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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. My dog is an 11 year old bearded collie. He has always been in excellent health but several months ago I first noticed a scab-topped volcano-like swelling about a centimetre wide on his shoulder which I initially thought could be a reaction to a buried tick head. Twice since then a large lump of dried pus has come out under gentle manipulation but it has then gradually regrown. It doesn't cause him any trouble and is not at all sensitive. The vet had a look at it; said "I don't know, but keep an eye on it" and charged me £40 for my trouble.
Today it again shed a large lump which looked like a monster blackhead (c.6mm diameter by 8mm long), leaving a deep crater-like hole which exuded a little thick flaky pus. I trimmed the hair around the hole and cleaned it out with antiseptic and cotton buds. The hole is lined with whitish skin and there is little inflammation, no blood or further exudate. I treated the hole with Savlon and put a plaster over it to keep crud out. Would like to know what it is and what, if anything, to do next. (Please don't just say 'go back to the vet' without giving some helpful information.) Thanks and regards, Paul. :)
Hair Carnivore Whiskers Rodent Snout
Hair Carnivore Whiskers Rodent Snout
 

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Looks like a ruptured cyst to me. Surprised that your vet didn't think about that. I'm sorry you were brushed off like that by your vet. Cysts tend to reform from time to time, as they can (but not in all cases IIRC) have a capsule around them that forms all the fluid in the cyst, and it usually is white in color. So as long as the capsule stays in the skin, the cyst will continue to be there as the lining within the cyst continues to make the fluid. You can flush it frequently with saline solution, and keep it covered, but the best way for it not to come back is to have a vet clean it out and suture the hole closed, and your pup will likely be on some antibiotics and pain medicine for a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like a ruptured cyst to me. Surprised that your vet didn't think about that. I'm sorry you were brushed off like that by your vet. Cysts tend to reform from time to time, as they can (but not in all cases IIRC) have a capsule around them that forms all the fluid in the cyst, and it usually is white in color. So as long as the capsule stays in the skin, the cyst will continue to be there as the lining within the cyst continues to make the fluid. You can flush it frequently with saline solution, and keep it covered, but the best way for it not to come back is to have a vet clean it out and suture the hole closed, and your pup will likely be on some antibiotics and pain medicine for a few days.
Thanks very much for your kind thoughts and comments, which are much in line with my own suspicions. To be fair, the vet did only see it when it was a smallish lump topped with a pointed scab so perhaps there were various possibilities. But maybe I'll just try a different vet anyway.
 

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I must have misunderstood that part.. you're right though, if the vet just saw a raised lump at the visit then they would be more likely to just say keep an eye on it and call if it changes (vet was probably torn between it being a lipoma-a fatty tumor or a cyst) I hope his next vet visit brings him some relief, and some easing of your worries.

I hope he feels better soon. Give him some extra pets from me..
 

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Just to update - I have been keeping the opening clean, by daily use of cotton buds and antiseptic (Dettol) solution, and to leave it open to the air. The swelling seems to have flattened and the hole reduced a little. I will post a new picture shortly for anyone interested.

I am really hoping that this is a simple workable alternative to the veterinarian route (surgery, anaesthetic, antibiotics, several hundred pounds/euros/dollars plus associated trauma - to the dog as well) which may be helpful to those faced with a similar situation. :)
 
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