White Bumps on Dog’s Ear Flap – Should I Be Worried?

When it comes to our pets, even a small lump or bump can be a worrying sign. You can’t entirely be sure why your pet has developed one, so it is best to consult your veterinarian. If your dog has white bumps on his ear flap, it could be due to many reasons. Dogs have very sensitive ears, so the earlier you resolve this issue, the better.

Before we discuss why your pet might have bumps on his ears, you should know what types of skin bumps occur in dogs.

Types of Bumps

Skin bumps are common among dogs, especially senior dogs, and are not always a cause for concern. There are various types of bumps you may find on your dog. While most of these are benign, it is better to keep an eye out for any changes to your pet’s skin. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the types of bumps commonly found on dogs include:

Skin Tags

Skin tags looks like small fibrous bumps on your dog’s skin and are usually benign. They occur in dogs across all ages and breeds and are caused by fibroblast cells. These overactive cells are responsible for many functions, such as producing collagen. Skin tags are generally harmless, but it is best to have your vet take a look.

Lipomas

Lipomas are fatty tumors that usually develop in older dogs. They appear as soft bumps underneath the skin and are not hard to the touch. Lipomas are made of fatty tissue and entirely harmless. They can be a cause of concern if they grow in a location that causes your pet discomfort.

Warts

Warts are small cauliflower-shaped bumps that usually occur in puppies due to the papillomavirus. When your puppy grows up, they resolve on their own. They are usually harmless, but the condition can transmitted to other dogs.

Acne

This might surprise you but dogs can also develop acne due to blocked pores or oil glands (called sebaceous glands). These glands produce sebum to keep their skin and fur moisturized, but it can also block pores and lead to pimples. These pimples usually burst and release white fluid, but you might have to get them surgically removed.

Abscess

If your dog has an injury or insect bite, it can become infected and form a bump. An abscess is inflamed tissue that surrounds infected injuries and requires antibiotics for treatment.

Cell Tumors

Cell tumors may be benign or cancerous, depending on their appearance and texture. If your dog is in his puppy years, the bumps on his ears could just be button tumors which resolve with age. They usually occur while the puppy’s immune system is under development.

Cancerous tumors are different from button tumors in appearance and hard to the touch. If you notice a solid bump on your dog, you should immediately consult your veterinarian. The tumor will require surgical removal, unless the cancer has spread through your pet’s body.

Why Your Dog Has White Bumps On His Ear

Dogs have sensitive ears which can be affected by various skin conditions. A white bump on your dog’s ear can mean many things but isn’t always a cause for worry. Regardless of the cause, you should visit your veterinarian. After a thorough examination, they can determine the underlying reason and suggest the best form of treatment. However, you are probably curious about why this happens, so we have compiled a list of the most likely reasons.

Insect Bites

The pinna or outer ear is exposed to a variety of things daily, including dirt, insects, and moisture. If you notice a white bump on your dog’s ear, it could be the result of an insect bite. Mosquitoes, ants, fleas, wasps, and spiders can all be the culprit in this case. However, insect bites are usually harmless and you’ll only need to prevent inflammation or irritation.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are common microscopic parasites that occur in both felines and canines. They live inside the ear canal and feed on earwax and skin oils. These mites are difficult to see and will require a proper examination by a veterinarian. If your dog keeps shaking his head and excessively scratching his ears, this could be due to an ear mite infection.

These mites can be very contagious, so you should also treat your other pets in case one is diagnosed with ear mites.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are common in dogs and can cause swelling or small bumps. Certain breeds like Basset Hounds and Labradoodles are prone to frequent ear infections. They can occur due to a variety of reasons, ranging from the shape of your dog’s ears to allergies or underlying medical conditions.

Aural Hematoma

An aural hematoma is a condition that specifically affects your dog’s ears. They appear as small inflamed bumps that are full of fluid. The ear cartilage is rich in blood vessels and hematomas can develop when blood accumulates in one area. This could occur due to an injury, ear infections, or inflammation in the ear’s blood vessels.

Sebaceous Cysts

Just like humans, dogs have oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands. They produce sebum which moisturizes the skin and fur. However, these glands can sometimes become blocked and develop a cyst that looks like a small white bump. Since the inside of a dog’s ear has less hair, these cysts may seem more prominent there.

Papillomas

Papillomas are skin warts that can occur in puppies or immunocompromised dogs. They usually occur to an overactive immune system, and look similar to small cauliflower-like bumps. If you notice multiple cauliflower-like white bumps on your puppy’s ear, it could be due to Papillomavirus. Fortunately, these bumps are not cancerous and disappear on their own with age.

However, Papillomavirus can sometimes progress to a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. This condition is rare and usually occurs in senior immunocompromised dogs.

When You Should Worry

If the bump in your pet’s ear is hard to the touch and irregular, consult your veterinarian immediately. It is also possible that your pet will make an existing bump worse by scratching the area excessively. If your pet is uncomfortable or irritated, have it checked as soon as possible to prevent an abscess. While most bumps are harmless, it is better to be safe than sorry.

What You Can Do

When it comes to your pet’s health, a small change can sometimes be an alarming sign. Hence, you should check your pet’s skin frequently for any changes or new developments. White bumps on your pet’s ear are usually harmless, but consult your veterinarian to be absolutely sure.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!