Happy Silly Cat

Understanding Ear Hematomas in Dogs: Causes Symptoms and Treatment

Ear Hematomas in Dogs: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dogs have long been labeled “man’s best friend,” and they’re often seen as cherished members of the family. However, our furry friends are still prone to a variety of health problems, just like humans.

One of the most common and often painful issues that can afflict dogs is an ear hematoma. In this article, we’ll discuss what it is, what causes it, how to recognize its symptoms, and what can be done to prevent and treat it.

Understanding Ear Hematoma

An ear hematoma, also known as an aural hematoma, is a localized swelling of the outer ear. It occurs when a blood vessel in a dog’s ear ruptures, causing blood to pool between the layers of skin and cartilage.

This can lead to significant discomfort and even permanent changes in the ear’s appearance and carriage.

Causes of Ear Hematoma

The most common cause of an ear hematoma in dogs is excessive head shaking. This can be due to an ear infection, allergies, foreign bodies in the ear, or ear mites.

Other potential causes may include trauma, such as being hit by a car or getting into a fight with another animal.

Symptoms of Ear Hematoma

The most noticeable symptom of an ear hematoma is a visible swelling in your dog’s ear, often accompanied by redness. Dogs may also shake their heads excessively, scratch at their ears, and have a distinctive odor.

Owners may notice a squishy or firm feel around the ear area, causing discomfort and tilting of the dog’s head.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of ear hematoma can be carried out through a visual examination of the ear. Your veterinarian may also use a needle to aspirate fluid from the ear to confirm the diagnosis.

In some instances, further tests, such as blood work or x-rays, may be necessary to determine the underlying cause. Treatment of ear hematoma depends on your dog’s specific needs and the severity of the condition.

A minor hematoma may be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, with a wrap placed over the affected ear to keep it immobilized. A more severe hematoma may require surgical repair, which may include the placement of pie-crusting sutures or teat cannulas to assist with fluid drainage.

While this can leave scarring, it is important to note that the surgery does not typically affect the hearing of the dog.

Prevention of Ear Hematoma

As with many health conditions, prevention is always the best medicine. To help prevent ear hematomas, it is important to keep your dog’s ears clean and well-groomed on a regular basis.

Moisture can make the ear canal a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, so drying the ear canal after water exposure is essential. If your dog suffers from allergies, it’s important to address the root cause and take steps to reduce trigger factors.

Regular cleaning without excessive force is ideal to keep the ears dry and clean.

Effect on the Ear

An ear hematoma can lead to permanent changes in the appearance and carriage of your dog’s ear. The thin tissue of the ear may become swollen and balloon-like, causing the ear to droop.

This can create discomfort and weight, leading to difficulty with balance as the dog tilts their head. In severe cases, scarring and deformation of the ear can occur due to surgical intervention.

Therefore, it is essential to take preventive measures to avoid an ear hematoma. In conclusion, a proper care regiment is necessary to prevent ear hematoma in the dogs.

Keeping the ear dry and well-groomed, addressing allergies, and acting immediately to treat any infections or foreign objects in the ears can prevent excessive head shaking that leads to ear hematomas. Consult with your veterinarian for early diagnosis and treatment to minimize the permanent damage done to your furry friend’s hearing and balance.

Common Breeds Affected by Ear Hematomas: Understanding Causes and


Ear hematomas are a common condition that can afflict all breeds of dogs. However, certain breeds with floppy ears are more susceptible to this health issue than others, including Basset hounds, Cocker spaniels, and Dachshunds.

In this article, we will discuss which breeds are most prone to ear hematomas and how to prevent this condition from occurring.

Breeds Prone to Ear Hematomas

Dogs with floppy ears are more susceptible to ear hematomas than those with erect ears. This is because the long, droopy ears can become easily irritated and cause trauma to the blood vessels in the ear flap.

Basset hounds, Cocker spaniels, and Dachshunds are three of the most common breeds prone to ear hematomas. However, any breed with floppy ears can be at risk.

Head-Shaking in Relation to Breed

Head-shaking is a common cause of ear hematomas in dogs and can be related to a breed’s ear type. Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to irritants and foreign objects getting stuck in their ear, leading to head-shaking and resulting in ear hematomas.

These breeds may also be more susceptible to ear infections, which can also cause them to shake their heads excessively, leading to ear hematomas.

Underlying Conditions and Infections

While head-shaking is a common cause of ear hematomas, issues like allergies, mites, and foreign objects can lead to this condition. Allergies to food and environmental factors can create irritation in the ears leading to head-shaking.

