How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr.Fiona Your Own Question

Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
7995545
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr.Fiona is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Boston Terrier has a swollen ear. Its swollen/red on the

Resolved Question:

My Boston Terrier has a swollen ear. It's swollen/red on the exterior and interior of his ear. What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hi thereCustomer

 

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your Boston with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

 

Has he been shaking his head a lot recently?

 

Does the flap of the ear look like a water balloon?

 

Has he had discharge from his ears recently?

 

Fiona

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, he has been shaking his head a lot. When I got home from work, I let him out of his crate and watched him walk with his head tilted. He then tried to shake his head. He's noticeably uncomfortable.

 

Additionally, he's trying to scratch it with his back paws...but it's quite uncomfortable for him.

 

Water ballon? How do you mean?

 

No discharges.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

I mean that the ear flap itself is swollen up, like this:

 

or this:

 

(click "view larger image" if it doesn't show up initially)

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yikes! Those are ugly.

 

No, the flap of the ear is just irritated and red, both on the interior and exterior. The swollen part is on the exterior just as you enter the ear. Essentially, it would be to the opposite side of the flap.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

LOL - yes, those are not pretty ears, are they?!

 

Ok, so your boy has swelling that is across the canal from the ear flap? Is it just on one ear? How big is the swelling (pea, chickpea, cherry tomato, etc)?

 

Any chance you have a digital camera?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I would say it's the size of a pea.

 

If I can't find a camera, I could use my PDA/Smartphone?

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

SURE! If you can take a pic that would be great!

 

Now, I have to warn you that for some reason people working on Macs seem to have trouble uploading photos. Actually, lots of people seem to have trouble. So, if it works, that is a bonus... and if not, we'll manage!

 

 

You can post a photo or file on this thread - here is how to post them:

You need to post your files on your question page, so the expert can see them. On your question page, there is a tool bar above the reply box at the bottom of the page. If the tool bar is not showing, click "show tool bar". Once you have the tool bar showing, here are the instructions for posting your files:

For graphics, click the tree icon and then browse to choose a GIF, PNG, or JPG. Upload and then insert it.

For zip files, PDFs, or spreadsheets, you need to use the link tool. Enter text (like "download this") in the reply box and then double-click to highlight it. The link is the tool to the left of the tree. In the upper right corner is a browse dialog box, which you can use to locate your file. Select it and then insert the link. Use the Preview button if you want to test the link and see if it works correctly.

File size is limited to 1 MB.

Hope that works for you! Fiona

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay. I snapped a few pics. I'll attach them shortly. It's taking a little while to process.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yeah, I'm not able to load the files. Let's proceed without.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Yeah, I'm not surprised. Sigh. There seems to be some glitch with the system!!

 

Ok, so this bump was NOT there this am and is now?

 

Does your Boston have any swelling around his eyes or mouth?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Nope.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.
Ok! One last question - does he have discharge inside either ear? Does it have a smell to it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No on both accounts.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hmmm...

 

Ok, I lied! I need more info!

 

Just one ear? Other is TOTALLY normal?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes ma'am. Just one ear.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Ahhh... :-)

 

Ok, I think we have just about used up the 1000 words that the picture was worth! LOL! ;-)

 

I am going to go work on an answer and will be back shortly!

 

Do you have Benadryl in the house?

 

And how much does your little guy weigh?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yeah, we've got Benadryl. He weighs 27 pounds.

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 5 years ago.

Hi againCustomer

 

Thanks for ALL of your answers to better help me to understand what may be going on with your Boston. There are a number of things that I would be considering if he were on his way in to see me.

 

1. This could be a bug bite, spider bite that is causing an allergic reaction. If this is the case, then he would improve with Benadryl.

 

In a dog that I diagnose with an allergic reaction, I would treat for this! I generally suggest to clients that they give BENADRYL (diphenhydramine). The dose that one generally gives is 1mg/lb. It comes as 25 mg tablets, and if he is 27lbs, then the appropriate dose for a dog of that size would be 1 tablet. This can be repeated every 8 hours for 24-36h.

Here is more about Benadryl:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&cat=1303&articleid=1400

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/diphenhydramine-benadryl/page1.aspx

You should see improvement within 30 minutes.

In the meantime, apply cool compresses (a small towel dipped in cold water and wrung out) to the affected areas.

Here is more about allergic reactions in dogs:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/allergic-reaction-from-an-unknown-cause-in-dogs/page1.aspx

If the swelling is increasing in size or starting to include other areas such as around his face or nose, I suggest you take him to your veterinarian immediately. Please stay with him until it starts to come down because if it starts to cause swelling in the airways this could be serious. If it comes down with the Benadryl, it raises the index of suspicion that this is an allergic reaction.

2. This could be the beginning of an ear infection.

Ear infections (otitis externa) are quite common. They are commonly caused by yeast, bacteria or a combination of both. Quite often, the ear medications that I prescribe have a combination of anti-fungals to treat the yeast, anti-biotics to treat the bacteria and anti-inflammatories to decrease the pain and inflammation. The names of a couple of ear medications I commonly prescribe are Surolan and Otomax.

 

Here are some links about Otitis Externa that you might find useful:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=632

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1591&articleid=273

http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/earinfections.html

 

3. This bump and redness could be due to a puncture wound that has become infected. This could happen if he caught it on a twig, or sharp nail in the house, or if he had a tussle with a cat. What can happen is that bacteria get placed deep below the skin when a puncture occurs. The hole is small and quickly scabs over, leaving the bacteria below there. They grow well in this warm, moist airless environment.

 

So, the bacteria multiply, and the body sends in white blood cells to fight the infection, and soon you have a big pocket of pus and bacteria: an abscess! The abscess grows bigger until it ruptures and the pus pours out. This relieves the pressure and allows the hole to close over which then allows the process to start again.

 

Puncture wounds, ideally, should be treated with antibiotics within 24 hours. This prevents the bacteria from multiplying and forming an abscess in the first place.

 

So, overall, my suggestion would be to try the Benadryl, but if it is not helping then you are likley going to need to see a vet in order to get medication to treat this.

 

Good luck with your dog. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

 

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

 

Fiona

 

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 8 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.