Ear hematoma in dogs

Ear hematoma in dogs | explains causes and treatment

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Ear hematoma in dogs is a disease in which blood accumulates in the ears and swells. Veterinarian Sato explains the causes and treatments for swollen ears.

What is Ear Hematoma in Dogs?

A hematoma is a blood clot, and an ear hematoma is a swelling of the ear caused by blood and exudate accumulated in the auricle ( the cartilage part of the ear that is exposed to the outside of the body). Traumatic disease. It often bleeds when the dog hits its head or scratches with its paws, and is often seen in dogs with droopy ears such as golden retrievers and beagles. Internal bleeding due to ear hematoma is normally absorbed and healed naturally. A vicious circle leads to increased swelling. If it swells like a balloon, it will not heal on its own, so an incision must be made to drain the accumulated fluid.

Symptoms of Ear Hematoma in Dogs

Symptoms of Ear Hematoma in Dogs
Symptoms of Ear Hematoma in Dogs

Ear hematoma is caused by itching such as otitis externa, so it can be seen that the ear is scratched with the foot or the head is shaken. When the ear becomes swollen due to internal bleeding, the dog will feel pain and will scratch the ear more and shake the head. They may become reluctant to have their ears touched because of the pain.

Ear hematomas swell inside the ear, not outside. The entire ear may swell, or part of the ear may swell. Too much stimulation can cause them to burst, and eventually, part of the ear may die and fall off.

Read Also: Keratitis in Dogs | causes, treatments, and the risk of blindness if left untreated

Causes of Ear Hematoma in Dogs

Causes of Ear Hematoma in Dogs
Causes of Ear Hematoma in Dogs

Most ear hematomas are caused by shaking the head or scratching with the foot due to itching. The itching can be caused by the following causes, and it is not uncommon to have otitis externa or otitis interna.

  • allergic disease
  • Endocrine disorders (hormonal disorders)
  • Problems with secretory glands (earwax glands)
  • Foreign objects (plant saws, ear hairs, etc.)
  • infectious disease
  • Immune-mediated diseases/autoimmune diseases
  • Keratinization disorder
  • microbes, parasites and viruses

Even if there is no itching, it may be caused by “bite”, “bleeding disease”, “blood coagulation disorder”, etc.

Canine Ear Hematoma Treatment

Canine Ear Hematoma Treatment
Canine Ear Hematoma Treatment

Ear hematomas are caused by dogs scratching their ears or shaking their heads. Resolving the cause is the first treatment, and in the early stages, there is a possibility that the ear hematoma will heal naturally without treatment. However, from actual clinical experience, it seems that there are almost no cases of spontaneous recovery.

Treatment of a hematoma begins with the insertion of a needle into the swollen area and drainage of fluid. Ear hematomas often recur and require multiple treatments. Since the skin and cartilage are held together by pooled fluid, a pressure bandage is used to promote adhesion. Steroids and interferon may also be injected if inflammation or an immune system problem is suspected.

Since the injection needle closes the drainage hole immediately, if it becomes chronic, general anesthesia or local anesthesia is used to place a drain (medical tube) , or a skin biopsy punch is used to make a larger hole. multiple times. If it is difficult to adhere with pressure, suture the separated areas to adhere.


Ear hematomas are caused by dogs shaking or scratching their ears.

If the cause is not treated, it will recur even after the fluid is drained

If left unattended, the ears may become deformed and necrotic.

Ear hematoma is a common condition in dogs with droopy ears and is caused by excessive ear wagging and scratching due to various diseases such as allergies and otitis externa. Spontaneous healing cannot be expected, and the ear may become deformed or necrotic if left untreated. If it becomes chronic, treatment using anesthesia will be required, so please go to the animal hospital as soon as possible if you notice any abnormalities.

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