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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16311
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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It looks like a bug or ant maybe bit our dogs ear today very

Customer Question

it looks like a bug or ant maybe bit our dogs ear today very swollen ear puffy and hot no other symptoms
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about your fellow Diesel's swollen ear.

Does this swelling feel like a water balloon?

Is it part of the ear flap?

Has he been shaking his head?

Does he now or has he ever had an ear infection?

Does it look like the dog in this link below? (can be smaller but this will give you a general idea)

If so then this is likely an ear hematoma. This happens when a blood vessel in the ear breaks and the area inside the ear flap fills with blood.
It is usually from them shaking their head/ears repeatedly from an ear infection.
But sometimes they just shake their head a few times, hit the ear on something and a blood vessel breaks leading to bleeding.

If it is very small (nickel size) it may heal on its own just fine as the blood is reabsorbed. You can apply a cool compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time to the swollen area the first 24 to 48 hours, then pat dry and apply cortisone cream (like cortaid) twice daily to help reduce inflammation.

After 48 hours try a warm compress rather than cold to speed healing and improve circulation and then cortisone ointment.

But if it's larger then it may need to be drained and/or sutured so it doesn't refill.

If you notice any odor or increased waxy debris then he may have an early infection which started all this, and then he should definitely see his veterinarian for proper treatment no matter that size of the swelling is.

If he is scratching at his ear quite a bit or seems bothered by the swelling you can give him Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at a dose of 1mg to 2mgs per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours (one 25mg tab per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight every 8 hours). This will reduce allergic itchiness and can make him sleepy which should help him leave the ear alone.

If he is rubbing the ear or scratching at it placing an elizabethan (lampshade) collar is recommended so he doesn't further traumatize his ear, which could enlarge the hematoma.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****