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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 17 year old husky has an ear flap that is full of liquid

Customer Question

my 17 year old husky has an ear flap that is full of liquid and now it seems the other is filling up. How can I treat it? what is it?
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 with your wee one today.

Thank you,

Based on Max’s swollen ear flaps, our top suspicion here would be ear hematomas (due to rupture of the ear capillaries and free bleeding into the ear tissue). This often arises secondary to head shaking or ear scratching due to ear infection. Less common issues can be related to trauma, protein imbalances in the body or allergic reactions, but these are much less common in our dogs.

Now in regards ***** ***** and draining the ears, this isn’t something that should be done at home. The risk of introducing infection into the ears would be very high if we did. As well, it wouldn’t address the underlying problem with the ears itself.

Therefore, at this point (especially if both ears are affected), we’d really want to consider having Max seen by his local vet. They can assess the ears and start treatment to sort that for him. Otherwise, if the hematomas are very large, they can try draining them sterily with a needle and syringe. Though once they do, they will inject a special long acting steroid into the ear to counter associated inflammation and encourage this to settle. Of course, since these do have the risk of refilling, your vet may need to alternatively surgically drain this and then tack the tissues down to prevent the ear from refilling now (and in the future).

Overall, if we have ear flap based swellings, then they are likely blood filled hematomas. Therefore, we don’t want to drain these at home for fear of continued bleeding and risk of introducing infection. Instead, we’d really want to have him seen so that the underlying trigger is addressed but also to have this ear drained and treated with steroids or drained and tackled to prevent future refilling here.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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