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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14156
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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Please can someone help me, I am getting to the far side of

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Please can someone help me, I am getting to the far side of desperate now.

My 9 year old Cocker Spaniel had one HUGE mass on his chest, it started as a cluster of smaller lumps, this thing is now basically the size of my fist and growing rapidly, it's also ulcerated,oozing and bleeding. He also has more smaller lumps down his chest, under his ears, and now almost of a daily basis more are appearing on his body. And they smell.

Believe it or not he has seen a vet, and all they gave was Antibiotics for 7 days, told me it was a growth, there was a slim chance they could remove it surgically, but didn't fancy their chances, as the skin around it wasn't healthy. they told me to use betadine which I have been doing. they made no attempt to tell me what was causing all this.

So far I have given him the antibiotics, used betadine, hibiscrub, salt water solution, changed his diet. He's eating like a horse, but still seems skinny though his weight last week was 12.60kg, I can feel the vertebrae in his spine, he seems alert and cheerful, doesn't seem to be in any pain, but it scratching furiously. I personally feel it's some kind of parasite causing all this. I weekly bath him in Hibiscrub to keep his skin clean, and try and prevent infection. I intend taking him to a different vet on Tuesday, as I feel the last one just ripped me off for £56 and gave me no help or answers. It's distressing seeing him like this, especially as I lost my Westie on the 7th March to Kidney Failure and stroke.

I can provide photos, though I warn you they would be VERY graphic and disturbing, all I want to know is some idea of what is causing this so I can get him correctly treated, it's breaking my heart! :(

At 18 months old he had Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia, it took us 18 months to get him through it, but he's been a fit as a flea up until now. He's always eaten well, but only on dry food (now changed to meat and biscuit) but has always seemed skinny. He is due for worming again in June.



Dr. Altman :

Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.

Dr. Altman :

So sorry you both are going through this and are not getting answers to help resolve his issues

Dr. Altman :

My primary concern with his history of IMHA is a condition called vasculitis, CLICK HERE for more information

Dr. Altman :

Do you have an ability to see a veterinary dermatologist in your area? This would be my recommendation, to see someone who specializes in unusual skin issues and can do biopsies (awake with a local anesthetic) and get him started on appropriate treatment

Dr. Altman :

Even though the IMHA has been controlled, often these dogs are more prone to other autoimmune diseases

Dr. Altman :

I personally had a dog that had an autoimmune condition and several years later had another one (went from an immune mediated platelet problem, to an immune mediated skin condition, to an immune mediated red blood cell condition that were spaced 3-5 years apart each) so vasculitis would be my primary concner

Dr. Altman :

Oops, concern

Dr. Altman :

Secondarily would be a condition called erythema multiforme, CLICK HERE

Dr. Altman :

Lastly would unfortunately have to be some type of skin cancer such as cutaneous lymphoma or histoplasmosis. All of which can be diagnosed off a skin biopsy so I really do think that is the first step

Dr. Altman :

I don't have any parasitic causes for what you describe though. It can be fungal, bacterial though

Dr. Altman :

Please let me know if this information makes sense, I am going to change formats in hopes you are able to view my responses and ask any additional questions you might have

Dr. Altman :

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Hopefully this format is more readily viewable. Please let me know how else I can assist you both today
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your kind responses. We had already sadly considered the 3rd option you came up with as it being cancer of some sort, though these lumps are cropping up on a daily basis, and I hadn't thought cancer would do that, but I suppose if it's gone undiagnosed then it's possible.


I've just tried to do a google search for images relating to the the other two options you suggested, which is more than my current vet had done, and the most likely option seems to be erythema multiforme. Is there any way I could send you a quick photograph that I have, that might help.


Sorry to be a nuisence :(





Please, no worries and yes send me some photos (I am prepared :))

My little dog had erythema multiforme. I had never heard of it until she was diagnosed and had 1-2 new lesions daily that popped up prior to diagnosis and I had the biopsies done within a week of the first lesion found.

Unfortunately cutaneous lymphoma can present with new lesions daily as well as it spreads through the lymphatics of the skin. I truly hope this is not the case because it is fairly aggressive and prognosis is not good.

I look forward to seeing some photos if you are able to attach them...
Dr. Altman and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much, and again sorry to be a nuisance. I don't have a photo of the large lump, as he won't keep still for long. But it is about 4 inches across and protrudes about an inch, I believe it is comprised of lots of these other lumps, which are spreading over his body. I will be ringing the new vets at 8.30am in the morning, as he has finished antibiotics now and they have done nothing to help. His constant itching is not helping him.


I hope you can see these two pictures, and thank you again.


Kuro Smaller Lumps

I am so sorry but the photos did not come through. Please see this link on how to upload photos, hopefully it will help:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Smaller Lumps



This is the biggest one, it's huge! I've been cleaning it down daily to prevent infection, even tried covering it to keep it clean, but the dressing just stuck to it and made it worse. I'm washing bedding constantly to keep that clean as well, and as well as trying to do my best for him, it's embarrassing as it looks like I've just left it alone to get like this :( This is why I wanted another opinion and why I will be taking him to another vet tomorrow, I shouldn't have put my faith in the last one :(




I was able to view the photos and am definitely concerned about the one on the chest being cancer. So sorry but that would be my primary suspicion at this point.

First and foremost the secondary infection needs to be controlled with more aggressive antibiotics then what he is currently on. Once the secondary infection is controlled the new veterinarian can aspirate or "poke" the mass. Then the aspiration will be evaluated under the microscope to evaluate the cells of origin and determine whether this is an aggressive cancer or not. Unfortunately at this point the infection is so severe that an aspiration is not advised until the resolution of the infection because the infection will skew the aspiration results...

I know this is not what you wanted to hear and will not be confirmed until your new vet is able to aspirate the mass but unfortunately I am more worried about cancer than an immune mediated component.

Please let me know how things go tomorrow, you both are in my thoughts...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your support and kind words, I had actually been preparing myself for that. Whatever happens from here, more than anything I just don't want to feel that he is suffering in any way. He's definitely uncomfortable, and that's not surprising. The lumps seems to be increasing in number daily now, and if it is cancer I would assume that it's aggressive and widespread. I will however see what they say tomorrow, and I will of course let you know what happens.


Thank you for everything :)

You are very welcome, I always hope I am wrong in these situations and will keep my fingers crossed there is more that can be done to get him comfortable and possibly resolve his ailments...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for all your help over the weekend.


Kuro was not well at all this morning, and the only last kind thing I could do was let him go, the very nice lady vet agreed with you last diagnosis, and giving him any kind of treatment would have just prolonged his suffering, and my suffering doesn't matter.


We will have a burial for him later on this afternoon.


Thank you again :)

I am so very sorry for your loss but glad that he is in peace and no longer suffering. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time...