Ear Tumors Average Cost

From 541 quotes ranging from $500 - 12,000

Average Cost


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What are Ear Tumors?

If your pet has an ear tumor, it may be asymptomatic until it gets big enough to cause symptoms or unless it is visible. The majority of ear tumors are not cancerous and some do not even need treatment unless they are causing problems or pain in your dog. However, many veterinarians believe that it is best to remove ear tumors, whether they are in the tissues, bones, or glands, or need to be removed to prevent infection, pain, and growth. The tumors of the ear are most often small lumps on stalks growing from the skin, but they may also be a large mass in the ear, or just a flat discolored lesion. They can be black, purple, pink, white, or brown and they may be filled with blood, oil, or pus, depending on the location. Dogs with long, floppy ears, such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to ear tumors and having multiple ear infections may also be a risk factor.

Ear canal tumors are growths in any part of the ear, including the muscles, bones, connective tissues, oil and earwax glands, and outer, inner, and middle layer of skin. The outer ear canal and pinna area are more common than the inner or middle ear to find a tumor. Ear canal tumors in dogs are more likely to be benign (not cancerous) than malignant, but they should always be seen by a veterinary professional because these tumors can cause deafness and balance problems (among other complications) for your pet.

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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


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

Causes of Ear Tumors in Dogs

Experts are not certain what causes ear tumors, but there are several risk factors:

  • Dogs with large, floppy ears (Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Golden Retrievers)
  • History of multiple ear infections (otitis externa, otitis interna, otitis media)
  • Long-term inflammation of the ear canal
  • Repeated infestations of ear mites
  • Thickening of the ear wax for any reason (usually unknown)

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 for biopsy of the tumor to check for malignancy.

Treatment of Ear Tumors in Dogs

Treatment of the ear tumor depends on where it is and how big it is, but it usually involves surgery to remove the growth. Laser surgery is used if possible, as that is the safest choice. However, in some cases, the veterinarian may have to do a surgical excision or a total ear canal ablation (TECA), if there is extensive damage from the growth.

Total ear canal ablation (TECA)

Radiographs or CT scans are used to check the tympanic bullae (middle ear) and the narrowness of the ear canal. Your dog will have cultures taken to determine the best course of antibiotics to use to prevent further infection. TECA is the removal of the ear canal, which is done if the tumor has damaged or distorted the canal beyond repair. Your dog’s ear is opened up and the whole ear canal will be removed, including the bony part of the middle ear.

Recovery of Ear Tumors in Dogs

The diagnosis for ear tumors is good, but depends on your dog’s age, health, and where the tumor is located. As long as the tumor was benign, there is no reason to think your pet will have any lasting complications or shortened life span. In some dogs, the tumor may grow back, but this is very rare. However, if you notice another growth in the ear, be sure to call the veterinarian right away.

Ear Tumors Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


My 10 year old Pomeranian has an acute, soft tissue cyst the size of a marble that has developed at the base of her ear opening, on the outside. Texture is soft with a floating soft,mass within. Color is pinkish/lavender. There is what appears to be an pin hole opening on the furthest end of it. When I squeeze it some fresh & not so fresh blood appears. No pus, No smell. She doesn't seem to have any pain with it or anything that is bothering her about it.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1067 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what this cyst might be, as I cannot examine Snuggles, but it may be something that is either easily removed, or that your veterinarian may be able to remove. It would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian to assess what can be done about the cyst.

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Boston Terriers
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Trouble Walking
Head Tilt

