Aural Hematoma in Dogs

Aural hematoma is a condition which affects dogs and is characterized by an abnormal pooling of blood in one or both of the ears. This condition can be quite painful, and it's best to know the symptoms early on as you care for your pet, so that you're best able to deal with the issues as they come up. The quicker that you're able to resolve your pet's aural hematoma issue, the better that you'll be able to relieve his pain. Left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent hearing loss, extreme pain and many other unpleasant effects.

Aural Hematoma Overview

The condition known as aural hematoma strikes most frequently in dogs that have large and floppy ears. This is because the large, open areas of the ears allow for ample space for blood to pool. Technically, hematoma usually occurs within the ear canal, meaning that you may or may not be able to actually see blood if you closely examine your pet's ear. If you don't treat this condition, it will not be life threatening. However, it does cause dogs a great deal of discomfort and can interfere with their hearing and the shape and appearance of their ears.

Symptoms of Aural Hematoma

Aural hematoma is often not visible from the outside. The best way to determine whether your pet has aural hematoma or another issue that affects his ears, therefore, is to monitor his behavior. Dogs suffering from this condition will often shake their heads furiously back and forth for a good portion of the day. This is because these dogs detect that something is the matter with their ears, but they cannot relieve the pain and pressure by shaking. They may also rub or paw at their ears repeatedly. You can also tell that the ear is causing your pet pain by touching it. Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the ear
  • Discoloration
  • Discharge of blood from the ear

Treating Aural Hematoma

After you recognize the symptoms that your dog displays which seem to suggest that he is suffering from aural hematoma, you should take him in to the vet as soon as you have the chance. The vet will conduct a brief examination of his ear to determine if the issue is hematoma, an ear infection or some other problem entirely. If the problem is aural hematoma, there are two primary ways of treating the condition. The first is to aerate the ear, meaning to poke a small hole in the eardrum and allow the blood to drain. The second is to surgically remove the cause of the blood pooling. The first of these is much less invasive and inexpensive, but the second is more likely to prevent recurrences of the condition.