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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31102
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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My dogs ear lobe is swollen and appears to be filled with liquid.

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My dogs ear lobe is swollen and appears to be filled with liquid. It looks like he may have been bitten by something tiny, or stuck by a plant needle. He doesn't yelp like it hurts when we touch it. Do I need to take him to a vet or will it eventually clear up?
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice. There is no additional charge for information request.

1- Can check inside his ear canals for evidence of an infection like redness, discharge or bad odor?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

no redness, no odor, no discharge


The swelling you are seeing is called an "Aural Hematoma." This when the pinnae (floppy part of the ear) becomes filled with blood secondary to damage to the vessels as a result of any form of trauma. Treatment involves draining the blood and leaving a drain in place for the blood to drain. If the hematoma is not treated the body will eventually reabsorb the blood but the ear will become disfigured (cauliflower like). This is not a life threatening condition, but, should be seen by your family veterinarian for drain placement. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can recommend for you to try at home.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Could this have been caused by excessive rubbing. When he is washed or treated for fleas he rubs his face and head on the ground and outside rugs.
Rubbing unlikely, but, shaking his head yes. It usually happens when they shake their head like when they have an ear infection or after being bathed.
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