aural hematoma in dogs

What Is Aural Hematoma in Dogs?

What is it?

Aural hematoma in dogs is a condition where blood accumulates between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap, causing it to swell and become painful. It is typically caused by trauma, such as head shaking or ear scratching, and can occur in one or both ears. Aural hematoma can lead to discomfort and deformity if left untreated.

How is it Treated?

The treatment of aural hematoma in dogs typically involves draining the accumulated blood and managing the underlying cause of the condition, such as ear infections or allergies. Depending on the severity and recurrence of the hematoma, surgical options may also be considered. It is important to seek veterinary care promptly to ensure proper treatment and minimize the risk of complications.

Breed Predispositions

Cocker Spaniels Labrador Retrievers Beagles Golden Retrievers Bulldogs Pit Bull Terriers Shar Peis Boxers Basset Hounds Schnauzers


One sunny afternoon, Lisa was playing fetch with her energetic Border Collie, Luna, in the backyard when she noticed something unusual about her canine companion’s ear. Luna’s earflap appeared swollen and tender, causing her obvious discomfort. Concerned, Lisa immediately scheduled a visit to her trusted veterinarian. After a careful examination, the vet diagnosed Luna with an aural hematoma, a condition Lisa had never heard of before.

Aural Hematoma in dogs is a condition with abnormal blood accumulation in the ear flap. This can be attributed to trauma or irritation to the outer ear flap, such as scratching. The appearance of CAHs is unmistakable when it occurs; an inflamed and swollen ear flap with purplish discoloration that feels like a water-filled balloon when touched.

Aural hematomas are common in dogs. Breeds with the highest odds included Bull Terrier, Saint Bernard, and French Bulldog. It is a blood collection outside the accumulation of blood vessels and is caused by bleeding inside the ear canal.

This can happen spontaneously or after a minor injury, such as being dropped off a table. Most cases resolve themselves within two weeks without any medical intervention. However, it is essential to monitor the dog closely because untreated hematomas can lead to infection. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any signs of pain or swelling around the ears.

What Causes Ear Hematomas in Dogs?

Hematoma in dogs is common. A study found that 80 percent of dogs with secondary ear infections had pendulous (long, floppy) ears. They usually occur when bleeding from the ear canal into the middle ear. The most common cause of this condition is trauma to the external auditory meatus (ear canal), ear infection, foreign body ingestion, ear mites, otitis externa, neoplasia, and mast cell tumors.

Other causes include inflammation, infection, foreign bodies, tumors, and congenital abnormalities. Some breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers and German German Shepherds, are predisposed to developing ear hematomas due to their thick skin. In some cases, no apparent cause can be found.

There are three types of ear hematomas: simple, complex, and complicated. Simple hematomas are small and don’t require surgery. Complex hematomas are large enough to cause pain and require a surgical approach. Finally, a complicated hematoma requires urgent attention because it can become infected.

What Causes Ear Hematomas in Dogs

Symptoms of Canine Aural Hematomas

Symptoms include swelling in the ear flap, which is usually hot to the touch and painful for your pet. They may also have discharge from their ear(s), head shaking, rubbing their head against objects, and increased sensitivity when you handle their ears (such as brushing).

 Ear hematomas can develop after trauma or injury to the ear canal. For example, dogs who chew on foreign objects can sometimes damage their eardrums, causing blood blisters to leak into the middle ear.

If left untreated, aural hematomas can cause permanent changes to your pet’s earflap shape and thickness. There can also be long-term nerve damage due to decreased blood supply and infection risk since pus accumulates in the flap. So, you must seek treatment immediately if you suspect your pet has an aural hematoma.

Diagnosing Aural Hematomas in Your Dog

Veterinarians use several methods to diagnose aural hematoma in dogs. These include a physical exam of the ear flap, imaging tests such as X-rays or lab tests, and a detailed medical history of the dog.

During a physical exam, the veterinarian gently presses around the swollen area to detect fluid accumulation. The outer side of the ear may be warm due to inflammation, and there might be reddening and increased hair follicle production on or around the affected area. Next, veterinarians use otoscopy to shine light through the dog’s ear canal and examine its contents. This helps them determine whether there’s any bleeding inside the ear.

