How to recognize ear tumors in dogs

Written by nicki howell
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Ear tumours affect many dogs each year. Affected canines are typically middle to older age. The tumours may not be noticeable to the dog owner and are often found during a routine wellness exam. Cocker spaniels are a breed that tends to be predisposed to ear tumours. Early detection is important in your dog’s recovery. Here’s how to recognise ear tumours in dogs.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Give your canine regular exams. Check your dog from head to toe every month. Look for anything suspicious such as lumps or masses. If you do this monthly, it can assist in detecting issues. Having someone hold your dog while you conduct the example is helpful.

  2. 2

    Look for skin changes. Observe any skin changes to the ear that is different from your dog’s natural colouring.

  3. 3

    Look for bleeding in your dog’s ear. If you note bleeding in your canine’s ear, contact your vet for an evaluation. Even if it turns out to be a surface laceration, it’s better to be safe.

  4. 4

    Notice any strange odour or discharge. If you observe a strange odour or discharge when conducting your exam, it’s time to call the vet. This can be a sign of canine ear tumours.

  5. 5

    Look for strange growths. A dog that has an ear tumour may have a large growth that fills the entire ear canal. This can also be a smaller growth in some dogs.

Tips and warnings

  • Understand treatment options. If your vet confirms that an ear tumour is present, there are treatment options available. Depending on your dog’s circumstances, you may consider surgery to remove the tumour and radiation therapy.

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