Hematoma: Swollen Dog Ear Flap and How to Treat It
One of the most common ear problems for dogs is swollen ear flaps, also called ear or aural hematomas.
Ear hematomas can be a very painful. They cause the ear flap to swell with blood and, if untreated, can lead to permanent deformation of the ear.
- What is ear hematoma? What causes it and how is it treated?
We will answer all of these questions below.
What Is a Hematoma?
A hematoma develops after a blood vessel breaks. The blood oozes out of the broken vessel and pools in the ear, leading to swelling.
The swelling always occurs in the pinna, or the floppy part of the dog’s ear. The accumulation of blood can resemble a large blood blister.
There are several signs that your dog is suffering from an aural hematoma.
- Swollen and puffy ear. The swelling will always occur in the dog’s ear flap. It may look like a small balloon.
- Warm and soft. The swollen area will normally be warm and soft because it contains blood.
- Shaking. Your dog will frequently shake its head.
- Rubbing. Your dog will rub its ear because it is in pain.
- Red color. The ear flap will be reddish.
- Tilting. Your dog will start obsessively tilting its head to one side.
- Aggression. Your dog may act aggressively when you touch the swollen ear flap.
What Causes It?
Hematoma May Develop When:
When dogs fight or play, a blood vessel in the ear can break.
A dog that shakes its head vigorously could cause a hematoma.
Itchiness that leads a dog to scratch often could lead to a broken blood vessel.
Ear mite bites can become infected and itchy, which may lead a dog to scratch their ear and break a blood vessel.
There is no home remedy for an ear hematoma. Once you suspect that your dog is suffering from one, take them to a veterinarian. He or she is going to treating it in one or several of the following ways:
- Incise the skin. They will make an incision and drain the blood that has accumulated in the ear. After draining of the blood, the veterinarian will stitch the ear. This procedure is very simple and takes just minutes to complete.
- Surgery. The veterinarian may perform surgery on the affected ear. During the surgery, the veterinarian will cut open the ear and drain out all of the blood. After this, the ear will be bandaged and allowed to heal.
- Draw out the fluid. A simple syringe can also be used to draw out all the fluid and blood from the hematoma. Veterinarians commonly use this treatment option for hematomas that are very old and small.
NOTE: If an ear hematoma is not treated properly, it may reoccur and permanently disfigure the dog's ear.
You can prevent hematoma from developing by following these tips:
- Monitor your dog. One of the major causes of ear hematoma is fighting or violent play. If you can prevent your dog from engaging in these things, then you can save it from injury.
- Watch for infection. Prevent your dog from shaking or scratching its head by watching for signs of infection or mites. Once you see your dog shaking its head, seek diagnosis and treatment.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.