Our German shepherd has a pair of very prominent ears. Gui often refers to them as donkey ears. Nevertheless, they stood upright, alert and proud. Two weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, his left ear suddenly swell up. It happened in a matter of minutes. Look closer, it looked like an air bubble or a blister had implanted itself inside his ear flap. Mom thought maybe it was a bee sting since he has known to mess with bees in our backyard. Once he got stung right on his cheek and it swell up to the size of a pin-pong ball. It would diminish in a few days, we thought.
But it got worse, the bubble seemed to accumulate liquid and the tip of his left ear became so heavy that it folded down like a tree branch that was laden with apples. Most puzzling of all, the swelling didn¡¯t seem to hurt or bother the dog except during the very first day when it came into being. The skin remained clean; no traces of liquid or infection were present. The dog himself looked rather comical, one ear up, one ear down.
Mom called long distance to consult her uncle who is a physician in China. He thought it would simply go away and we have no need to worry.
As the bubble got bigger, it seemed to take over the entire ear. I got worried and went on google and did a search on ¡°German Shepherd swollen ear bee sting¡±. Lo and behold, there were quite a few German shepherds had suffered the similar symptom. Kind hearted Internet readers¡¯ diagnostic yield an unfamiliar medical term: Hematomas. It was caused by a blood vessel burst open, and the bubble was filled with blood! Apparently it was common among dogs with large ear flaps, especially when they had scratched it too hard or had shaken their head violently. Even cats could have them. Left untreated it could disfigure the dog¡¯s ear, worse came to worst, the dog could lose his hearing if the inner ear tube got an infection along the way. Most of the dogs had undergone surgery, some could heal without getting the knife, but they must take anti-biotic. Either way, the dog must be seen by a Vet.
To keep a long story short, Nappy underwent surgery during the past Monday. His ear was cut open, liquid drained, and the ears were stitched back. The wound was approximately one inch long, and he now wears a basket shaped collar. The collar was so large that under comparison, our dog looked dainty. Well, almost. : )
Nappy¡¯s new accessory caused much sensation in the house. Our two cats reacted markedly different. Paris showed much sympathy while Mars scrambled for cover right away. Nappy was still drugged and fell in and out of sleep during the first night. The two cats cautiously approached the sleeping dog and sniffed his collar thoroughly. Paris approached from the front while Mars came from the rare. After concluding this new weapon-like item didn¡¯t seem to cause any harm, both cats relaxed.
Our house sounded like a circus tent during the entire week as Nappy emerged from the lingering affect of anesthesia. Utilizing his newly gained status as an intense-cared-for patient, which required him to be kept indoors at all time, he thoroughly enjoyed chasing the cats down the hall while bumping into everything along the way.
Today is the seventh day since his surgery. The wound has healed, and he has gotten used to live with his ¡°basket¡±. I wondered out loud whether Nappy now thinks he has to live with it for the rest of his life. If he did, he didn¡¯t seem to care. I think the cats, on the other hand, were enduring Nappy¡¯s newly gained sense of fashion with a sneer.