Aural or ear hematomas are collections of blood between the skin and cartilage of a dog's ear flap. The hematomas are caused by burst blood vessels due to vigorous shaking of the head, scratching of the ear or other injuries. If your dog has an ear hematoma, he will need to be treated by a professional in order to avoid disfiguration.
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Have your dog examined and evaluated by your veterinarian if you suspect that he may have an ear hematoma.
Treat any underlying ear issues like ear infections, mites or other issues. These problems are leading causes for the development of ear hematomas and failing to treat them can result in a reoccurrence of the hematoma or the development of a hematoma in the opposite ear.
Seek advice from your vet on treatment. Depending on the size of the hematoma, your dog's health and other factors, your vet may choose needle aspiration or surgery to remove the blood. Surgery is often the preferred method of treatment as the success rate is higher, but it does involve anesthesia which some dogs may not tolerate well.
Give your vet permission for the hematoma correction surgery if it is recommended. The surgery generally involves making an incision into the hematoma, draining the fluid inside and stitching the ear back up in a way that will help prevent new hematomas from forming. Your vet may also insert small, temporary tubes to help with post-surgery drainage.
Use a protective bandage or Elizabethan collar after the surgery to help protect your dog's ear while it heals. If left unprotected, your dog may tear open the incision and cause further damage to his ear flap.
Watch your dog for reoccurrence, both post-surgery and throughout her life. The stitches will help form scar tissue in your dog's ear flap to keep the problem from happening again but this may be incomplete or a new hematoma may form in another area.
Tips and warnings
- Untreated hematomas can be extremely painful for your dog and often result in disfigured ear flaps as the areas around the hematomas die.