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DrMelJ, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  graduate of the University of MN College of Vet Med
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I have an 11 year old Labrador retriever. This morning s

Customer Question

I have an 11 year old Labrador retriever. This morning his right ear flap was swollen and appeared to be full of fluid. Any recommendations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. thanks for the question. let me see if I can help. It sounds like your Lab has an aural hematoma- a buildup of blood between the skin flaps that make the ear. It is often caused by hard head shaking. Does inside his ear smell bad? he may have an ear infection which is causing him to head shake and maybe even rub or scratch at his ears. If you do not treat the ear infection, he will keep traumatizing the ear and make the hematoma worse. Ideally, you should get your dog scheduled to see the vet in the next couple of days to check out the inside of the ear for an infection and get on appropriate treatment for that. Then the vet can also drain the fluid from the ear flap and often they will also put a tight bandage on to help keep it from filling again. In bad cases , the hematoma may need to be treated with surgery.

If you can not get to the vet right away, clean that ear with hydrogen peroxide.....squirt a small amount down into the ear canal. Then gently rub at the base of the ear (not the swollen flap) to help break up debris down in the canal. Then use cotton swabs to GENTLY clean the debris out of the ear. You can also hold cold packs on the ear flap if it is hot to help with pain. DO NOT try to drain it or squeeze it yourself. Try very hard to keep the dog for head shaking or rubbbing/scratching at his ear as he will only make things worse. I hope this helps and that you are able to get in to see your vet soon to get this issue fully treated. Best of luck.

Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?