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My Icelandic Sheepdog who is 9 yrs old developed 2 small…

Customer Question
My Icelandic Sheepdog who...

My Icelandic Sheepdog who is 9 yrs old developed 2 small black growths on her nose. She also sounds congested at times. Eating and drinking fine, still active. No nasal discharge or sneezing or coughing. Just sounds like a humans stuffed nose.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the Icelandic Sheepdog's name?

Kaya

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kaya?

There is no coughing

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She sounds worse when eating or drinking
Answered in 5 hours by:
3/17/2018
Veterinarian: Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,189
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Verified

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

How long has she had these signs?

Any voice change or snoring since the congestion started?

Can you take a photo of these growths for me to assess? To post it, you can use the paper clip button on the tool bar above the text box (last icon). Or if you cannot see that, then post it on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr Instagram, etc) & paste the link here for me.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The growths were noticed maybe 2-3 months ago. They havent changed in size nor do they bother her. The congestion sound maybe 2 weeks ago. No voice change and snoring is not much more than usual. She normally snored occasionally. And when she eats or drinks, the congestion sound is worse and sounds “slurpy”and louder. She definately sounds like it should bother her even tho she doesn’t seem to eat or drink any differently. She does appear to be breathing out of mouth more. We are in Arizona and she likes to be outside more than inside, so we also have foxtails, but shes never really had issues with that even tho occasionally i might find 1 or 2 in her coat.
Veterinarian: Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Good afternoon,

Now I do think there is more than one issue here with Kaya. First, the lumps are not likely involved with her intermittent congestion and while the one by her nose looks like a skin tag, I would suggest having your vet take a fine needle aspiration of both of these for her. Its not urgent but it is wise to have (especially the one by her eyes) those sampled for analysis just since we can see melanomas appear this way. And if these were cancerous melanomas it is much better to get them off when they are small since there is little room for masses or removing them in the facial region.

Those aside, since her congestion is intermittent, we'd put issues like foreign bodies (ie foxtails) up the nose lower on our differential list since it should cause signs all the time and usually they have snotty discharge weeks in. Instead, we'd be more wary of a chronic nasal infection (bacterial, fungal) or inflammation, allergies, or a possible early nasal growth (where inflammation leads to waxing/waning signs).

With this in mind, we can try some supportive care but if we get those nasal lumps tested, we can have her checked for the congestion at the same time. Though for the moment, to reduce congestion when it appears, I would suggest steam treating her. To do so, you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear discharge from the airway. You can also use a baby nebulizer for her.

Furthermore, if she is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. As well, non-medicated saline nasal drops (ie Ocean Mist or Little Noses) can be used. To do so, just tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Not a favorite, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.

Finally, just to rule out/address allergies here, I'd note that we can try an OTC antihistamine. Most often we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight every 8-12 hours) or Cetirizine (ie. 0.5 mg per pound of their body weight every 12-24 hours). We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness. Of course, check with your vet first if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications.

Overall, I do think these represent 2 different issues here and while the lumps are not rapidly growing its best to be proactive with them since the face just isn't somewhere we can afford them to grow/ulcerate/cause problems in the future. So, it is worth having those tested. And in the meantime, we can use the above to address allergy causes and reduce congestion but at her age we do want to be cautious with that as well since we do have those above considerations here.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

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