What are these strange, crusty bumps on my dogs ears?
March 3, 2013 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Our dog has a couple of raised, crusty bumps on the inside of one of his ears, near the tip. On the other ear, he has a patch of dry, crusty skin on the inside of his ear maybe a centimeter or so long. They don't seem to be bother him, but they're certainly not normal and haven't always been there. We went to the vet who ran some tests and gave us a topical antibiotic and steroid, which didn't make a difference. I'd like to have some idea of what they are and ideally, how we can help resolve them. Way more details and photos below.

Here's what the bumps look like (weirdly, it's easier to see on a smaller photo). You can see there's a couple of notches out of his ear as well, where hair fell out the same time the bumps appeared. Here's the crusty patch on his other ear. And here's just what he looks like generally.

So the bumps appeared back in late September or early October. He had a vet checkup anyway, so while there, our vet looked at him and said it seemed like outer ear dermatitis (or something very similar to that). He's got quite large ears and apparently dogs with very large ears sometimes have limited blood flow to the eartips, especially when the weather changes, which can cause the dermatitis. She said it should resolve itself in a month or so.

It didn't (didn't change really, worse or better). We went back, she took some hair for a fungal test and gave us "Fuciderm Gel" a topical antibiotic and steroid. She said to apply it for a week, which we did. Still no change, better or worse. She called us and said the fungal test came back negative and so we could try another week course of antibiotic cream. We did, still no change. And to obviously come back in if it seemed to be bothering him or got worse, which it hasn't on either account.

So it's been almost half a year and there isn't a change one way or the other. I would like to know what this is though and maybe some things we could try to get things back to normal. Obviously since it's not really bothering him, we wouldn't want to go for something drastic. But it's abnormal for sure and it's already put a couple little (maybe permanent) notches into his ears, we'd to avoid any more.

Any ideas that might help our furry guy would be appreciated, thanks!
posted by Nelsormensch to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Sarcoptic mange maybe?
posted by iamabot at 9:02 PM on March 3, 2013

Our dog had this, with the little notches and everything. We moisturized a few times, and the next time I remembered to look, she was right back to normal. I don't see anything now.
posted by supercres at 9:23 PM on March 3, 2013

Change his food , add meat .
posted by hortense at 11:00 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

My dog had that when I first adopted him! Went right away when I started feeding him raw meaty bones and pureed vegetables supplemented with salmon oil. It took less than a week, and along with it gone were the farts, eye gunk, smelly feet, excessive shedding and doggy odor. Some of the issues came right back while we were experimenting with different (grain free, "premium") kibble for convenience, unfortunately, so it's a trade-off - Orijen Regional Red seems to work mostly all right as well as Brothers Allergy, but I had to add raw egg or pureed pumpkin, which my dog loves, before he would eat the Brothers food.
posted by halogen at 11:46 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just went through working with three Vets and laboratory at a major University to determine what was causing bumps and open sores on my dog's nose. After about 4 months of useless treatment the final Vet suspected Canine Discoid Lupus and began treatment with Prednisone (oral, we had already used a steroid creme which had no effect) and Niacinimide. Within two weeks the dime sized open sore on her nose was pretty much gone.

This form of lupus can also effect the inside of the mouth and ears. Ours started out looking like crusty, then red bumps on her nose which eventually became open sores. It's not a common disease in dogs, but perhaps worth mentioning to your Vet.

Note: Dogs on Prednisone are a pain in the butt, they drink tons of water and have to urinate about every hour at night, you'll lose some sleep. It also made mine very lethargic....
posted by HuronBob at 3:21 AM on March 4, 2013

I think it's a type of mange. One of my family's dachshunds has it, and it is apparently pretty common. Try a different vet.
posted by catatethebird at 1:11 PM on March 4, 2013

I've been raising dogs since I was a pup myself, and have to agree with hortense and halogen. Many dogs seem to be more susceptible to a variety of skin and coat ailments if they don't have some occasional real meat protein and fat in their diets.

I don't go overboard or anything, just an occasional beef marrow bone so they can lick the marrow out and occasionally some meat trimmings from beef and chicken (cooked). A fried or scrambled egg is pretty darn good too. And like halogen mentions fish oil is great.

Lots of folks are very apprehensive about feeding their dogs "people food", but I think that is because of the potential behavior problems. Keep it in his dish and he should do very well with it.

Good luck and please give it a try!
posted by snsranch at 4:47 PM on March 4, 2013

Our dog had something similar on her ears when we rescued her, she got shiny spots, hair loss and the same crusty, flakey thing going on. It felt like our little yorkie's ears were just crumbling away. Our vet diagnosed it as ear margin vasculitis.

We treated the crusty parts by swabbing with peroxide and treating with a neosporin like goo called animax and she has been on a pill called pentoxifylline for over a year. The vet said it would be a long recovery. Her lesions and bald spots have completely disappeared. At one point, we stopped the medication because we were so confident the issue had been resolved and the bald spots came back again. She has not had any adverse reaction to the medication.

The vet said dogs can get vasculitis as a reaction to vaccines or medication.

Good luck with your pup, he looks very cute.
posted by dottiechang at 1:59 AM on March 5, 2013

« Older How much is too much sleep - for people who don't...   |   My dog is going after my cat and I don't know why.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.