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Hi. I’m Dr. Denise, a licensed veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment while I review your concerns.
I'm sorry to hear that Jiggs is recovering from an ear hematoma. I wish him well in his recovery.
An ear hematoma is a bruise caused by ruptured blood vessels within the ear flap. The most common cause for these vessels to rupture is from head shaking. Dogs will most often shake their heads in response to allergic inflammation or infection in their ears.
My recommendation would be to check his ears regularly for redness, debris and odor.
(Once he has recovered fully from surgery), clean his ears weekly for maintenance prevention using a routine ear cleaner and cotton balls. If you see irritation or debris accumulating, have him seen by his vet quickly to have an ear infection treated.
As strict as it may seem, it is standard of care for stitches to be removed at 3 weeks, and I make the same recommendation for my patients after surgery. Though a routine spay or neuter will have sutures removed at 2 weeks, it can take longer for the ear to heal and properly scar due to the cartilage in the ear. If there sutures are removed before complete healing of the ear, it can unfortunately reswell with a hematoma.
Regarding your question about Benadryl, it can be helpful in reducing allergic inflammation. It is dosed a 1mg/lb in dogs, and can be given every 12hrs. It can make them sleepy however.
Zyrtec (Cetirizine) is a different antihistamine option. For a flat coated retriever, I would recommend dosing at 1 tablet (10mg) every 12hrs.
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Hi, it's Dr. Denise checking in on Jiggs. How is he healing?
Is there anything else I can help you with?