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Avatar universal

ear infection

Hello Doctor,

I recently aquired a basset hound from a rescue organization. She is 5 years old. She is wonderful!!  So sweet and loving.  She has been the perfect addition to our family.  My question is regarding her vet check up.  The vet diagnosed an ear infection and recommended a bacterial gram stain. I was surprised that she refused to treat the ear infection unless the gram stain was performed.  When a human has an ear infection the doctor seldom does a culture. Perhaps the diagnosis of an ear infection is more complicated when treating a dog?  Do you beleive the gram stain was imperative in treating an ear infection?

She also recommended the aspiration of a lump I had noticed.  My other dog, a 12 year old German Shepard, recently had surgery for mammary cancer by a different vet who believed that an aspiration biopsy was not accurate in this case.  In doing research on mammary cancer I found many sites that felt this type of biopsy was quite inaccurate.  The lump is fairly small and moveable, does not appear to be attached to any underlying muscle or organ.  I am somewhat confused as to what to do. In your opinion would you recommend the aspiration biopsy?  
2 Responses
234713 tn?1283530259
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Basset Hounds are notorious for ear infections, many of which are due to the anatomy of their ear and to skin allergies.

Human ears are very different from dog ears.  Dogs do have many different kinds of highly purulent infections of the ears, all with different treatment protocols.  So the additional test is warranted.  

The fine needle aspirate is a good screening tool, but it is just the initial step in the diagnostic process.  It is relatively less invasive than a surgical biopsy and if performed properly can give good results.  If a mass is located in mammary tissue in an unspayed female dog, most veterinarians would not waste time on a fine needle aspirate, but go directly to surgical excisional biopsy, thus removing the mass totally, and biopsying the tissue.  

Aspiration of benign appearing masses is helpful, and sometimes diagnostic, but excisional biopsy is the most helpful and can be curative.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your prompt answer to my questions.  I understand better the reasoning behind the tests that were recommended.  
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