more a spayed issue as she didn't drink extra or have any day time problem with peeing......
I give my dog the Glucosamine and Chondrotin, maximum dosage for her weight. It has worked a treat with her! Mine has an old leg injury (her leg was broken once) which had just started giving some arthritic symptoms a couple of years ago now. But since the Glucosamine and Chondroitin she's been doing fine!
I like your inventiveness with the Diapers! If it does the trick -that's what counts!
Incontinence in aging spsayed females is not uncommon. By using the Depends you are doing about all you can do to help this situation unless you want to start medicating her for it. There is a new drug that has been introduced called Incurin that is used to treat estrogen-responsive incontinence in female dogs. When females are spayed they don't produce the estrogen necessary to keep muscle tone in the muscles that control the ability to hold back urine, resulting in incontinence. This drug increases that muscle tone. You can ask your vet about it and whether he feels your dog is a good candidate to prescribe it to.
The lumps in her ear could just be sebaceous cysts or they could be a cluster of hematomas. Does she scratch at her ears a lot? Scratching can damage the tender skin and tiny blood vessels in the ear and cause bleeding inside the ear pinna. If you can't think of any time recently when you might have seen her messing with her ears you might want to have a vet take a look at it just to be on the safe side due to her advanced age. I don't think it's anything to be considered an emergency but do get them looked at at your earliest convenience.
Thanks for your comments...No she doesn't scratch her ears, and I clean her ears regularly and there hasn't been anything there....last night when I went to give her a treat, with her ears up so large of course I noticed something in her ear and checked to find these lumppies....I have been watching her all day and she doesn't seem to be bothered by it at this point....Hopefully it will correct itself....I certainly be keeping an eye on it tho
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