They also contribute to an overproduction of ear wax, which can cause blockages. Mites ranging from ear mites to mange can cause skin irritation in the ear canal, leading to scratching and subsequent head-shaking and hematoma.

Sometimes foreign objects like grass seeds can become lodged in the ear canal, causing inflammation and the need to shake the head. Blood-clotting disorders can also be an underlying cause of ear hematomas as any disruption in regular blood flow can lead to the build-up of blood clotting and eventual hematoma.

Signs of Infection

Ear infections can lead to further irritation and inflammation in the ear canal, causing the development of an ear hematoma. Signs of ear infections include excess ear wax or discharge, crust formations, foul odor, and excessive itching and scratching.

Ear infections can lead to secondary infections by both bacteria and yeast, and early recognition of symptoms is necessary for effective treatment and prevention.


Prevention is essential to avoid an ear hematoma from developing. Regular ear cleaning is essential, particularly for breeds prone to ear hematoma, and should be carried out to maintain hygiene.

Owners should be careful when cleaning to avoid excessive pushing of ear cleaning solutions or cloth into the ear canal. Grooming, such as keeping ear hair trimmed, may also help with preventing obstructions along with regular vet visits which aid in early detection of hematoma and ear infections.

Reading up on your dogs breed and possible risk factors is also beneficial. In conclusion, ear hematomas are a common condition affecting many breeds of dogs, especially those with floppy ears.

Owners of pets with breeds prone to ear hematomas should take time to learn and understand the risks to their pets and how to minimize them. Prompt veterinary care is also essential to prevent the development of complications, including infections.

Regular cleaning, including removal of foreign objects, and avoiding irritants is crucial preventive measures. Adequate care could help avoid any permanent damage that this health condition may cause.

Ear Hematomas in Dogs: Recovery and Treatment Options

Ear hematomas can be a painful and persistent health issue for dogs. However, prompt treatment and proper care can alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.

This article will cover the recovery and prevention of complications associated with ear hematomas, as well as the various treatment options available for dog owners. Recovery and

Prevention of Complications

The prognosis for ear hematomas is generally good with proper treatment, but prevention of complications is essential.

Prompt treatment is crucial to reducing the risk of permanent damage, including permanent scarring and disfigurement. The surgical procedures that are required for more severe cases can get costly, and involve the placement of sutures and drain tubes to control bleeding and draining.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are key to preventing recurrence and prompt treatment of any developing ear infections. To aid in healing and reduce the risk of infection, owners should keep the ear clean and dry, and ensure that bandages or dressings are changed regularly and kept in place.

Treatment Options for Ear Hematomas

Proper treatment of ear hematomas depends on the severity of the condition. If caught early, ear hematomas can be treated using needle aspiration.

This procedure involves inserting a needle and syringe into the swollen area to draw out the accumulated fluid or blood clots. Though the procedure is temporary and may require follow-up care, it can be beneficial in reducing pain and preventing the development of infections.

Pie-crusting sutures are another treatment option available for pets with severe ear hematomas. This procedure involves several small incisions made into the ear to release pressure and prevent further bleeding and draining.

Sutures are then placed in a quilt-like pattern, protecting the ear from further damage and promoting healing. Drain tubes may also be used in combination with pie-crusting sutures to aid in fluid drainage.

Proper follow-up care with a veterinarian is essential to prevent recurrence, assess the effectiveness of pie-crusting sutures and reduce the risk of complications. Teat cannula placement is another technique used where a small cannula device is inserted into the affected site to aid in fluid drainage.

It is often used when other treatment options have failed, or in cases where there is udder inflammation from other conditions. There may be some discomfort and limiting movements for the dog during the healing process, but it is often effective.


Ear hematomas can be a painful and persistent health issue for dogs that can cause considerable discomfort and even permanent damage if left untreated. Regular ear cleaning and prompt treatment are critical to preventing complications, aiding in healing, and reducing the risk of recurrence.

Owners should be aware of their dog’s breed and risk factors for ear hematomas, and should seek immediate veterinary care if these health conditions do arise. With proper attention and care, ear hematomas can be effectively treated, allowing furry friends to remain happy and healthy.

Ear hematomas can be a painful and persistent issue for dogs, particularly those with floppy ears. Owners should be aware of the breeds prone to ear hematomas and the risk factors associated with this condition.

Prompt treatment is essential to prevent complications and reduce the risk of permanent damage, including scarring and disfigurement. Treatment options range from needle aspiration to pie-crusting sutures and teat cannula placement.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and diligent ear hygiene can help maintain your dog’s ear health and prevent the development of infections. By understanding the causes and possible treatment options of ear hematomas, pet owners can help their furry friends have a happy and healthy life.

Popular Posts