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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20390
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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dog: s ear is verry swollen on the floppy part..he shakes his head

Customer Question

my dog's ear is verry swollen on the floppy part, is there any thing I can do with out taking him to the vet he is not good with other people & would be hard to put muzzel on him.When he shakes his head I can tell it hurts him.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the questionCustomer

In direct answer to your question : While I cannot diagnose this over the internet from your description it is highly likely that your dog is suffering from what is called an aural haematoma. This is not a life threatening condition and if not treated it will cause your dog some minor discomfort, having said that it is in your dog's best interests that you do get it treated. Unfortunately there is no scope here for home remedies, I know you dog can be difficult but the only way out here is to have a vet take a look.

This happens when a dog bursts a blood vessel between the layers of skin on her ears, these vessels keep bleeding and the ear fills up with a bubble of blood, and it has most likely happened because she has an infection in his ear canal which made the ear itchy, then repeated scratching results in the burst blood vessel. This would be more likely as a cause than another dog biting her ear.

Treatment : Opinions will differ between vets but what I always do is this :

1. Drain the haematoma with a large syringe and a large bore needle, this can be done in the consulting room. At the last second pull back on the syringe and quickly withdraw the needle so as to create a vacuum in the by now drained ear which helps keep the ear together. Prior to this I put small amount of a drug called depomedrone into the ear flap cavity via the syringe.

2. In 50 % of cases the swelling comes right back, my policy was to drain these ears twice and if it then came back in a short space of time I had the dogs for the day for a minor operation which usually resolves the situation.

3. It is important that the ears should be examined and checked for outer ear disease which in most likely the trigger factor. This can be treated with antibiotic ear drops and other ear products.

Sorry as I said I cannot offer any home remedies here, there is not a lot you can do on your own so it means a trip to the vet I am afraid.

If my answer is helpful to you please click Accept as this the only way I am paid for my work. If on the other hand I have not fully answered your question or you would like ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS