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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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I have a 9 year old long haired GSD who has produced small

Resolved Question:

I have a 9 year old long haired GSD who has produced small pea sized sebaceous cysts most of her life, nearly always down the spine area. She now is producing them so quickly and they are huge, they break mostly on their own and when I find a wet mess I clip away the hair and muck and bathe in diluted TCP, they are appearing in strange places, under her chin, on the top of her fore leg, round her neck etc. It is really a worry now because as you run your hand over her you can find these crusty lumps, if I ease them off they leave this, often big cavity. I there anything I can do to help her? (She recently has had mites and has been having weekly baths with a special shampoo and Aludex for sarcotic mange), she had a skin scrape yesterday and it has come back negative. I am using Advocate flea preventative also, now every 4 weeks. I would welcome any advice. She has James Wellbeloved Light food only.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

These little areas can be quite annoying. First I want to confirm that these are truly under-the-skin sebaceous cysts which usually take many months to form a firm lump (like an unruptured zit or pimple) and then finally rupture. This breed is notorious for developing a condition called Nodular dermatofibrosis; often this is associated with cysts in the kidneys as well. The dermatofibrosis often happens primarily on the legs but can be anywhere. I would try to take a look at the kidneys with ultrasound. Nodular dermatofibromatosis is usually associated with concurrent renal cystadenocarcinoma, which can often be bilateral.

Dr. Joey :

This is an inherited condition and very frustrating because we have no good cure. :( A biopsy could be done of one of the cysts to try to diagnose this (your vet may have to provide pictures and speak with the pathologist as well).

Dr. Joey :

Is she highly itchy? If so, then perhaps that is not the nodules. Some dogs can get concurrent infections of bacteria, yeast or mites (especially sarcopitc mange). These your vet may need to treat.

There is no medication that will stop the formation of cysts. If any are highly irritating then surgical removal with narrow margins is the best route. When this is no longer working then radiation therapy can help some dogs.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know your questions.

Customer:

Thank you for your reply. One of our Veterinary team who has now retired, did say, long haired GSD's did suffer this problem.She is not itchy at all now and as I said in my email, the skin scrap came back negative yesterday following 4+ weeks treatment for mange., her coat is in beautiful condition and she is fine, our Vet wondered if a course of antibiotics might help these large "holes" but once they have emptied they close up quickly.Just wanted to know if there was anything I could use/do to try and prevent them forming.

Dr. Joey :

There is not anything that can be administered to prevent their formation. Over the years a variety of drugs ranging from chemotherapy to antibiotics have been tried, but nothing stops the formation. :( However, if one gets infected, then an antibiotic can help tremendously to speed the healing once they rupture.

Customer:

So it looks like there is not much I can do for her as a preventative, but to keep monitoring them etc. cleaning them etc and making sure they don't get infected. Thanks very much for you help.

Dr. Joey :

Yes. I am sorry that there is nothing else right now. I just did a search on our veterinarian-only database to see if anyone had any alternative therapies (herbals and whatnot) or other newer drugs and did not find anything that is showing promise.

Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

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