I live in northern Virginia with my two dogs, who are both mixed breed dogs around 13 years old.
My elderly parents live in North Carolina with their two dogs, who are both mixed breed. One is about 6 and the other is about 2 or 3 (not sure since they are from the pound).
My dogs sleep indoors and are indoors quite a bit when I'm in Virginia. Their dogs sleep outdoors, in a dog house, and never come indoors.
I have visited them for extended trips lately, since I am consulting and generally have a lot of flexibility in my job. They are getting older, so I've been helping them with their house and yard. When I visit, my dogs are mostly outdoors during the day, indoors at night. Their dogs are in a separate fenced area, but sometimes I let all four dogs play.
Ok - so here's the concern:
One of their dogs has had raw ears for a while. We assumed this was due to the other dog biting at her. We've tried to resolve it by catching the other dog rough housing, and discouraging that behavior, as well as by discouraging the other dog from using her mouth when trying to play with humans. The next thing we were going to try was putting Vick's Vapor Rub on the raw ears to keep the other dog from biting at them.
However, I noticed this week that their other dog also has sore ears now. I'm not sure if that's new, or if I just noticed it. (They don't play with the dogs enough to reliably notice things like that.)
AND, I also noticed this week that my dogs have little rough areas on their ears. They don't have open sores or bleeding, but the areas feel rough to the touch.
My first thought was mange. I did some research, and I'm not sure ... apparently, mange is very itchy, and I haven't noticed my dogs scratching more than normal. When I touch the rough areas and try to lightly pick at or scrape them with my fingers, my dogs don't react any differently than if I did that elsewhere on their ears (ie with mild annoyance).
It's been hot in North Carolina lately, but it wasn't hot when we noticed my parents' dog first having ear problems.
Any insight? We could take them all to the vet and may end up doing that anyway, but before I do that, I'm just wondering if anyone can say "oh, that's probably ant bites" or whatever.
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