dog scratching ears

Ear Hematoma in Dogs and Cats

Is your dog scratching ears? Or maybe is your cat with itchy ears? They might have an aural hematoma. An aural hematoma is a hematoma of the ear.

A hematoma is a collection of blood between the skin and cartilage of the ear.

Although dogs with large flapped ears are more at risk for aural hematomas, any pet can develop an ear hematoma. Ear hematomas are common in both cats and dogs.

The most common symptoms are: Swollen ear, head shaking and scratching at ears.

What is the Treatment?

The treatment for an ear hematoma is a surgical one, in which the site is drained of all fluid buildup and then sutured to a formed plastic backing.

Prevention of Ear Hematoma

The best way to prevent an ear hematoma is to try to avoid any trauma to your pet’s ear.

As allergies and ear infections lead to head shaking and scratching at the ears, the trauma from itchiness is the most common cause of aural hematomas in dogs and cats.

Thus, prompt treatment of all infections and ear mites as well as the proper diagnosis and treatment of allergies is the best way to prevent ear hematomas.

If you notice your pet is bothered with their ears be sure to have your veterinarian perform an exam.

A Case to Share

Our patient Niki, an Australian blue heeler of 8 years old, was presented in our veterinary clinic with a swollen ear and head shaking.

Upon an exam, Niki was diagnosed with an aural hematoma.

Niki was admitted to our hospital for surgery to drain the fluid buildup. She went home that same day with some antibiotics and pain management medications.

Recommendations were made to manage suspected environmental and food allergies to prevent further ear and skin problems.

Four days later, the ear was doing well and improving. There were no concerns. Eighteen days later, sutures were removed by veterinarian after surgical drainage of the hematoma. Niki’s ear has healed up and she was back to her normal happy self.

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Image credit: Pixabay