Ear Care: Swollen


The most common and famous reason amongst researchers for dog swollen ear is inflammation. Inflammation can occur for any reason such as infection, allergy, parasitic infestation, tumors or any injury. Inflammation is an acute (immediate) response of the body towards any pathological (disease) condition, thus swelling as a characteristic of inflammation may be the result of any dog ear problem.

Another common cause of dog swollen ear is a hematoma. Canine ear hematoma refers to the accumulation of fluids and blood in between the skin and cartilage of the ear. Most of the time it occurs over the flap of the ear, but it may also occur in the inner cavities of the ear.

Hematomas may cause inflammation as a secondary character, which means as a result of another condition. Hematomas are caused by any mechanical injury or vigorous head shakes, which are also related to the underlying ear problem. Tumors and blockages of the ear canal is another cause for a swollen ear. Tumors cause excessive growth of cells in the ear and thus the body responds rigorously to reduce cellular activity through inflammation, which results in swelling of the ear.

Also, blockage in the dog ear canal can result in hindrances for ear wax flow and lubrication of the inner ear, thus microbes can grow into a large population ending up with an infection, which is characterized by symptoms which include dog swollen ear.

Symptomatic Association of Dog Swollen Ear:

Commonly, a canine swollen ear is caused by inflammation, which is characterized by different symptoms i.e. pain, redness, hyperthermia (high body temperature), loss of function and swelling. Thus, in case a dog has inflammation in the ear due to any underlying cause, the dog will exhibit signs of swelling along with all the aforementioned components of inflammation.

A dog with a swollen ear experiences mild to severe pain, discomfort etc, thus the dog will shake its head vigorously and might scratch its ear frequently. Secondary ear problems such as secondary infections, self injury and the development of generalized illness are possible. In the case of tumors and/or blockage of the ear, along with common symptoms a dog may also exhibit signs such as an unusual gait and in coordination while walking. A dog may also experience hearing problems, thus may not respond to commands or the dog will show aggressiveness.


Dog swollen ear can be noted during a detailed clinical examination. Swelling on the outer flap of the ear is easy to diagnose. If a dog ear has swelling, the inner parts of the ear will be warm to the touch and it will cause pain to the dog. Laboratory tests might be required in cases where there is an advanced infection, blockage and tumors. Isolation and culturing of microbes and a biopsy for diagnosing tumors might be required along with x-rays.


A specific treatment of the underlying cause of the dog ear problem is necessary; otherwise ear swelling will be a recurring symptom. Antibiotics, anti fungal drugs, anti parasitic preparations or anti allergic drugs might be used if indicated by a confirmed diagnosis. In the case of hematomas and tumors or blockage, minor surgery is usually required to clear the ear canal.

A canine swollen ear can be treated symptomatically, once the underlying cause is addressed. This can be done by specific drugs such as steroids and anti inflammatory drugs. Home remedies can be used as a cleansing antiseptic solution, vitamin E and oils can also help to reduce swelling in the ear.

Natural remedies such as Ear Dr. are also an effective option for preventing dog swollen ear, these prevent the accumulation of foreign objects, allergens in the ear and keeps the population of microbes within normal limits. In addition, commercially formulated natural remedies such as Immunity and Liver support can help to keep the ear canal clear, thus preventing any chances of common ear problems and to boost immunity.