Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Ear swollen like balloon.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2-5 years
My dog has a large swelling on her ear that looks like a balloon. She is shaking her head non-stop and looks really sore. I don't think this is an ear infection. Do I need to see the vet?




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there and thanks for your question. Sorry to hear that your dog is not well!

While I can't say for sure what is going on with your dog, what you have described certainly sounds like something called an aural hematoma.

Often we can't find the cause of an aural hematoma, but sometimes it can be there because the dog has been shaking her head because of an ear infection. If there is an ear infection you will see debris inside the ear and possibly smell an odor.

The swelling is actually a collection of blood that forms between the skin and the cartilage of the ear. This is actually quite a painful thing to have.

The next question is what to do. Really, she does need to see the vet. Dogs who are not treated for this will eventually have the swelling go down, but we will end up with quite severe scarring on the ear. Also, it may take some time and she will be in pain for most of this time.

Most vets treat this by doing surgery to remove the fluid and then suture the skin to the cartilage in several spots so there is no chance for fluid to accumulate again.

However, some vets (including myself) are finding that these hematomas will often resolve when the dog is given oral steroids. This is much less expensive and seems to work fairly quickly. You can talk to your vet about all of the options.

Hope she does ok!

Dr. Marie.


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

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.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Guinea pig-Scab and itchy. my guinea pig is scratching a sore what is wrong with... (11332 views)

cat with trouble breathing I have a cat named Bunny, she is about 4 or 5 years old, she is a little over... (26721 views)

Scabs on cat's back. For a couple of months now, I’ve noticed my cat has been trying to scratch her... (186671 views)

Human mouthwash for dog? Can I give my dog diluted mouthwash (regular people mouthwash) I want to mix a... (22615 views)

Diarrhea in chihuahua. Hello. I need some help in trying to diagnose my 4 month old chihuahua puppy. Let me... (9492 views)

Artificial sweetener ingestion. This morning I ate an atkins bar for breakfast. I left the wrapper on the couch and... (39278 views)

Puppy vomiting and not eating. my do seems to be sick she will not really eat and she has lost most of her energy... (14878 views)

Benadryl for swollen snout? my dogs face around the snout has become swollen not sure why but im guessing its... (21928 views)

Swollen nose. My 9 yo Female Samoyed has a swollen nose - the black part of the nose, on the top.... (8494 views)

Lumps on hips. My dog is five years old female golden/lab. Three weeks ago I noticed two bumps at... (16503 views)

See all questions...

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.