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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20837
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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I have a lab and her ear is swollen so that it feels lit it

Customer Question

I have a lab and her ear is swollen so that it feels lit it is to pop. what do i need to do to bring relief?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Based on the signs you are reporting, I would be concerned that you lass has an ear hematoma. This is essentially a blood blister that arises secondary to ear infections or irritations that trigger capillary rupture as the dog shakes their heads or scratches their ears. We can see it related to ear trauma, but that tends to be less common.

Now to start, we need to avoid aspirin here. It is a mild pain relief but its also a blood thinner. This means it could be making this worse. Instead, if she is sore, we'd need her local vet to start dog safe pain relief (ie Metacam, Onsior, Previcox, Rimadyl) and treatment for the underlying cause. Of course, if this is very severely full (they do not tend to pop since high pressure does reduce bleeding) then you can have your vet drain this as long as the bleeding isn't active. As well, they can also inject steroids into the hematoma to reduce overall inflammation and discomfort. Finally, I would just note that with severe cases, we do sometimes need to take these above steps but also tack the skin of the ear back down to the cartilage to prevent recurrence.

Overall, this sounds like an ear hematoma that may be arising secondary to an ear infection. Therefore, if this is severe, we need to absolutely stop the Aspirin and consider the above. Finally, in the meantime, I would also note that you can at least warm compress the hematoma to encourage the body to resorb the blood. Just to note, if you do not have a warm compress then you can make one by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Please take care,

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 as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.


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