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Old 05-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default Dogs ears are rotting off

My female Yorkie is 6.5 years old. She has always been extremely healthy until the past two years. Last year we found out she had gingivitis and had to have 16 teeth pulled. The year before they had checked her teeth and there was some mild plaque build up but other wise they looked fine (This could be unrelated as I am admittedly lax at teeth brushing(. This past year we noticed sores inside her ears. They continued to get worse and after a few weeks we took her to the vet. Since that visit about 8 months ago, they have tested for allergies, autoimmune, ticks, and vasculitis. All have come back negative although the best guess is that it is caused by vasculitis. Because she has tested negative for everything they are treating for that. She has been on antibiotics, steroids and currently doxycycline and pentoxifylline, and dexamethasone drops for her eyes. She sometimes seems to be getting better but overall I think she is getting worse. She is currently being treated at a specialist at a University Hospital. It looks like her ears are rotting off. There are chunks missing and big black scabs that look almost fuzzy. Her eyes are always watery and tons of gooey discharge and somewhat foggy looking. We have spent $1000's on diagnostic tests and cant spend much more. Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be? Thanks so much!!!
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceland View Post
My female Yorkie is 6.5 years old. She has always been extremely healthy until the past two years. Last year we found out she had gingivitis and had to have 16 teeth pulled. The year before they had checked her teeth and there was some mild plaque build up but other wise they looked fine (This could be unrelated as I am admittedly lax at teeth brushing(. This past year we noticed sores inside her ears. They continued to get worse and after a few weeks we took her to the vet. Since that visit about 8 months ago, they have tested for allergies, autoimmune, ticks, and vasculitis. All have come back negative although the best guess is that it is caused by vasculitis. Because she has tested negative for everything they are treating for that. She has been on antibiotics, steroids and currently doxycycline and pentoxifylline, and dexamethasone drops for her eyes. She sometimes seems to be getting better but overall I think she is getting worse. She is currently being treated at a specialist at a University Hospital. It looks like her ears are rotting off. There are chunks missing and big black scabs that look almost fuzzy. Her eyes are always watery and tons of gooey discharge and somewhat foggy looking. We have spent $1000's on diagnostic tests and cant spend much more. Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be? Thanks so much!!!
Welcome to YT. I'm sorry your little one has gone through so much in her short life. It does sound like vasulitis to me, but I have no experience with it. I hope you are given an answer at the undersity hospital. Someone else may have some advice to offer you, so please check back.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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It sounds like they might have to remove the ears at some future time. I believe I would get a second opinion from a veterinarian who specializes in vascular disease to see if there is anything else possible - such as any chance this is some type of infection - just a fresh look. What a sad, sad story. I am so sorry she & you are having to deal with something so terrible. You both will be in my prayers.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
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I'll guess something fungal... try coconut oil or ask your vet about it. It's abtifungal and antibacterial, and antiviral.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for your responses, it really is so sad. She is such a sweet dog. We just had our first child 5 months ago and I was so excited for her to have a little buddy. We have 2 yorkies, but the male has never been a huge fan of young children. I am so worried to even let her touch Gracie (our yorkie) since we don't know what is causing this. Sometimes the wounds on her ears open and I see little spatters of blood on the walls. They biopsied her ears and said they could reshape them but the cost was an additional $800 and at the time we could not afford it as we were still paying off the remainder of our maternity hospital bills. Perhaps I will see if cutting off the dead tissue would resolve the problem?
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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Oh the poor dear - that sounds terrible. But I have no idea what it is.

I know being in Columbus, you have access to Ohio State, and hopefully they have a vascular specialist. She is probably scratching at them if you are finding blood spots.

It's hard to deal with all this plus a newborn; believe me, I know. I hope you can find some answers for Gracie.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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I am so sorry you are going thru this. Sending prayers that this nightmare
may end soon and your fur baby will be healthy.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Ringo-We are actually currently having her treated at OSU by a specialist! After going through several vets who were unable to determine a diagnosis, our current vet referred us to an allergy specialist. Upon looking at her they referred us to a different specialist. He initially thought it had to be some sort of foreign tick bite but all tests came back negative and we are now at vasculitis. I know they are doing everything they can within our financial limitations but it is so frustrating. At least she seems to be eating better and overall seems to have more energy
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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Oops, I just posted a reply but have no idea where I posted it?! Ringo1- We actually currently have her at OSU Veterinary Hospital. After going through several vets who were unable to successfully treat her we were finally referred to an allergy specialist at OSU by our current vet. The specialist, upon looking at her referred us to a different specialist who thought it looked like an exotic tick bite. All tests came back negative so other than vasculitis they are still stumped(
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:46 AM   #10
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My girl Piccolo has cutaneous vasculitis and has the black scars in her ears to prove it, among many other symptoms that arose at the time. (She is now in remission.) She also looks like she lost a little chunk of her ear, too. My girl was treated by a vet dermatologist and I imagine your pup has seen a vet dermatologist at the hospital too. Like your pup, she was tested for a million thing such as tick disease, etc., and even came back with a positive for dermatomyocitis, which my vet did not think was correct.

