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How Do You Treat a Dog's Ear Hematoma?

Do you have a canine companion? If so, you understand the happiness and comfort that your four-legged buddy offers to your life. Yet, like you, your furry friend can experience health issues, including ear hematomas. 


Blood can collect between the cartilage and skin of a dog's ear flap, forming an ear hematoma. It swells and takes on a balloon-like appearance as a result. It is a painful ailment that requires immediate medical attention. After all, you do not want your pup to live in pain and discomfort.



What Causes Ear Hematomas in Dogs?



Various factors can cause this condition, including:


  • Trauma.
  • Infection.
  • Allergies.
  • Underlying medical conditions.



Symptoms of Ear Hematomas in Dogs



A swollen ear flap is the most common sign of an ear hematoma in dogs. However, there are other symptoms to look out for, including:


  • Redness and warmth in the ear flap.
  • Pain when touching the ear.
  • Scratching or shaking of the head.
  • Discharge or odor from the ear.
  • Get your furry pal to the vet immediately if you notice these symptoms.






Your vet will examine your pup's ear flap to diagnose an ear hematoma. Diagnostic tools like an otoscope or microscope may be necessary to look for inflammation or infection signs. The vet may also perform blood tests to rule out underlying medical conditions.



Treating Ear Hematomas in Dogs



The treatment for this condition depends on its severity. Mild cases may resolve independently, but severe ones require medical intervention. Here are some of the treatments available:



Drainage and Bandaging



In moderate cases, a veterinarian will use a needle and syringe to drain the fluid from a hematoma. To stop further bleeding, they will bandage the ear flap. Typically, this procedure requires sedation.






Surgery may be imperative to drain the fluid and fix the damaged blood vessels in more severe cases. The veterinarian will also remove blood clots or debris from the ear. This procedure requires general anesthesia and may involve a longer recovery time.






Your vet can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics for swelling and pain relief. 






Your vet may recommend using an Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from scratching or rubbing its ear. The E-collar will stop your dog from further irritating the hematoma.



Home Care



Following treatment, you must adhere to your veterinarian's home care instructions. This may include administering medication, cleaning the ear, and monitoring your dog's activity levels.



Preventing Ear Hematomas in Dogs



A dog's ear hematoma may not always be preventable. Nonetheless, there are several actions you may take to lessen the possibility that your dog will develop a hematoma. To prevent this condition, it is best to regularly clean your dog's ears and manage any underlying medical conditions. 


You should also take steps to prevent trauma to the ears, avoid ear infections, and schedule regular veterinary checkups. Following these steps can reduce the risk of your dog developing an ear hematoma.






Ear hematomas can be a painful and uncomfortable condition for dogs. Fortunately, with prompt treatment and proper care, most dogs recover fully. Follow your vet's instructions carefully and take steps to prevent future hematomas by practicing good ear hygiene and addressing underlying medical conditions. You can maintain the health and happiness of your furry pet by giving them the proper attention and care.


For more on ear hematomas in dogs, visit Santa Monica Pet Medical Center at our Santa Monica, California office. Call (310) 393-8218 to schedule an appointment today.

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