How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Barbara Your Own Question
Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
56364752
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Barbara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my dog has large painful swollen lumps on side and back. she

This answer was rated:

my dog has large painful swollen lumps on side and back. she also aooears in pain(ocassional shaking) and mild fever. vet gave her antibiotics and some lumps shrank while more reappeared. ultrasound and xrays show negative. vet think inflamation?

Dr.Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. I'm sorry that Jolene is not feeling well apparently from these lumps. Probably the very best thing to check would be to biopsy or remove one of these lumps and have a pathologist diagnose the cause microscopically.

Dr.Barbara :

I really can't say what they are just by your description, and apparently the cause just by their appearance is not clear to your vet either. They do sound unusual. A list of possible causes would be a bacterial infection (especially secondary to another skin condition like fleas, mites or allergies; an autoimmune skin condition like lupus or pemphigus; or foreign bodies like fox tails.

Dr.Barbara :

Did Jolene also have blood work to check her blood cell counts and her organ function?

Dr.Barbara :

Would you be able to send me pictures of her?

Customer:

Jolene has not had blood work done.

Customer:

I can send you a pic.

Customer:

They aspirated her lump and the pathologist said it was inconlusive. The samples were not very good and they just saw inflamation on the slides.

Customer:

She had been treated for spinal menengitis from March till June 13. That was her last dosage of prednisone.

Customer:

Full Size Image

Dr.Barbara :

A "fine needle aspirate" is sometimes diagnostic, but as you found out, not always. We usually start with this since it is less invasive, and is less expensive.

Dr.Barbara :

I'm glad that the meningitis was resolved. . .you really have had some ordeals with her, haven't you? Did they diagnose a cause of the meningitis?

Dr.Barbara :

Your picture is slowly coming through. . .I'll take a look when it is here and get back to you.

Customer:

She has had her health problems for sure. There was no cause for the meningitis that I was told about. They did a spinal tap and found inflammation then she had pain in her back and couldn't move her neck to the ground so based on all those symptoms the diagnostic was spinal meningitis.

Customer:

just checking to see if we are still in session

Dr.Barbara :

Sorry. . .my sister called! Unfortunately I really can't see the lumps on your picture to give you any thoughts.

Customer:

I'm going to get u

Dr.Barbara :

"Spinal meningitis" is a general symptomatic diagnosis that doesn't tell us the cause. . .which is sometimes not easily diagnosed! It is interesting that she had that and now has these lumps. It makes me wonder about an immune mediated cause since with the meningitis she responded to prednisone which in an infectious situation could have made things worse.

Customer:

yI'm going to send you a better picture

Dr.Barbara :

Thanks!

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

The two biggest lumps are under her fur.

Dr.Barbara :

:( I still can't really see the lumps, even when I magnify parts of the photo. What I can tell is that these are definitely below the surface which does make me think that this is an immune mediated problem. Prednisone may help this also, but having one biopsied or removed would most likely give us a cause ,or etiology, and then treatment could be more specific than just guessing.

Dr.Barbara :

Is this reasonable for you?

Customer:

This sounds like a reasonable next step. Thank you very much. So you would suggested also getting blood work done? What about getting her urine tested?

Dr. Barbara and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
A blood profile and a urinalysis would be excellent for 2 reasons here: We are still searching for a cause (or causes) of her dermatitis and meningitis, and she will need anesthesia for a biopsy or lumpectomy (the lumpectomy will involve a little more than the biopsy, but is the best method for getting a diagnosis).
Jolene's illnesses are obviously not the most common so I wish you, Jolene, and your vet good luck in getting to the bottom of her issues. I'm not saying that her meningitis and dermatitis are definitely related. . .but highly suspicious of this!
I'll be checking back in about 1 week and hope to hear from you then.
Take care,
Dr. Barbara

Related Dog Veterinary Questions