Hematomas are a common ailment in dogs. An ear hematoma is a swelling of the ear flaps on a dog's ear. The exact cause of ear hematomas is not known, but it is believed to be linked to the flapping of a dog's ears. Ear hematomas are caused by ruptured blood vessels inside the tissue of the ear. In some cases, the hematoma will clear up by itself, but in other cases, it can cause severe problems such as "cauliflower" ears or closing of the ear canal.
Common Medical Treatments
There are several treatment options for ear hematomas. One option is aspiration, which involves the removal of the fluid with a syringe. This is not a long-term option, but does work for a short time. The second option, and the most recommended, is surgery. During surgery, an incision is made in the affected area and the fluid is drained. Sutures are used to seal the incision and prevent the refilling of the flap with fluid. Other options are available, but require more invasive procedures.
One way to prevent ear hematomas in dogs is to keep checking for ear mites. Ear mites cause severe itching. A dog will scratch excessively, sometimes causing injury to the ear flap. Dogs also shake their ear a lot when they suffer with ear mites. Extensive shaking of the ear flaps because of mites can cause the dog to suffer from ear hematomas. Tea tree oil and marigold help to alleviate the itching and reduce the swelling associated with ear mites and ear hematomas. Rosemary helps ease the pain of inflammation and works as an antiseptic. Over-the-counter medicines are also available to help kill the ear mites, thus preventing the ear hematomas.
Herbs as Treatment
Give arnica for three days, followed by Hamamelis for two weeks to reduce the swelling. Brush witch hazel on the swollen ear to help with the inflammation.
Sea Salt for Treatment
Another option is to bring a pot of water to boil, pour in enough sea salt to make the concoction very salty, then apply a rag soaked in the solution onto the swollen ear flap every hour for about 15 minutes. Do this for several days and the swelling will go down. Do not be surprised to see little pricks of blood trickling out of the swollen ear flap.
Warnings about Home Treatment
Old-fashioned veterinarians still recommend giving the hematoma a chance to heal on its own. But even if using home treatments for the hematoma, it is important to seek medical help from a veterinarian if the hematoma does not show signs of healing. Also, it is important to determine what initially caused the hematoma. An injury to the ear, a bad tooth, severe shaking of the ear or a parasitic infection such as ear mites could have caused the ear hematoma. Finding and treating the underlying condition will prevent future occurrences of ear hematoma.