Finding a swelling on your dog’s ear has to be one of the most unpleasing things any pet owner would have to discover. The pain can be alarming and excruciating for the dog. Swollen ear lobes in dogs can be caused by Ear Hematoma or aural hematoma, as well as ear mite infestation.
An aural hematoma is a collection of blood on the ear flap of the dog. It’s usually due to an injury to the ear; aural hematomas occur when the tiny blood vessels in the ear flap rupture and blood builds up between the tissue layers. It’s accompanied by constant head shaking and scratching by the dog.
This article will reveal the causes, treatment, and other facts about swollen ear lobes in dogs. Read on to find out.
Signs And Symptoms Of Swollen Ear Lobes In Dogs
You can never miss the signs and symptoms of swollen ear lobes on your dog. The first is appearance; pet owner often notices the ear become more thickened and swollen, definitely as a result of fluid/blood build-up. The ear would feel warm and hard to touch, in some cases, it may be soft and fluctuating.
Swollen ear lobes in dogs are a sign of ear problems in dogs. As a pet parent who wants to keep his/her pet healthy, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of swollen ear lobes in dogs, as well as what to do if you find these signs in your dog.
Other signs and symptoms of swollen ear lobes in dogs:
- Head tilting – If you ever notice your furry friend tilt its ear to the left or the right, then it’s time to examine and find out if there’s a swelling on the ear lobe.
- Head shaking: Dogs tend to shake their head, in desperate need to ease the discomfort of a swollen ear lobe. Unfortunately, the head shaking encourages more fluid/blood build-up, as more blood vessels get torn.
- Severe ear scratching and itching will be noticed.
- Ear loss around the ear as well as purulent or bloody discharge.
Causes Of Swollen Ear Lobes In Dogs
The most common causes of swollen ear lobes in dogs are ear mite infestation and aural hematoma.
Ear Mite Infestation in Dogs
Mites are microscopic parasites that will feed on the oils and ear wax in your pooches’ ears if given the chance. Ear mites can cause severe irritation and discomfort for your beloved dog. The most common of these mites is Otodectes cynotis. The constant irritation and discomfort results in head shaking, tilting, and scratching by your sweet little pooch.
Ear mites produce coffee brown-like debris, called cerumen; which can completely block the dog’s ear canal in severe cases of infestation. Complications of ear mite infestation include ear hematomas, and the most common lesion is often seen as an open or crusted wound on the ear flap.
Infestation of ear mites can also predispose your dog to an ear infection. Also, due to constant scratching and head shaking, an open wound on the ear flap might get infected, resulting in a full-blown bacterial infection.
signs to look out for include dark discharge from the ear, an unpleasant odor from the ear, and skin irritation in and around the ear.
Ear mites spread rapidly, even if the contact with an infected animal is minimal. As dogs like to play together, ear mites can be transferred during play sessions and socialization. They can also be transferred to the beddings and kennels. Ear mites are more common in puppies than in older dogs.
Diagnosis of ear mites is based on physical examination by a specialist. It is important to consult a veterinarian if you notice any sign of ear irritation and discomfort with your furry friend. The Veterinarian will use special equipment to check for the presence of ear mites or a secondary bacterial infection in your dog’s ear.
Treatment of Ear Mites in Dogs
There are several products on the market for the treatment of ear mites in dogs, and the subsequent reduction of swollen ear lobes in dogs. Again, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian, who will confirm the best treatment option for your beloved friend.
Options for treatment include medicated ear drops, over-the-counter preparations such as NexGard® products, Four Paws Aloe Ear Mite Treatment, or ectoparasitic tablets recommended by the veterinarian.
Ear Hematoma In Dogs
As earlier mentioned, an ear or aural hematoma is a collection of blood or fluid within the tissues of the ear flap of a dog. Hematomas occur when the tiny blood vessels of the ear rupture and blood accumulate between the tissue layers of the ear.
Ear hematoma in dogs is one of the leading causes of swollen ear lobes in dogs. Ear hematoma if left untreated can heal on its own but that would mean several weeks of discomfort for your beloved furry friend.
Ear hematoma can occur secondary to ear mite infestation, or inner or outer ear infection. The aggressive head shaking and scratching that accompanies these conditions causes ear hematoma. Other conditions that can make a dog susceptible to hematoma include; allergies, yeast infection or bacterial infection, trauma to the ear, skin infections, or immune disorders, with the vast majority caused by allergies and infections.
Dogs with larger ear flaps are more susceptible to developing ear hematoma, although all dogs can develop ear hematoma.
The diagnosis of an ear hematoma is easily spotted by a qualified veterinarian by physical examination. Diagnosing the underlying cause of the aural hematoma would play a role in treating the swollen ear lobes in dogs.
Your veterinarian might want to perform several tests to come to a definitive diagnosis. These may include but are not limited to a blood test, skin tests, and needle aspiration as well as an examination of the inner ear.
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Treatment of ear hematoma in dogs
The most common choice by veterinarians is a surgical reduction of ear hematoma. A linear incision is often made across the ear flap, and sutures are used afterward. This procedure is often performed under sedation. Other options are needle aspirations and placing a drain inside the ear.
Small hematomas resolve on their own as a result of blood reabsorption. This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be checked out, as even the smallest of hematomas can be very painful for the dog.
Conclusion on Swollen Ear Lobes in Dogs
The pooling of blood under the tissue layer of the ear flap causes ear hematomas. Ear hematomas can occur secondary to ear mite infestation and ear infections. These conditions cause constant head shaking and scratching, and dogs could be seen tilting their head sideways.
Ear hematoma, mite infestation, and ear infections are the most common causes of swollen ear lobes in dogs. Swollen ear lobes in dogs are quite painful, and any pet owner should endeavor to get the pet checked by a veterinarian.
What causes a dog's ear lobe to swell?
Ear hematoma, ear mite infestation, and ear infections are among the most common causes of swollen ear lobes in dogs.
How can I treat my dogs swollen ear flap at home?
It is advisable to consult a veterinarian for the best options in treating a swollen ear flap of dogs, especially those swellings caused by ear hematomas. If the swelling is caused by ear mites, an over-the-counter product that is effective in the destruction of mites would be helpful.
Is a dog ear hematoma an emergency?
A dog's ear hematoma would not be considered an emergency but every responsible pet owner should take their dog to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How do you treat a swollen ear lobe?
Your veterinarian may choose the surgical approach to treating swollen ear lobes in your dog. Draining with a tube is possible once an incision is made across the swollen ear flap. The underlying cause of the swelling should be diagnosed and treated accordingly.