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Ear Hematoma Surgery in Dogs

An ear hematoma, also called an aural hematoma, is a blood-filled blister that can form on a dog's ear. Dogs with long and floppy ears, which are prone to infections, are more likely to get them. Our veterinarians at Englewood will provide more information on ear hematomas and their treatment.

What is an ear hematoma?

An ear hematoma, also called an aural hematoma, is a blood-filled blister that forms on your dog's ear cartilage and skin.

Excessive scratching, injuries, or trauma to the ear can cause it. The small blood vessels in the ear flap break and leak internally, resulting in a blood-filled swelling.

Dogs with chronic ear infections tend to develop this condition due to frequent scratching and pawing at their ears.

Dogs with long and floppy ears, those who spend time in the water, and those with untreated allergies that cause skin irritation are more prone to ear infections.

What does a hematoma look like? 

With an ear hematoma, your dog’s ear flap will be swollen. In severe cases, the whole ear flap may be affected, and the weight of the blood may cause the ear flap to droop or hang lower than it usually does. 

Depending on size and location, hematomas can feel firm or squishy to the touch. They are often painful, and your dog will probably not want to have its ear touched. 

Is a hematoma considered an emergency?

An ear hematoma in dogs is not typically considered a life-threatening emergency, but it does require prompt veterinary attention to prevent complications and alleviate discomfort for the dog. If left untreated, an ear hematoma can lead to scarring, infection, and potential long-term damage to the ear.

Dog Ear Hematoma Surgery 

The best way to treat a hematoma is through a surgical procedure with two goals: to drain it and prevent it from forming again. A veterinarian will use a few different techniques based on their preference, but the surgery overview is the same. 

To begin, the hematoma will be surgically drained, and any blood clots will be removed. Next, the vet will remove the empty or "dead" space in your pet's ear flap that was filling with blood. This is done by putting numerous sutures through the ear to promote scar tissue formation and reattach the cartilage to the skin.

How much does ear hematoma surgery for dogs cost?

The cost of surgery can vary depending on many factors. It's always best to contact your vet directly. They should be able to give you a more accurate estimate.

Dog Ear Hematoma Surgery Recovery

After hematoma surgery, a dog's ear takes about two weeks to recover fully. As for what to expect after dog ear hematoma surgery, your veterinarian will prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to help ease your pet's discomfort. They may also prescribe antibiotics if necessary.

Following surgery, your dog may require a drainage tube placed in its ear to aid in healing. Your veterinarian will remove the tube between 3 and 14 days. To keep your dog from scratching their ear while it heals, you may need to use an e-collar or Elizabethan collar.

Follow your vet's instructions for proper home care and watch for signs of infection, such as bad odor or swelling that doesn't seem to be improving.

Preventing Further Hematomas  

Treating the underlying cause of your dog's ear irritation is critical for avoiding future hematomas. Without treatment, your dog may continue to scratch and paw at their ears, leading to further complications.

Make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian. They will perform diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of your dog's ear condition.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

If your dog is having an emergency, contact our Englewood vets today to get them looked after.

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VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to Denver Metro area pets.

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