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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33265
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my dog had a lump on his leg. the vet saw it and we said as

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my dog had a lump on his leg. the vet saw it and we said as he was 10 years old and it was in a difficult place and not hurting him we would leave it alone. It has since gone? and left a hole, he has been cleaning it himself, and it is not bleeding. he is eating and drinking well.It does not hurt him when touched. I covered it with a bandage which he moved so as he could get to it.  The hole is approx 1.5 cm across with skin around the outside standing proud and approx 1 cm deep. it has not affected the use of the leg so no damage to the muscles or tendons is apparent.what should we do next,please

Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Because neoplastic (benign or malignant) "bumps" don't disappear on their own, I would assume that that lump represented either an abscess or cyst that ruptured and emptied itself. If that's the case, flushing out the hole with an antimicrobial solution such as chlorhexidine (over the counter Hebiclens, e.g.) and instituting a broad spectrum antibiotic might be all that's needed at this time.

The lump may have contained a "wolf larva" as well - a larva of a Cuterebra fly which migrates to a place under the skin and eventually "hatches". Can you upload a photo of this skin lesion to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help, I am getting my daughter to pop in on her way home from work to help me send you a photo,as that is out of my league.

It's my pleasure. I had to have my daughter help me understand my blender.

I'll await your next post.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you! This, unfortunately, can represent a skin cancer in addition to the etiologies I mentioned above. In these cases, the necrotic (dead) core of a cancerous growth is sloughed leaving vital tissue behind. The proper manner in which to proceed is to have that surgically resected and biopsied for a definitive diagnosis and prognosis. If Murphy's vet is uncomfortable performing this surgery, Murphy can be refered to a specialist veterinary surgeon as can be found here: or at similar facilities.

I disagree with Murphy's vet. There's plenty of skin in that area to use to close up an incision made when removing the skin lesion. If you prefer to "watchful wait" to see if a ruptured abscess or cyst will eventually heal, please don't wait any longer than a couple of weeks - the healing time for such skin lesions. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice, I feel a lot more clued up now! as we believe he is at least 10, as he was a rescue dog and we have had him 9 years ourselves. Because of this, we have decided we will give it until Tuesday and if there isn't a significant improvement in the healing, we will take him to the vets as soon as possible. We want to wait until then because of the obvious risks of an old animal having general anaesthetic.


Again, thank you for you expertise and information, we really appreciate it.

You're quite welcome. I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
(moderator close)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr. Salkin,


Here is photo of how Murphy's leg is today. The centre photo is the last one we sent you and the one of the left is the first photo taken. All the photos are approximately 1 week apart and in order from left to right. As I am sure you can see, the black skin is edging into the wound again but it is healing and closing up well.


Thank you.

I never argue with success but it's certainly taking its sweet time. Thank you for the terrific photos! Does Murphy annoy this wound? If so, he can be preventing healing in a reasonable length of time.