Piccolo was on pentoxiphiline but I really believe what helped the most was high levels of prednisone. (She was also on antibiotics because she developed a secondary infection.) I do not think she would have gone into remission without the prednisone treatment. Piccolo's vet dermatologist was able to walk us through this treatment very carefully and it took about 9 months. She is now off everything, by the way, and has been in remission for about 4 years.

I just want to wish you the best of luck with this and hopefully things will get better for your little one.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:04 AM   #11
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I know absolutely NOTHING about vasculitis, but I did find this on another forum....found it interesting....do not know if it is accurate, but perhaps some information you can use...this is from a different breed site....~~
"Your description sounds pretty typical of either Ear Margin Seborrhea (common in the breed) or Vasculitis, which as you've correctly stated one frequent culprit in weens (weenie dogs) is recent vaccination (esp rabies) although it can be triggered by many other things. Always a good idea to rule out mites and fungal infections for completeness sake... Is she itchy anywhere? Any other skin / lip / pad problems?
Your vet should have good suggestions for treatment, which often includes:
•an anti-seborrheic shampoo to remove the crusts
•+/- topicals to keep the skin supple (a lot of people swear by BagBalm!)
•+/- supplements such as essential fatty acids (fish oil is great)
•+/- supplements/meds to improve blood flow (niacin, pentoxifylline, etc)
•+/- meds if has an immune-mediated component (doxycycline, pred, etc)
For cases where recent vaccination (typically within past 2-3 weeks) is suspected as the trigger:
•Try to minimize future vaccinations (only vaccinate for diseases that the particular dog is at risk for - ie no lepto if not in your area, etc, and use titer testing to extend the intervals between vaccinations... for rabies, you can try to get permission from your local authorities on using titers but this is sometimes difficult due to legal/human implications).
•Give vaccines separately (ie one trip for rabies, one trip for dhpp, etc)
•Use a different brand than the one suspected of triggering the reaction.
•Ask your vet to report the incident to the vaccine manufacturer and the USDA (good policy for tracking problems)
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:08 AM   #12
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Looks like you got some good advice from people who have been there!

I'm in Columbus myself and have heard good things about the OSU Vet Hospital. Pehaps they also have a derm on hand?

Please keep us updated; I hope for the best.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:47 PM   #13
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Lisa and Pic-Thank you so much for posting! I am so relieved to hear your dog is doing well. It sounds so much like what Gracie has so I feel more assured that it is Vasculitis. We are currently not doing the prednisone but when we were doing the high doses I feel like that is when we saw the best results. I think I will call the vet tomorrow to see about doing another round.
Thanks everyone for all the help and support! I feel more positive that we are on the right track and will hopefully have a healthy pup again soon!
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceland View Post
Lisa and Pic-Thank you so much for posting! I am so relieved to hear your dog is doing well. It sounds so much like what Gracie has so I feel more assured that it is Vasculitis. We are currently not doing the prednisone but when we were doing the high doses I feel like that is when we saw the best results. I think I will call the vet tomorrow to see about doing another round.
Thanks everyone for all the help and support! I feel more positive that we are on the right track and will hopefully have a healthy pup again soon!
I feel very blessed that Piccolo has been in remission for 4 years. As you know, having your pup ill with this disease can be very scary and sad.

Are you seeing a vet dermatologist from Ohio State? For Piccolo, because she had had cutaneous vasculitis for months and it could not be figured out, the treatment/medicine took a long time and I was not able to even let her around other dogs because of her lack of immunity. She gained a bunch of weight and her appearance changed, but everything is back to normal now.

Her vet dermatologist suspects vaccines as the delayed cause, so she does not get vaccines any more. As I have stated on YT before, I am not against vaccines and my other dog is up to date with all vaccines, but I can not risk this with Piccolo. My vets tried to get her excused, but the state vet denied this, so I am choosing to break the law. (Shhh!) She has had titers, though. Luckily, the cause was not heartworm or flea medicine, so I was able to eventually get her back on these meds again.

Anyway, please keep us updated and will keep your pup in my thoughts and prayers. Also, I will post pictures of her ears, when she was ill, so you can compare, though it is rather yucky looking.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #15
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My son and DIL have a pup that had cutaneous vasculitis. The vet who initially saw her did not know what it was but put her on steroids, which did help. She put her on prednisone for one week. My son and DIL went out of town and left her with me for a weekend right when she had been tapered off of the prednisone. She immediately started up again...I was horrified. She had this large open wound on her belly...and other areas erupting. Rushed her to my vet who immediately knew what it was. She put her on prednisone for 30 days...said that is what is needed...longer term treatment. She cleared up...she does have some scarring, but is fine now. Hers was attributed to vaccines.
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