Why does my dog have a big lump in his ear? Here’s What to Expect

Symptoms of Ear Tumors in Dogs

The side effects of ear tumors depend on where the tumor is and how large it is. Some of the most often reported signs of ear tumors are:

  • Visible growth in the ear
  • Shaking head
  • Stumbling or falling due to lack of balance
  • Tilting the head
  • Swelling of the ear
  • Scratching or rubbing the ear
  • Whining or crying in pain when ear is touched
  • Foul smell in the ear
  • Bloody or yellow discharge
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Types

    Most ear tumors are benign (not cancerous), but only a veterinarian professional is qualified to tell the difference. That being said, there are several types of ear tumors which include:

  • Earwax gland tumor
  • Inner ear tissue tumor
  • Middle ear tissue tumor
  • Outer ear tissue tumor
  • Tumor of the bone
  • Diagnosis of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    To diagnose an ear tumor in your dog, your veterinarian will need to perform a thorough physical examination, including weight, blood pressure, temperature, reflexes, pupil reaction time, heart rate, respiration rate, skin and coat condition, and breath sounds. Be sure to tell the veterinarian if your dog is on any kind of medicine, whether it is prescription or over the counter drug. Also, describe the symptoms you have noticed and how long they have been going on.

    General diagnostic tests will be needed, which may include a complete blood count (CBC), chemical analysis, blood gases, liver enzyme panel, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). If possible, a detailed otoscopic examination of the affected ear will be done to check for damage or any other tumors. Your dog will be sedated for this procedure as well as for the x-rays that are needed to look at the internal ear structure. In addition, an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan may be necessary for a more detailed examination. Finally, the veterinarian will do a fine needle aspiration or biopsy of the tumor to check for malignancy.

    Quick Tips for Applying Ear Medication

    If treating your dogs ear swelling requires eardrops, you can make their application a little easier with these quick tips:

  • With the drops close by, gently hold your dogs head still. Lift its ear and clean easy-to-reach wax with a cotton ball and ear solution. Be careful not to dig too deep or to pack wax into the eardrum.
  • Maintain your grip and place the nozzle of the ear dropper at the opening of your dogs ear canal, angled toward the nose. Squirt in the correct number of drops.
  • Keep hold of your dogs head to prevent them from shaking out the medication. To spread the drops, fold your dogs ear down and massage the cartilage at the base of the ear for 30 seconds.