The vet may also order imaging tests such as X-rays to check for any underlying bone injury that might explain why the lesion occurred. In addition, it’s essential to test for bacteria and other infectious causes that can cause an aural hematoma.

Veterinary cytology is another method used to diagnose ear hematomas. This involves taking a sample of fluid from inside the ear canal. The samples are sent to a laboratory where technicians use microscopes to examine cells under high magnification. This allows them to see whether white blood cells are present, indicating inflammation, or red blood cells, indicating infection.

Lab results often allow further investigation into the cause of inflammation, whether allergies, parasites, or another type of infection caused it.

Finally, obtaining a comprehensive medical history on the dog may help determine if an existing condition could be causing this issue or other factors contributing to its occurrence.

Treatment for Aural Hematomas in Dogs

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. Mild cases may be treated with warm compresses, topical medications, and antibiotics. Severe cases require ear hematoma surgery to remove the blood clot and repair any damage to surrounding tissue.

Aural hematoma drainage is one of the most common treatments to relieve pressure and reduce discomfort. Nonsurgical treatment options include topical medications, antibiotics, and even home remedies.

Treatment for Aural Hematomas in Dogs

Hematoma Drainage

For surgical options, the most common way to treat an ear hematoma is to drain the fluid and present blood clots out of the middle ear. This involves inserting tubes into the eardrum and drainage tube. Sometimes, surgery is needed to close the hole in the eardrum.

Topical Medications

Topical medications include ointments, liquids, sprays, and powders. Creams work well because they stay put on the skin and absorb quickly. Sprays and liquids absorb faster than ointments but may last longer. Powders are great at absorbing fast but often fall off the dog’s ears when applied.


Antibiotics are used to treat infections, and there are different types depending on the type of infection. Antibiotics are most effective when given early in the course of a disease. Home remedies are simple things you can do yourself at home. Some examples include applying ice packs, putting drops of vinegar in water, and bathing your dog.

Home Remedies

If your dog suffers from ear hematomas, try these home remedies:

  1. First, apply ice packs to the affected area for 10 minutes thrice daily. This helps reduce swelling and pain.
  2. Use a cotton ball soaked in warm water to clean out the ear canal. Do this once daily until the problem resolves.
  3. Dip a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and gently wipe away excess wax buildup inside the ear canal. Repeat every two weeks.
  4. Place some petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) inside the ear canal. Leave it there overnight. Remove it in the morning and repeat it twice weekly.
  5. Clean the ear canal with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Repeat every week.
  6. Mix baking soda and cornstarch and apply them to the ear canal. Wait 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat every two weeks until the problem disappears.
  7. Rub a mixture of 1/8 teaspoon each of vitamin E oil, olive oil, and coconut oil onto the ear canal. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash it with warm water. Repeat every two weeks for maximum effectiveness.
  8. Put drops of tea tree oil directly into the ear canal. Allow them to stay for 15 minutes, then flush them with warm water. Repeat twice weekly.
  9. Make a paste of aloe vera gel and white vinegar. Gently rub the paste into the ear canal. Rinse after five minutes. Repeat twice weekly.

Recovery and Prevention of Ear Hematomas in Dogs

Hematomas usually heal within three weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. If left untreated, however, they can become infected and cause permanent damage to the ear.

Preventing ear hematomas in puppies is simple. First, keep them away from sharp objects, including toys and furniture. Use soft surfaces, such as carpeted floors, when playing. And keep them out of areas where they may be exposed to water.

To treat an existing hematoma, apply antibiotic ointment and cover the affected area with gauze soaked in warm water. Keep your dog calm and quiet during the procedure. Do not let him lick his paw or scratch himself because this could lead to a cauliflower ear infection. Afterward, use an e-collar to protect the wound.

If you suspect your dog has an ear hematoma, immediately take him to the veterinarian. Several treatment options are available, including antibiotics, oral steroids, and surgical hematoma removal.

Frequently Asked Questions

A dog’s ear flap is a common problem among dogs. It usually happens when they get wet. As a result, the skin around the ears becomes swollen and red. This condition may cause pain and discomfort. A dog’s ear flap is caused by excessive water intake.

