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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 699
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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My dogs earlobe is swollen does it need to be drained or

Customer Question

My dogs earlobe is swollen does it need to be drained or does she need antibiotics
Submitted: 3 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 3 days ago.

Hello my name is***** but you can call me Dr. H, and I am a licensed veterinarian.
I understand that your pet Zoey has a swollen ear pinna. This could be an ear hematoma.

Does Zoey shake her head a lot?

Also is there ear debris/discharge inside the ear that is swollen?

Do you have a picture you could share of the ear to verify that this is an ear hematoma?

- Dr. H

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
she shakes her head more than usual and there is no drainage from the ear canal just the otter lobe is swollen. When I get home from work I will take a picture for you. It is the lower line of her ear
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 2 day ago.


Shaking of the head is an indication, most of the time, of an inner ear infection. It may not be evident on the outside, which is why often-times an otoscope is needed to detect this.

If this is an ear hematoma then it was caused by excessive shaking of the head due to irritation inside the ear canal (yeast or bacterial infections are the most common cause), which caused a rupture of the major blood vessel in the ear pinna. This ruptured blood vessel leads to filling of blood in between the cartilage and skin of the ear pinna which causes further irritation for the pet. These ear hematoma's are treated in several ways, but I have learned through experience that just draining these + a Penrose Drain placement and a subsequent short course of steroids (i.e. Prednisone) and antibiotics to prevent infection is enough to resolve the swelling over the course of 1-2 weeks. Then treating for the underlying ear infection with topical ear medication is needed (if ear infection is confirmed via otoscope and ear cytology), because this was the source of the problem to begin with.

I am turning in for the night pretty soon as it is nearly 1am in the morning where I am (HST). I will check back in tomorrow for your reply and picture and give you my final recommendations if I don't hear back from you within the next 20-30 minutes.

- Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 2 day ago.

Please let me know if you get the information that I have sent ok, and also if you have any further questions. I will still await the picture you have of the ear. Thank you.

- Dr. H