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...

Dog can't jump. My dog has a hard time standing up from the sitting position. Occasionally, he will... (12162 views)

Dog is obsessively licking at things. Hello. I have a question about my dog. I think she's experienced some tummy... (8678 views)

Doxycycline and amoxicillin. My dog is believed to have Lyme disease, her test was negative but our vet thought... (19588 views)

Facial lymph nodes on a dog. My puppy has a lump under each eye. Almost like a gland. I have no clue, maybe tumor... (22807 views)

Discolored fur around mouth. I have a Westie , 4 years old , the fur around his mouth has become redish pink... (12850 views)

Calcification in the lungs. dog lung calcification Dear Dr.Mari, I hear some bad sounds whenever my dog... (7509 views)

Vomiting and trouble with urination and stool. My 5 year old goldendoodle vomited (not food regurgitation) this morning, is trying... (23009 views)

Not nursing, diarrhea. We have two mom cats with seven kittens each, one litter a week and a half older... (5439 views)

Mass in cat's chest? Hello, My cat, a sterilized indoor-living Japanese Bobtail, is now 4 years old... (19915 views)

Very thirsty dog. My 13 year old spayed female lab is continually drinking water, can't seem to get... (8903 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.