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Black Spots in Dogs Ears

by Diane
(Glendora, CA)

Dogs ear with black splotches!

Dogs ear with black splotches!

Reader Question: Causes and Treatment for Black Spots or Pigmentation in Dog Ears


I have a 10 year old black lab. He had ear mites a couple months ago, and the vet gave me Tresaderm. At first, it was obvious (the smell, brown waxy build up, etc) so I knew that he had the mites. About a month ago, I noticed a black "stain" inside of his main ear flap. I thought he had oil or something on it so I cleaned with alcohol and a cotton ball but it didn't come off!

Since then, the black is more predominant inside the ear. It does not smell, there is no waxy build-up, it isn't swollen, red or dry and itchy. It doesn't seem to phase him, but it looks like he slept on a bottle of ink and it stained inside his ears!

It is predominately in one ear but today I noticed some small amounts on his other ear. Can Tresaderm cause staining? He seems fine and I cannot find ANYTHING online about black spots other than "It must be ear mites!" It is not ear mites, he is all clear. In fact, his ears are clean, they do not smell and these "splotches" aren't raised or anything just looks like ink from a quill pen leaked inside his ear! HELP! thanks...:)

Suggestion from our Veterinarian for Black Spots on Dog Ears

Hi Diane,

I am afraid I can’t tell you what the dark spots you describe in your dog’s ears are without examining him, but I do have a couple of thoughts I can pass along. First of all, I do not think the Tresaderm is to blame. This product is widely used and I’ve never heard of such a reaction. Secondly, pigmentation like you describe can be perfectly normal, particularly if the “splotches” aren’t raised, irritated, or growing/changing.

If I were in your position, I would keep an eye on the area to monitor for any changes for the worse and if the situation appears stable, bring it to your veterinarian’s attention at your next appointment. He or she will probably be able to tell you if this is anything to worry about by examining the area and perhaps by running a few simple tests. On the other hand, if the area becomes irritated or grows larger, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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