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Dr. B
Dr. B, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  B.S. and D.V.M. at Texas A&M University, 10+ yrs experience practicing very high quality medicine & surgery
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My 15 year old dog recently developed sores around the soft

Customer Question

My 15 year old dog recently developed sores around the soft part of his nose and the bridge of his nose. The sores on the bridge of his nose seemed to result in a growth that separated the outer layer of skin with hair from the next layer and in about a weeks' time separated from his nose. The resulting open sore appeared to be healing with a scab, but the scab seemed to become another growth that was flatter and wider and again, separated from his nose. He was evaluated by veterinarian, a culture performed with no immediate findings, was given steroids and antibiotics which do not seem to have had an impact. What can thus be??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B replied 1 year ago.

Hi Yolanda,

I'm sorry to hear about Poncho's nose. That certainly sounds uncomfortable to him.

Based on what you described, my top thought is an autoimmune disorder, such as discoid lupus erythematosus (lupus/"DLE"). Collie-type breeds are more predisposed to this particular condition. The only way to diagnose it is by taking a biopsy (numb the area and take a small sample of the area). Then this sample is sent to an outside lab with results usually available within 3-5 days. Then treatment involves various immune suppressants, of which steroids can be part of. Some are oral (given by mouth) and there is a topical choice that can be applied directly to the affected area (can work if he doesn't lick it off).

Here is a link to that specific condition: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2470

Another similar autoimmune disorder that could also fit is pemphigus foliaceus: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2202

When you click on the above links, you will see photos as examples of these conditions (as well as all the medical information, how to treat, etc). Let me know if these are not at all what you are trying to describe. If they are, then you need to get a biopsy done by your regular veterinarian.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it contagious to other dogs or people? Attaching photo
Expert:  Dr. B replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much for the picture! That really looks like pemphigus foliaceus. Definitely recommend biopsy as the next step. No, it is absolutely not contagious to people or other pets.

Another possibility, especially given his age, is cancer. The beauty of getting a biopsy is it will give you an answer. One biopsy will tell you whether this is autoimmune disease, cancer, or some unusual deep-seated infection (much less likely). My money is on pemphigus, which would be a fairly good diagnosis -- good prognosis for complete resolution with treatment.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Otherwise, keep me posted!! I'm anxious to see if you get the biopsy and diagnosis.