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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30036
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My lab starting shaking his head a lot last night and the inside

Customer Question

My lab starting shaking his head a lot last night and the inside of his ears and flaps were very red. I mixed vinagar and water and wiped out his ears the best I could and gave him 75 mg of benadrl. He's 85 pounds. Gave his second dose at noon. Now I notice that his ear flaps are very swollen. He is sleeping now. Do you think he'll be ok till I can get him to our vet in the morning or should i take him to the emergency vet?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! My name is***** am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.
I am sorry to hear about this concern. Definitely, ER vet visit. Why?
Well, this is more than just a routine ear infection. There is substantial inflammation if you are observing swelling of the pinnae (ear flaps). In addition, there is a risk for aural hematoma formation. That is when the ear flap fills up with fluid. So, I definitely would suggest getting a vet on top of this problem now. They can prescribe appropriate ear medication, and likely start some steroids to knock down the inflammation/swelling quickly.
Here is some general information about ear infections:
What you are describing sounds consistent with otitis externa (an ear infection).
This is usually caused by a bacterial and/or yeast infection. Ear mites tend to be more common in puppies/kittens or pets that remain outdoors.
Otitis Externa in Dogs
Ideally, the following would be done at your veterinarian,
Examination of the ear canal.
URL=]Ear Cytology[/URL]If the ear canal is dirty and not excessively painful, a deep ear flushing
A prescription for a ear medication and ear flush is sent home
If there is substantial inflammation/swelling, a steroid injection or oral medication is prescribed
If there is substantial bacteria identified on the cytology, an oral antibiotic should be prescribed
Great Summary about Ear Infections
How to Flush Ears
Good Luck!
Dr. Andy