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Blood behind dog's ears.

Species: Dog
Breed: lab mix
Age: 1-2 years
I noticed a couple of days ago what looked like mud behind her ears, now it's bloody and looks like something is eating away at her ears. She's not shedding, her hair is falling out. Help...!




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer without being able to see Nahla. Do you think you could get a good picture of the area?

My best guess is that this may be a hot spot. A hot spot is a skin infection that starts with any sort of break in the skin. Usually, it will need to be treated by a vet. If it is a hot spot, they will shave and clean the area and then put Nahla on some medication (like antibiotics and possibly steroids.)

Can you tell if there is any issue inside of her ears? Do either of them look red or full of debris or smelly? If she has an ear infection then this can cause her to be scratching at her ears and may be what has caused the issue behind her ear.

If you can get a photo (or more than one) you can send it to photos@askavetquestion.com.

Thanks!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I will send you a photo now. She doesn't have anything in her ears, just behind them. They both look red and full of debris, doesn't smell. Would a hot spot cause hair to fall out? She's losing a lot of hair. What is sarcopic mange? aaaahhh, I'm scared she has that.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the photos:

scabs on dog's ear

scabs on dog's ear

From the photos it looks like the scabs / bleeding area is really on the top of the ear. I still can't say for certain what this is, but I can give you some of my thoughts.

I have seen dogs look like this because of fly bites. Do you live in a warm area that has flies or mosquitos at this time of year? If so, then this could very well be what is causing this.

Sarcoptic mange doesn't usually look quite like this. The scabs and itchy areas tend to be along the edges of the ear in a dog with mange as opposed to on top like this.

If it was just one ear I would say that perhaps she has just wounded herself or possibly been bitten by another dog, but that would be very unusual to see on both ears.

Another possibility, although I think this is unlikely is something called vasculitis. This is a serious immune system issue. However, it doesn't really look like that from the pictures.

These really look like scabs that should soak off. You could use warm water and a tiny amount of Dawn dishsoap and a cloth and this should get the scabs off. If the skin looks really irritated underneath or if the area becomes smelly then she'll need to see the vet.

If you do live in an area warm enough to see flies at this time of year then you can use a fly repellant on her. You can buy ones made for dogs such as "Bush Splash" or you can use any fly repellant that is safe for young children.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Okay, what about hair loss? Is that common with fly bites? I live in San Antonio and the flies and mosquitos are very bad this year.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It certainly can be. Some dogs can get something called "fly strike" that can cause hair loss and irritation on their ears as a reaction to mosquito bites.

If the cleaning doesn't work then she may need some steroid or antibiotic cream prescribed by a vet.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.