Symptoms of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

Aural hematoma is a condition that involves the accumulation of blood inside the dog’s ear. It manifests as swollen ear pinna and can be a very painful condition. Dogs with aural hematoma shake their heads without apparent reason and scratch their ears frequently. It is important to proceed with treatment as soon as possible. The pain it causes should be managed as well for the comfort of the dog.

Symptoms of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

Aural hematoma develops as blood and other fluids accumulating in  the lobe or flap tissue of the ear. This usually happens when a blood vessel ruptures. Aural hematoma manifests through:

  • Swelling on the ear’s inner part
  • Frequent pawing and scratching of the ear
  • Painful reactions when touched around the ears
  • Head shaking

The accumulation of blood makes the area painful and sensitive to touch. Your dog will shake his head and paw his ears as if trying to take something out. Aural hematoma causes pain and discomfort.

Whenever you notice your dog manifests any kind of discomfort in the area of the head and ears, it is recommended that you take him for a veterinarian checkup. Even if aural hematoma is not a life-threatening condition, it can result in ear deformities and it causes a great deal of pain. 

The above mentioned symptoms might indicate another more serious disease, such as tumors or abscesses.

Causes of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

The exact cause of aural hematoma cannot be determined. Aural hematoma is usually produced by a blood vessel rupturing in the area. This is generally associated with:

  • Severe allergies and scratching of the era area or head shaking
  • Frequent fights
  • Lack of grooming
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Ear tumors
  • Ear mites, yeasts or ticks
  • Foreign bodies

Dog breeds such as Dachshunds or Retrievers are more prone to aural hematoma.

Diagnosis of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

Aural hematoma is usually diagnosed through a physical exam. The veterinarian can check the symptoms and spot the swellings in the ear. In some cases the veterinarian could require radiographs, especially if he suspects that there might be an underlying ear condition.

Treatment of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

Treatment usually addresses both aural hematoma and the probable underlying condition.

A common practice is aspirating the hematoma with a needle. A syringe is used to aspirate the fluid. This procedure is minimally invasive and solves the problem. However, it is not a long term solution.

A better, permanent option is surgery. Surgery is performed by making a small incision, draining the fluids and then closing up with sutures.

Left untreated, aural hematoma can result in scar tissue formation which could permanently deform the ear.

Prevention of Aural Hematoma in Dogs

In order to prevent aural hematoma or any other ear conditions in your dog, you are advised to check and groom his ears regularly, at least once every week.

If you notice any sensitivity in the area, redness, inflammation or swelling, you should take him for a veterinarian checkup.