Boil around older dogs eye

Deborah S
by Deborah S
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QuestionMy dog is at least 13 years old. She has a small black place like a boil around her eye and the vet said she did not think it was anything to be concerned about. Looks like her ear has been running some and she has a black spot over her ear now twice as big as her eye. It is as big as your thumb, It is soft to the touch. Should I be concerned and take her to the vet? Thanks (Judy Faulkner - North Carolina)

Answer

Many of our pets can get strange “lumps and bumps” as they age, and it is always a good idea to have the veterinarian examine them as soon as you can. Draining lesions and moist areas like the “boil” that you describe around the eye may be something simple like a skin infection or “hot spot” but could also be something like an abscessed tooth root. Older pets often have dental disease, which can predispose them to tooth root abscesses. The back teeth in the dog’s mouth have very large, long roots that come very close to the eye socket. If there is an abscess present, they often “burst”, and can drain around the eye through the skin.

Infection can certainly spread from one place to another in that area, and the soft black spot could also be part of the same problem. I cannot say for sure without seeing it myself, but it is possible. She could also have other problems going on at the same time that are causing this including ear infections and cancerous processes. Your veterinarian can take a look at these areas and make a plan for diagnosis and treatment. I strongly recommend that you take her to a veterinarian who is able to take both dental x-rays and skull x-rays. Many times the teeth are overlooked in cases like this, especially if the dental x-ray equipment is not available.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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