Every dog owner dreads seeing their furry friend in discomfort. One common issue that can cause distress is an ear hematoma. But what exactly is it? An ear hematoma is a blood blister that develops within the cartilage and skin of your pup’s ear. Typically, these hematomas occur when your dog excessively scratches at its ears, resulting in self-inflicted trauma. However, other injuries or trauma to the ear can also lead to a hematoma.
Chronic ear infections are often the culprits behind dogs scratching and pawing at their ears. Breeds with long, floppy ears, dogs that spend plenty of time in the water, and dogs with untreated allergies are more prone to these infections. When trauma occurs, the small blood vessels in the ear flap (known as the pinna) break and leak internally, causing a blood-filled swelling.
Recognizing an Ear Hematoma
If your dog has an ear hematoma, you’ll notice that its ear flap becomes swollen. In severe cases, the entire ear flap may be affected, causing it to droop or hang lower than usual. The hematoma itself can feel firm or squishy to the touch, depending on its size and location. Moreover, it’s usually painful, making your dog resistant to having its ear touched.
The Surgical Solution
Treating a hematoma typically requires a surgical procedure aimed at draining the hematoma and preventing its recurrence. While there are various techniques that veterinarians may employ, the general approach remains the same. First, the hematoma will be drained surgically, and any blood clots will be removed. Next, the veterinarian will eliminate the empty space in your pet’s ear flap that was previously filling with blood. This is achieved by suturing the ear multiple times, encouraging scar tissue formation and reattaching the cartilage to the skin.
The Road to Recovery
Expect the healing time for hematoma removal to be around two weeks. In the initial days following surgery, your pup may experience some soreness. However, your veterinarian will provide pet-friendly pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate any discomfort. Additionally, antibiotics might be prescribed if necessary.
After the surgery, your dog may have a drainage tube inserted into its ear to aid healing. This tube will be removed by your vet within 3 to 14 days. Your dog may also be given an e-collar or Elizabethan collar to prevent them from scratching at their ears during the recovery period. To ensure a successful recovery, follow your vet’s instructions for proper home care, and monitor your pup’s ear for any signs of infection, such as foul-smelling discharge or persistent swelling.
Preventing Further Hematomas
To prevent the formation of future hematomas, it’s crucial to address the underlying cause of your dog’s ear irritation. Simply treating the hematoma itself won’t be sufficient in the long run. By consulting with your veterinarian, they can conduct the necessary diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of your pup’s ear condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Remember, the information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. For an accurate diagnosis and guidance tailored to your pet’s specific needs, make an appointment with your vet.
For more information about dog ear health and other pet-related topics, visit Katten TrimSalon. Our team of experts is always here to help you keep your furry friend happy and healthy!