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Dark Purple, Brown and Red Pea-Sized Skin Growth with 3 Close Bumps Behind Dog's Ear

by Jennifer W.
(Chicago, IL)

Growth behind left ear

Growth behind left ear

Growth behind left ear
Growth zoomed out

I found a growth behind my dog's ear, see attached pic. The pea-sized growth is right where the back of her ear meets the top left side of her head. It is relatively hard, but not calcitrant, and it is dark purple/brown/red in color. It looks as if the growth is 3 separate bumps fused together.

It did not seem to bother Tink when I touched it. I'm surprised I didn't find the growth before tonight, as I've scratch behind her ears multiple times during the past few days, which leads me to believe it may have appeared at some point today. Although it's possible it has been there all along. I have noticed that she has been vigorously scratching both ears today, but this growth doesn't appear to be merely the result of scratching.

History: I just adopted my 6 year old female Maltese, Tinkerbell, on Monday. I immediately took her to the Vet to get her up to date on shots and to get her checked out.

The vet gave her rabies, bordetella, and parvo vaccines. The Vet said she badly needs a teeth cleaning and she has a grade 2-3 heart murmur.

It also appears that she has some scar tissue in her ears, likely due to previous ear infections. The Vet did not notice the growth.

Tonight I got her nails clipped, and the groomer mentioned her nails are in bad shape, possibly due to a poor diet. Since living with me, I am positive her quality of life has improved dramatically. She has a very friendly, loving, quiet demeanor. She has become increasingly affectionate and happy each day.

After returning to get her nails clipped tonight, I was scratching Tinkerbell behind her left ear and felt a bump.

Can you help me determine what the growth is or isn't? I'm hoping it is not as serious as a mast cell tumor, and is merely a wart or harmless growth.

Thanks for the help!

Comments for Dark Purple, Brown and Red Pea-Sized Skin Growth with 3 Close Bumps Behind Dog's Ear

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Jan 24, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dark Purple, Brown and Red Pea-Sized Skin Growth with 3 Close Bumps Behind Dog's Ear
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Jennifer,
The growth you have pictured behind Tinkerbell's ear is a benign, age-related wart. See our page on dog warts.

You wrote,
"She is a 6 year old Maltese Female/spayed adopted 1/21/13."

Could she possibly be older? Usually warts do not show up in dogs until they are over 8-9 years of age. And the more vaccinations they have the more warts may develop.

You wrote,
"She received Rabies, Parvo and Bordatella vaccinations at one time."

Small breed white dogs run a higher risk of adverse reactions to vaccines when given 2 or more vaccines at one time.

At this point, she needs NO vaccinations for 3 years. And in 2016, my advice would be to give her ONLY the Rabies vaccination. And no other vaccinations at all.

According to Dr. Ron Schultz in Current Veterinary Therapy XI 'Annual Vaccinations', vaccinations in dogs provide immunity for more than 10 years or for the life of the animal.

You wrote that she needs a teeth cleaning. I suggest that prior to a teeth cleaning, that she have a total blood panel plus heartworm test and fecal.

Start her on Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10 CoEnzyme Q-10 15mg two times daily for her heart murmur.

Give her Thuya 30c one pellet by mouth one time per week for 3 weeks for the wart.

NO DRY Dog food. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options and consider a RAW diet for Tinkerbell.

She should have a tartar control treat after each meal. If there is NO improvement in her teeth after one month, and if her blood panel is normal, then she should have her teeth cleaned under sedation, and possibly consider removal of the wart if it is still present.

OR seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for on-going care, and non-surgical treatment of the wart, and heart murmur. (this would be by far the healthiest option!)

Regular grooming every 4-6 weeks, and lots of tender loving care, and she should live a long and healthy life. Good for you for adopting her!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

Related Pages:
- Dog Warts,
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Warts, Cysts and Strange Growths Section

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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