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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16475
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 7 year old female lab has a swollen ear lobe, how can I

Customer Question

my 7 year old female lab has a swollen ear lobe, how can I treat her
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about Roxie's swollen ear flap (pinna).Does this swelling feel like a water balloon?Is it part of the ear flap?Has she been shaking her head?Does she now or has she ever had an ear infection?Does it look like the dog in this link below? (can be smaller but this will give you a general idea) If so then this is likely an ear hematoma. This happens when a blood vessel in the ear breaks and the area inside the ear flap fills with blood. It is usually from them shaking their head/ears repeatedly from an ear infection.But sometimes they just shake their head a few times, hit the ear on something and a blood vessel breaks leading to bleeding.If it is very small (nickel size) it may heal on its own just fine as the blood is reabsorbed.You can apply a cool compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time to the swollen area the first 24 to 48 hours, then pat dry and apply cortisone cream (like cortaid) twice daily to help reduce inflammation.After 48 hours try a warm compress rather than cold to speed healing and improve circulation and then cortisone ointment.But if it's larger then it may need to be drained and/or sutured so it doesn't refill.If you notice any odor or increased waxy debris then she may have an early infection which started all this, and then she should definitely see her veterinarian for proper treatment no matter that size of the swelling is. If she is scratching at her ear quite a bit or seems bothered by the swelling you can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at a dose of 1mg to 2mgs per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours (two 25mg tabs per 40-50 pound dog every 8 hours). This will reduce allergic itchiness and can make her sleepy which should help her leave the ear alone.If she is rubbing the ear or scratching at it placing an elizabethan (lampshade) collar is recommended so she doesn't further traumatize her ear, which could enlarge the hematoma. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Roxie. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara