Dog Ear Hematoma Treatment Explained

A hematoma on a dog ear is when blood vessels in the pinna, the floppy part of a dog's ear, break. This causes oozing between the layers of cartilage in the dog's ear and the skin. Dog ear hematomas are often referred to as "aural hematomas".

An ear hematoma can be very painful for a dog. Not treating a hematoma, or not treating it correctly, can often lead to disfigurement of the dog's ear flap and the surrounding area.

Symptoms of a Dog Ear Hematoma

One of the most common signs of a dog ear hematoma is the appearance of the dog's ear. It can look like it has a bulge or even like it is inflated. The hematoma itself looks like a hard lump or blood blister.

A dog with an ear hematoma may hold their head sideways and may even shake their head more often than usual. The dog may also scratch at his or her ear more often.

How to Treat the Dog Ear Problems

When a hematoma is noticed, take your pet to the veterinarian's office so he or she can treat the dog's ear as quickly as possible.

The vet will check for any underlying problems that may be affecting the dog, like an ear infection or mites, and treat that first. Not controlling these issues may result in the hematoma reoccurring on the same or opposite ear.

Your vet will let you know what options are available to treat the dog ear hematoma. The options will be based on the size of the hematoma and how painful it is for the dog. Vets will usually aspirate, prescribing a cortisone product, or remove the hematoma surgically.

Needle Aspiration of Ear Hematomas

Aspiration is when a doctor injects a fine needle into the hematoma to remove any fluids that have built-up. The vet may then apply a drainage device into the puncture wound so the owner can then massage any fluid out of the ear on a daily basis.

Using Cortisone to Treat the Dog Ear

A cortisone product could be taken orally in lieu of aspiration or surgery. Cortisone can help ease the discomfort of the itching and scarring. However, it may take a month or so for the ear to fully heal. Antibiotics will often be prescribed with the cortisone treatments to help treat any underlying ear problems or prevent infection.

Surgery to Treat Ear Hematomas in Dogs

Surgery is usually the method veterinarians prefer to treat dog ear hematomas since the success rate is higher than the other treatments previously discussed. The surgery is often a simple procedure that involves anesthesia. The vet will cut the hematoma open, remove any blood clots, and drain the fluid. Stitches are then sewn to help ensure the hematoma will not return

When it comes to dog ear hematomas, one thing is certain: small hematomas will always turn into big hematomas. Seeking prompt treatment for a dog with an ear hematoma will ensure an easier and faster healing process.