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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21470
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My golden lab loves to swim, but a couple times last summer

Customer Question

My golden lab loves to swim, but a couple times last summer she came out with a swollen mouth. We put it down to her maybe swallowing a bee or something. She always came right by the next day or so.
She swam again yesterday, and afterwards had swelling around her eye, until it was almost closed. It spread a little down the side of her snout as well.
By this morning it was looking much better, so figured it was just going to clear up. He eye is almost back to normal now.
I've just noticed now however, that both her ears are now swollen! There is a spongy, soft lump in both ears. If I press it gently, I can see it bothers her, but she isn't too freaked out. So, I guess a little painful. She's not scratching at it, or shaking her head or anything.
Do dogs have glands/nodes in their ears?
Is this normal?
Do I need to take her to the vet?
Can dogs have human antihistamines? And if so, should I give this to her?
Should I give that to her anytime I first see the swelling?
My vet is closed now, and so need to know if I am able to leave this till the morning, or if it is serious?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now dogs do not have glands in their ears. The most common reasons to see swelling is if we have an ear hematoma (like a blood blister) or if we have inflammation/swelling of the skin covering the ears (which would fit with your description of an allergic reaction here). The rule with any inflammation/allergic reaction like you have seen with Hope is that as long as she is breathing normally with pink gums (not pale/white) and is not distressed; then we are not in an emergency situation. But I do think it is worth planning to treat with antihistamine the moment you see signs (or even consider pre-treating if there is something she is reacting to in the water).

With that in mind, there are human antihistamines we can use. The most common one is Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). Or we can use Cetirizine (More Info/Dose @ at a rate of 0.5mg per pound every 12-24 hours. And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Hope. How is everything going?