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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32746
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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HI My dog is 14 years old and has a large ear which I think

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My dog is 14 years old and has a large ear which I think he has a haematoma as my husband kicked a ball and it hit him on the head. I have read that this can be left and it will eventually dissapear leaving the dog with a slighlty deformed ear which isn't a problem. He has had this for a week now and is good health otherwise and it doesn't seem to be bothering him. Should this be lanced or can it be left. Am I being cruel doing this?

Oh he has only ever been to a vet twice in his life - been very lucky
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is the part that you are seeing larger the floppy part (pinnae) of the ear?
2- Does it feel like liquid inside?
3- Can you look inside both of his ear canal for evidence of an infection like redness, discharge, bad odor, etc?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes its the floppy part and can see into his ear and there is no smell or redness. His ear is warm and feels like liquid

Trish, as you have suspected it sounds like he does have an Aural Hematoma. And, they usually occur secondary to damage to the vessels in the ear. 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.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok one last question would they have to put him under anaesthetic to do this or would it be a matter of just lancing it? If we were to leave it how long do you think it will take and is he in pain.

There are several ways to approach this, some are more effective than others. Draining the ear without leaving a drain in place is not effective as it will most likely get full again within 1-2 days. So, then the other options are:
1- Placing a cannula within the ear as a port for the ear to drain. This will require mild sedation. The drain is left in place for several days until the ear stops draining.
2- Surgery, the vet will open an incision through the middle of the pinnae and place suture all along the pinnae. This is the better procedure but does require general anesthesia and it is more expensive.
Leaving the ear without draining is another option as Ben is an older patient and may be a high risk for anesthesia. It can take as long as 2-3 weeks for the body to reabsorb the hematoma. I would discuss with family veterinarian about starting him on an anti inflammatory dose of Prednisone, this sometimes helps avoiding the ear from becoming disfigured.

Please reply if you have additional questions.

Dr. Peter
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