You are here:

Ask the Veterinarian/Is this an emergency???


I don't know what to do or if this is an emergency or normal and my normal Vet is closed until 7:30 tomorrow morning so please let me know if the following problem can wait until then.... My pug had ear surgery today, I forgot the technical name but they took out his ear canal for numerous reasons mostly involving recurrent ear infections. They gave me the E-collar but said I only had to put it on if he started scratching his ear, which he has not at all (I've been watching him like a hawk since I picked him up). He was shaking his head pretty violently at the vet and they said that was okay and (obviously) the collar won't prevent that. I thought everything was fine then I look down and he is laying down like normal but the side of his face is dripping blood onto the bed. I take a closer look and I see what looks like broken stitches and bare tissue covered in blood. It's not bleeding profusely, and I didn't get a great look earlier, but this does not look normal or good... I think the violent head shaking broken the stitches open but maybe there is supposed to be tissue showing? I don't know and the closest emergency vet is almost an hour away and I maxed my credit card out for the surgery and won't be able to pay up front like an emergency vet I have never seen will likely want... What should I do? I left a message on my Vets answering machine, can I wait until morning or do I need to do something now? (Just FYI he is sleeping peacefully now and the blood trickle is minimal but I am still worried)

Oh my Gosh Veronica!! I NEVER got this e-mail from, so PLEASE forgive me for this very late answer!!As a matter of fact, they just e-mailed me to ask me if I had ever received this question, which I had NOT. I WILL be letting them know that as well.

Now it's been a few days since this surgery and question so I am guessing you contacted your vet in the meantime. What you saw is pretty normal for a total ear canal ablation (that's the technical name). Shaking normally won't cause stitches to open but ANY scratching will, and quite quickly!

So sometimes the irritation and swelling will cause the stitches to be very tight, then the swelling starts to go down and you see little gaps.

Please let me know if you HAVE seen your vet and that is was resolved, and again, I DO apologize profusely!!


Ask the Veterinarian

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

©2016 All rights reserved.