I noticed over the weekend that Maisie had two little spots on her right ear that appeared to be missing fur. It didn't seem to be bothering her, so I didn't think much of it...figured maybe it was from rolling in the gravel at the dog park on Saturday. But yesterday I realized that the tiny bald patches were still there and it felt like there was a wee bump underneath each one. Plus Maisie flinched when I touched her ear (but she also flinched when I touched the other ear, though a bit less...she just doesn't like having her ears touched).
When my previous dog Kaya was about ten, she had something called vestibular syndrome, which in many ways mimics the appearance of a stroke. Initially, she couldn't walk and her head was tilted to one side (that had a residual effect and for the rest of her life, one ear remained up and the other down). To help her recover, I began taking her to Integrative Pet Care, a holistic wellness and rehabilitation center. Her treatment there kept a spring in her geriatric step even after her symptoms resolved, so we continued going.
Kaya was 12 when our IPC vet found a little bump on her side. It felt to me like a small pimple or something, but we aspirated it just to be safe. To my horror, the results came back positive...it was a mast cell tumor, a common type of canine skin cancer. We were incredibly lucky that it had been discovered in the earliest stage. Kaya had surgery and (although the recovery process was a bit more difficult because of her age) she went on to live another four years with me. The cancer never returned, thank G-d.
But what I went through with Kaya has made me uber-paranoid about any skin bumps on my dog, so I decided yesterday to take Maisie to the vet to get her ear checked out. He did a skin scrape to rule out mange mites and it was negative. In his opinion, it was either bug bites or an allergic reaction to something. $87 later (possibly the lowest vet bill I've ever paid), we were sent home. I was instructed to put Neosporin on the affected area twice a day, especially since it looked much more raw after the scraping (and as you can see here, it got kinda greasy from the ointment).
The vet also first said to give Maisie a Benadryl twice a day. When I explained that this would result in a fairly comatose dog 24/7, we compromised and decided to give her just one per day, at night. That means this is the dopey face I'll be seeing for at least the next several evenings:
But at least Maisie is OK, and it didn't cost a fortune to find that out either!
Hope everyone has a nice weekend, it's supposed to be HOT again here in Chicago...
If you have not yet "liked" our Facebook page, please do! I update it frequently with new Maisie pics not included on the blog and currently, I'm asking for dog pics that could cheer a girl up...go post your dog's pic, I'd love to see your pooch!