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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29729
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a Doberman female. She is 9 years old. She has cyst

Customer Question

I have a Doberman female. She is 9 years old. She has cyst on her body. Legs and underneath. Now she is getting them on the front of her legs and they are not moving like the others. She licks all the time now and even her feet can get raw. She pees her beds now. She was once a service dog and now she can't
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the Doberman. What is the Doberman's name?
Customer: Justice
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Justice?
Customer: She lays down to eat and seems blue. That is about it
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your Dobie. I'll address your concerns as you posted them...

1) Her "cysts" may, indeed, be cysts (epidermoid cysts are most common) but also tumors - both benign and malignant. Multiple tumors as you've described most often are lipomas - benign fatty growths. Justice's vet can needle aspirate a few of these neoplasms and examine the aspirate microscopically. Lipomas are easy to identify and rarely require removal. If her vet is concerned about what he/she is seeing under the microscope, the sample can be submitted to our pathologist for review.

2) Her licking - particularly her feet - can represent painful areas that have induced such behavior - often due to underlying osteoarthritis in a Dobie of her age. We also see excessive licking secondary to the pruritis (itchiness) associated with allergic skin disease. Atopy (allergies to environmental allergens) and food intolerance are common disorders that predispose to such pruritis. Her vet will need to consider both pain and allergy when addressing Justice's pruritis. A trial of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam might be prescribed to see is addressing pain with that type of drug is helpful in controlling Justice's licking.

3) Her urinary incontinence usually represents urethral incompetence in an older Dobie. This describes weak musculature in the urethra which allows urine to "leak out" when these dogs are recombant or asleep. This type of incontinence is addressed with estrogens such as DES or estriol or a drug called PPA. It's important that a urinalysis be performed as well. Urinary tract infection is a common cause of urinary incontinence and needs to be well-managed before urethral incompetence can be addressed successfully.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.