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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3028
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My cocker is 10 1/2 years old and has epilepsy since 3 y/o.

Customer Question

My cocker is 10 1/2 years old and has epilepsy since 3 y/o. He also has warts and fatty cysts all over. I have controlled the epilepsy and he gets maybe 2/3 minor episodes per year. I had a large lump removed 4 yrs ago from head but now he has a large, fatty lump behind an ear. Vet says it is fine but I try to keep it clean but it sometimes has an oder and all I can do is have it removed. I am not happy with him going under for the removal but am not sure what I can do to control this growth better
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gina replied 2 years ago.
It sounds to me like Heinekin has a sebaceous cyst, which is pretty common. I have a senior mastiff with one right now. Hers does the same thing, then she scratches and it opens up. Per my vet, I keep clean, flushing with sterile saline solution (for contact wearers) and apply triple antibiotic to it several times a day and it heals up. The removal is pretty basic and it won't ever go away because these cysts have "legs" (where they attach to the flesh) and if they still exist, the cyst still exists. My girl will be having the surgery to remove it next month as she does have several more appearing.
Your vet will likely want to do presurgical bloodwork and he is aware of Heinekin's epilepsy so that shouldn't be too much of a worry. Many dogs do just fine under anesthesia that are epileptic.
I would also ask your vet to be sure the cyst is biopsied when removed. Just to give piece of mind that there isn't a larger issue present.
When cleaning the cyst, I suggest against using products like hydrogen peroxide. This can actually damage the open tissue and cause more harm than good. Stick with either sterile saline to flush or just plain water with ivory soap.
Given that the cyst is behind his ear, this could end up causing him some discomfort should it grow larger or damage the hear itself if he shakes his head or scratches at it. A hematoma could form and those are a bear to treat. For that reason, I'd probably have it removed and have done with the ordeal. Of course, the decision should be all yours, taking your comfort level into consideration. :)
I hope this has been helpful and you can come to a decision for Mr. Heinekin that is satisfying for everyone involved. :)
Thanks so much and let me know if you need further assistance using the reply box. :)