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My Dog Has Drain Tracts And Wounds That Won’t Heal – Ace Health Update

Note: My dog Ace was very sick for about 8 months. My dog had multiple drain tracts, wounds and infections on his body that would not heal, but we finally found a way to help him.

First, let me say that today my senior mutt Ace is doing really well!

We think he’s feeling more energetic than he’s felt in over a year.

We finally figured out his health issues after working closely with a dermatologist since February.

Ace’s final diagnosis is panniculitis, which is a rare condition where a dog’s fatty tissue under the skin becomes inflamed, causing “nodules” that can break open and drain an oily, bloody liquid.

The cause is usually unknown.


More details, for those interested

It took several months and three specialists to finally diagnose Ace with panniculitis.

Because Ace originally had only a single wound and drain tract for several months, all the vets we worked with kept saying he most likely had a “foreign body” such as a foxtail.

The poor guy had surgery in December with our general veterinarian to remove the “foreign body” and needless to say, the surgery did not help. (I don’t blame our vet. He is a good vet.)

In February, we had a second surgery scheduled with a specialist because we were still thinking “foreign body” at that time. But literally hours before that surgery was scheduled, a second drain tract and wound burst open on another area of Ace’s body.

As awful as it was to see multiple wounds and drain tracts appearing on my dog (he would eventually have six), this is what led us to meet with a dermatologist instead of a surgeon.

Over the next few months, the dermatologists helped Ace get rid of multiple secondary infections that had developed, and then once those were under control we started him on an immunosuppressant medication called Atopica (cyclosporine) to finally treat the panniculitis.

This medication helped Ace feel better and heal almost immediately.

I’m thankful I still have my dog

I had truly reached my financial and emotional limits, and I had accepted that Ace was going to die from whatever disease was causing so many lesions on his body. I didn’t know what he had at the time; no one seemed to be able to help us.

And then … finally … he got better with the right medication.

Not only has Ace’s body healed, but his playfulness, goofiness and energy are back!

He’s still old and has arthritis, but he can walk 1.5 miles at a trot, play fetch, do tricks, joke around. His face is expressive again. He “laughs,” makes eye contact, follows me around, does all the things that a normal Ace would do.

It took us over 30 minutes to walk a half-mile in February. Today he trots a mile and a half in the same amount of time.

He must’ve been feeling so sick for such a long time. I didn’t quite realize how sick he actually was feeling. I thought a lot of it was just his age.

Ace and me

So thank you for all your positive thoughts in the last year. It really meant a lot to me to hear from so many dog lovers.

I know I’m lucky to have my old dog around for awhile yet.

Go and hug yours.

You can read about our issues in these posts if you’d like:

December “foreign body” diagnosis

January – I started losing hope here

February – Still no answers

Cee Roberts

Friday 26th of April 2024

It’s 4/2024 and I just read about the drain tracts. My dog got her 1st on in 8/2022 and now has 4 and finally I think we might have the answer !! I can’t tell you how excited I am because I can’t afford to think surgery is the only option and was on the brink of euthanasia. The draining on furniture covered up and thinking I was losing my mind after 3 vets telling me about foreign bodies and my poor dog suffering. Thanks so much for giving me and Bella a glimmer of hope.

Vectra 3D for Dogs - Monthly Flea & Tick Prevention for Dogs | Switch Your Mood | Blogging, Shopping & Money it's all in the Air

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

[…] senior dog Ace (miss you, Ace!) had an autoimmune disease called panniculitis that caused skin problems. I couldn’t risk him getting flea bites on top of his already sensitive […]

Sandy Weinstein

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

i have never heard of this. i am so thankful that Ace is better and acting like a school kid again. may he live a long life. my oldest who is 15, has a little dementia, deaf now and almost blind. she also has some disc problems carried over when she developed vestibular yrs ago and hurt her back going in the tight circles. however, the past 2 yrs she has developed nodules on her head and other places but mostly on her head. the vet tested them, nothing came back. then most went away and now they are starting to show up again. the vet just cant figure out what they are and what is causing them. they are not soft but hard. mini schnauzer are prone to skin bumps as they get older, but they are soft not hard. evie also has a sarcoma on her toe, which she is having removed next week, they are doing a block so she wont have to go under anesthesia. if there is not enough tissue after removing the sarcoma they will have to remove the toe. she has been thru so much these past 2 yrs. i blame it all on the seresto collar. she was a perfectly healthy dog til i used that collar on her. she developed so many problems after using it. i wont go into great detail but beware of this collar. a lot of dogs have had major problems with it, some have had strokes, loss use of their hind legs, became lethargic, refused to eat, showed they had developed kidney disease, etc.


Thursday 4th of August 2016

I am so thankful that you discovered what was going on with Ace and he has his health and spark back. I'm glad he didn't have to go through that second surgery too. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how happy you must have been once you discovered what was wrong and he started acting like himself again. Give him a hug from me tonight!

Kathy heller

Thursday 28th of July 2016

So very glad Ace is doing well after the nightmares of the previous months