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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16505
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My dog has crusty ear tips. Very bad on one side - the ear

Resolved Question:

My dog has crusty ear tips. Very bad on one side - the ear tip is really thickened and the skin is almost scabby, but not actually bleeding or pussy. He is not at all itchy but doesnt really want me to touch them although I was able to pull a bit off to have a look without it really bothering him. He had a biopsy for an inflamation of the eye white about two weeks ago but I think I had noticed the ear thing a bit before this and thought the thickening was scar from where he was bitten a year or so ago. He is not itchy or flaky anywhere else on his body. He is prone to getting ticks - but not on his ear tips. He comes into contact with foxes and rats, or at least their trails. His mother (who he is with 24 hours a day in very close contact) has no problems with her ears although she has had mange before (over ten years ago) and was wild with itchiness. Very different.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 6 years ago.

Hi Jacustomer-rjszvucb~


Is your dog an inside dog or outside?

What breed is he?

How long has this been going on?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One long walk a day in local parks and garden which is frequented by rats and foxes, but otherwise indoors. Standard Poodle. I have just trimmed the coat from the scabby thick ear tips just in case it was matting that had caused the problem, but it wasnt long at all and not matted. Also he had a grass seed removed from his ear (the same one that is the main problem) last week and is shaking his head quite a bit (I fear the ear canal is getting a bit infected - but we know all about this issue!) but the crusty thickening was there before the grass seed. I noticed about three weeks ago that it wasnt just scar but was getting worse. But it could have been a few weeks before that that it started.
Expert:  Lisa replied 6 years ago.

At any point did the whole ear seem puffed up?

Is it both ears or just one?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, whole ear is fine. It was just the left ear but there is a bit on the right now.
Expert:  Lisa replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for answering my questions.


There could be one of two things going on:

First, it could be that your dog has been scratching the ear enough to cause trauma to the edges, which could cause them to have that scabby look to them. The fact that it started on one ear and has now moved to the other makes it a bit unlikely that's what we're dealing with.

The other possibility is some kind of disorder or the circulatory system that would compromise blood flow to the edges of the ears. The fact that it started on the left and is now moving to the right makes this more of a possibility to me, but of course, it's impossible to know for sure.


The final possibility is mange since he does come in contact with some wildlife that would carry these kinds of mites.

If this were my dog, I would have the ears looked at. Ask the vet to start with a skin scraping to rule out bacterial or yeast infection or mange. If that comes back negative, you may want to start looking a bit deeper, and ask them to run some blood work to look for any anomalies that might be there.


Hopefully they'll be able to figure out what is causing this look.



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