Our oldest Aussie Willie (12 years old now) had been having some issues with his right ear, or so we thought. What we though was an ear infection turned into a submandibular gland infection. At first he just acted like he had something in his ear, tilting his head to the right and shaking his head, scratching etc. Vet couldn't see any signs of an ear infection but decided to have us treat it like so at first. I didn't notice any real improvement but noticed he was either just tolerating it or the pain was somewhat subsiding.
Finally one morning I noticed his water bowl was dry and yet his right ear was wet. Took him out and noticed this huge lump under his right ear. It was hard and weeping from scratching at it. My first initial thought was "Oh my gosh he has a tumor, or worse cancer!" So, took him into the vet again and they couldn't find any evidence leading to those two suspicions. Instead the evidence lead to a simple infected gland for whatever reason. Antibiotics for two weeks and a the cone of shame seemed to clear everything up!
I can't express the feelings that raced through my mind coming into the holiday seasons. It scared me to even consider that this might be his last Christmas with us. He was my first Aussie and the one that started it all! Still as healthy as ever even though he may just be a grumpy old man at this point and going a little senile but still very much a part of the family!
We love you Willie! Grumpy fluff-butt and all!