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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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I have a black lab/pitbull mix and when we got m both of s

Customer Question

hello,I have a black lab/pitbull mix and when we got him both of his ears were nice and stout, boxy if you he holds one ear back or half way back almost all the time. When he is focused on something like food both of his ears used to sit up and look square, now only one...can you provide any suggestions?Thank you. ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: he was attacked by another dog about one year ago...and i have never really seen it perk back up since. My vet seemed to think it would just come back but it never really has. :(
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I added a photo for your reference.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help with your question about your dog.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

I'm so sorry you're having this problem with your dog's ears, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
So I may know we're properly connected and that you understand how the website works (including that I'll need to earn your good rating in order to receive any compensation for helping you), please type in a short response below. You may rest assured you'll have my full attention and will receive a complete response once I know you're there.
Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I guess I would ask is there anything we can do so that his ear becomes more stout again? Do you understand my question? Please let me know if you need me to provide more detailed information regarding my questions.Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


I received your response and your photo. Thank you very much. Can you please clarify for me that the inside of the ear is completely normal in appearance? Is there absolutely no redness, swelling, drainage, or odor?

Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

In the meantime, I'll do my best to answer your question based on the information you've already provided. I understand you're wondering if there's anything you can do to make his damaged ear stand up more erectly. To answer that, I'll start by describing what normally holds an ear in its upright position. That job is performed by the cartilage of the ear flap. Muscles at the base of the ear also help hold it up.

There are a few different things that can affect the way the cartilage and muscle that support the ear and cause the posture of the ear to change:

  • Ear infections that cause ear swelling. This would also have redness, drainage, and odor.
  • Ear injuries that cause ear swelling.
  • Ear tumors that weigh down the ear flap. This would be very obvious, and I see no sign of it in the photo.
  • Permanent damage to the cartilage that holds the ear in its normal shape.

Out of all these possibilities, in your situation I'm most suspicious about the last one. It's very likely that when his ear was injured, the cartilage was damaged and healed in a different position. I know you're wondering if there's anything you can do about this to change it now, but I'm afraid the answer is no. If his ear cartilage was damaged and healed in a new position, this change will be permanent.

I'm sorry. I wish I had better news for you. I hope you can find some comfort in the knowledge that if this is the case, at least it's not painful or bothersome to him. He will have simply become used to it and it won't bother him at all.

If, on the other hand, you are seeing additional symptoms like I mentioned above, it's worth a trip to the vet to treat any underlying new injuries or infections so you can help his ear be healthy again. If there is a new injury or infection, then it remains to be seen if the ear will return to its original posture once the problem is treated.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

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