Medication Used

Other Antibiotics
Clavamox antibiotic- oral

My Boston Terrier was diagnosed with vestibular disease when I started noticing her first symptoms. It happened literally overnight we woke up and she couldn't walk without running into things she had a lot of nystagmus so we took her to the vet and that's when they told us she had vestibular disease. The day after that she had a lot of bloody pus colored drainage from her ear as well as a head tilt I took her back in they told me that she had an inner ear infection and started her on medication. she was on a combination of steroids and antibiotics for 4 weeks to try and get rid of the infection. Last week when I went to the vet they said that her eardrum has ruptured and they've never seen a case like hers. They started to taper off of steroids and antibiotics. I was noticing her getting a little better not a hundred percent but a little better with her on the steroids but now that they are trying to wean her off she is starting to really have trouble with her balance again. My vet seems a little confused by this which makes it very frustrating for me. I hate seeing her like this. I don't feel like she's in any pain just because she's acting normal eating drinking playing and being her normal six-year-old self. But it just doesn't seem to add up as to what this is. Any advice for a defeated dog mom?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2485 Recommendations
Head tilt/vestibular disease may be attributable to infections, trauma, idiopathic causes, tumours, poisoning among other causes; from your description it does sound like a severe infection which would need aggressive antibiotic treatment and cleaning. If your Veterinarian is confused, I would recommend speaking with another Veterinarian in your area to get their input on treatment as well as possibly sending a sample off for culture and sensitivity if the current treatment seems ineffective. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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9 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Drooping on right sign of head
Scratching the ear
Swollen head in ear region
Smell in ear

Medication Used


My 9-10 week old beagle puppy, that we got less than a week ago, woke up with a large lump on her face near the ear. This is causing her not to eat or drink as much, and she struggles to keep her head elevated. We took her to our vet, they did not know what was wrong they gave her a Dexamethasone injection, and benadryll to help with little results, it has grown a lot bigger than what it was before the injection. The growth appeared a day or two after she had her puppy shots. Any solutions?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2485 Recommendations
I am not sure what the growth is; it could be due to an enlarged salivary gland, a skin lesion or another cause. I cannot examine the lump, but I would have thought your Veterinarian may have taken a fine needle aspirate of the lump to see what the contents is and to see if it could be drained or not. I would keep an eye on it for now, but it needs further investigation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Cocker Spaniel
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Bleeding, strong pungent smell, shaking head and

I have a 14yr old cocker spaniel, he has a large tumour on his left ear which bleeds and smells and a small tumour on the right ear and one on his back, I do not want to put him through loads of tests and surgery at his age any suggestions just to keep smell at bay, only one on his left ear smells. I'm bathing it with warm salt water and cotton wool and putting antibiotic powder on it. Please help

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2485 Recommendations
Foul smelling lesions are normally caused by necrotic tissue, infection or both; it would be best to have your Veterinarian take a look and to advise you on cleaning, they may do an initial clean to show you the best way. Cleaning the areas without a dilute antiseptic may help a little, but some systemic antibiotics may be required; a course of antibiotics or other medication may be required in case of infection. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My 8 year old cocker spaniel had a tumour and we went to get it removed but a nother one has showed up again in the same spot and my parents are thinking about putting him to sleep and he’s is till eating acting the same as always happy running around and playing please answer I don’t want to take his life away knowing he could still have lived

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5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking of head,

Medication Used

He is on a thyroid

Hi , my dog is a 5 1/5 year old male neutered 95 lb blue nose pitbull . He has had several ear infections over his lifetime . About a year ago he was diagnosed with vestibular disease . For the last 2.5 weeks he has what we thought as being a flair up , lots of shaking of the head , tilted head , unsteadiness , but the worst part is he is very uncomfortable . You go to touch his head and he screeches, he tries to itch his ear , he screeches. So I brought him in to his doctor yesterday , they put him under anesthesia ( he's very hard to work on otherwise ) to check his ear canals out to see if they needed to be flushed etc . The ear that bothers him is his right ear. He said they both looked great , but due to the fact that we've done X-rays, and he is in pain , he is worried he may be missing something . He thinks with should go get a cat scan for the possibility of a tumor inside the ear. What are your suggestions? Could it be something else ? If it is a tumor that deap in the ear , what are the options of removing it or are there any?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2485 Recommendations

Generally hypersensitivity around the ears would be indicative of an ear canal infection, but was ruled out by your Veterinarian. Signs of vestibular disease may present due to head trauma, tumours, inner ear infections, neurological problems or chronic poisoning; unfortunately, for examination of the middle and inner ear more advanced imaging methods (CT or MRI) are required and may not be available in your area. There are some surgical options for tumours in the middle ear (total ear canal ablation) but a firm diagnosis is needed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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