Skip to main content

Hematoma: Swollen Dog Ear Flap and How a Vet Will Treat It

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

I specialize in fiction writing, how-to articles, and web content. I hope you enjoy my content.

Is your dog suffering from a swollen ear flap or ear hematoma?

Is your dog suffering from a swollen ear flap or ear hematoma?

One of the most common ear problems for dogs is swollen ear flaps, also called ear or aural hematomas.

Ear hematomas can be very painful. They cause the ear flap to swell with blood and if left untreated, they can lead to permanent deformation of the ear.

Below, we will answer the following questions:

  • What is an ear hematoma?
  • What causes it?
  • How is it treated by a vet?

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 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 area: 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.
  • Head 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 due to the pain.

What Can Cause a Hematoma to Develop?




When dogs fight or play, a blood vessel in the ear can break.

Excessive shaking

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 mites

Ear mite bites can become infected and itchy, which may lead a dog to scratch its ear and break a blood vessel.

A vet is the only person who can treat a hematoma. Do not try to treat it at home.

A vet is the only person who can treat a hematoma. Do not try to treat it at home.

How Your Vet Will Treat the Hematoma

There is no home remedy for an ear hematoma. Once you suspect that your dog is suffering from one, take them to a veterinarian.

Your vet will likely treat the hematoma in one or several of the following ways:

  • Incision: They will make an incision and drain the blood that has accumulated in the ear. After draining 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.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Pethelpful


You can prevent hematomas from developing by following these tips:

  • Monitor your dog: One of the major causes of an 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.
  • Keep their ears clean and healthy.

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.

© 2014 myvenn


Lincoln.Lewis on August 24, 2020:

west 1175 road

Ashley Coon on August 10, 2020:

I have a 14 week old German shepherd who on Saturday randomly got an ear hematoma and by Monday the swelling and redness was gone but her ear has not stood backup your is that normal?

Anna on May 28, 2020:

I have a corgi who has upright ears, I discovered a hematoma and called the vet right away- without looking they scheduled him for surgery and drained the problem, they wrapped his head up in an Ace bandage and told me to come back in a week. I called early when I noticed a smell and he just seemed miserable. With the removal of the bandage they appeared to have pushed the ear down along his cheek so the ear is floppy now and he hates it- it makes him shake his head a lot which causes bleeding out of the puncture wound and makes him walk sideways because it’s so confusing for him to have this floppy ear in his face. Is there anything I can do to correct his ear during the healing process to make life a little easier for him?

Michael697169 on April 13, 2020:

The reason people are looking for alternative treatments is cost. If you think health care for people is unaffordable for some then it makes sense. Veterinarian costs are ridiculous where I'm from and many simply can't afford it.

Auralsplint on April 04, 2020:

Look at how many of these comments are looking for an alternative.

Huhuhuhuhu on March 10, 2020:

Can I use it on a cat

Geej on March 09, 2020:

For the Leech problems,

Ive used salt water or to avoid any problems, the Leech just lets go .

Straight salt might be too harsh and the leech not let go on its own , easy dose it .

Jaysie on November 22, 2019:

Go to vet and test for ear mites, get the antiseptic cream. Put on e-collar to minimise scratching and further swelling. Put ice to soothe the itchiness. Can add some coconut oil and turmeric powder in its meal. Bandage when necessary to put pressure on the swollen ear. My dog had it for 2 month now, although I am worried, but I dont have money for his vet....sob. So I am trying every remedy that I read online.

Marida Sapichino on November 09, 2019:

I want to thank all the Pet Owners who answered with there positive responses.. I also heard there is no pain involved and my Vet also said it will heal on itself . Thank you

Michelle Brown on July 14, 2019:

Pls can you tell me how to remove a leech from my dogs ear and remove the tenticles in dogs ear also ?

Will on April 25, 2019:

I would recommend reading other articles to gain a second opinion; my vet says if the dog is not in pain, and is not a show dog, one can let it heal on its own. Surgery is not a necessity, and won't fix the underlying cause.

sugmag on January 11, 2019:

My Boston Terrier had this issue. One ear really puffed up.

He had a double ear infection and yeast infection. The vet treated him with drops, a steroid and a pain killer. Within days the swelling went down and he was back to normal. I am glad we took him in. No needles or cutting, just medication fixed it. $200 in the emergency clinic and done. Do not let you dog suffer. He does not like to wear the cone however.