Dogs who drink too much water tend to have problems with their ears. This is because they often lick them excessively. Licking causes the skin to swell up. If you notice your dog licking their ears, ensure they do not drink too much water. You should also keep them away from cold water sources such as ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.

If your dog drinks too much water, try giving them some dry food. Dry foods contain less moisture than regular canned foods. Dry foods are easier to digest and do not require as much chewing.

Try feeding your dog once every two hours during the day. Make sure you give them enough food. Only feed your dog once per day. Feeding your dog too much at one time may lead to diarrhea.

Hematomas may occur anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, back, arms, legs, and feet. Dogs have many hematomas, including subcutaneous hemorrhage, epistaxis (bloody nose), hemangiosarcoma, and hemophilia.

If you have an acute hematoma, your veterinarian will sift through it. They will take a sample of the fluid for testing. Your vet may recommend draining the hematoma if the fluid contains bacteria or if it becomes infected.

Draining a hematoma is done by making a small incision at the base of the lump and removing some of the fluid. You may feel discomfort during the procedure. However, afterward, your pet will likely recover quickly.

Drainage costs vary depending on the dog’s size, the injury’s location, and whether the wound needs stitches. The average price for draining a small dog with an auricular hematoma ranges from $100-$200.

Most dog ear hematomas will heal on their own in a few weeks, but some may take up to several months. If the hematoma is large or has pus, it may take longer for the dog to heal. Therefore, your veterinarian must examine the hematoma and perform any necessary surgery if there are concerns about its health or potential permanence.

If your dog has an ear hematoma, you can treat the injury by cleaning and rinsing the wound with a mild hydrogen peroxide and water solution. You can also put a bandage or plug over the ear’s end to prevent debris and infection.

The dog ear hematoma will grow until it ruptures and causes significant bleeding. The rupture may cause the dog to lose excess blood, become unstable on its feet, and develop respiratory difficulty.

If the hematoma is small, drain it at home using a q-tip and irrigation water. If the hematoma is larger or there is debris, you must visit a vet.

The likelihood of normal ear function following a hematoma depends on the size and severity of the hematoma. More minor hematomas will heal quicker than larger ones, and less severe ones may not require surgery. However, if significant swelling around the ear, hearing loss, or other complications develop, surgery may be necessary to remove the hematoma.

Some aural hematomas are painful for dogs, but most dogs do not seem bothered by them. It may vary depending on the size and location of the hematoma.

If the hematoma is small, does not leak fluid, and does not cause pain when touched or moved, it will most likely heal independently without surgery. However, surgical treatment may be necessary if the hematoma is more significant, infected, or causing pain when touched or moved.

An aural hematoma is a rare complication of head trauma that can occur when blood accumulates within the cranial cavity. Aural hematomas may rupture and cause severe brain damage or even death if untreated.

An aural hematoma is a rare condition in dogs after surgery. The swelling will often go down on its own, and there are no lasting effects. However, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent an infection if the hematoma doesn’t go away or becomes large and pus-filled.

Dog ear hematomas can be contagious for both humans and other pets. However, the risk of spreading the infection is highest if contact with the animal’s blood, fluid, or tissues occurs directly. For example, if a pet scratches an infected area on a human, the virus may be transferred to that person through skin exposure.

There is no definitive answer to this question since many factors must be considered before attempting to drain an ear hematoma at home. Some things that need to be considered include the size and location of the hematoma, whether or not it has started growing on its own, and what other medical conditions may be present. If any of these factors suggest that professional intervention may be necessary, then it might not be safe or wise to attempt draining an ear hematoma at home.

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not aural hematomas can be prevented. However, it is essential to wear ear protection when working with loud noises and be aware of the risks associated with high-pressure jobs. Additionally, care should be taken to avoid blunt trauma to the head, which may lead to an aural hematoma.

No vaccine is currently available for dog ear hematomas. Treatment options typically include cautery to remove the hematoma, antibiotics to prevent infection, and pain relief.

The auditory system is responsible for processing and transmitting sound to the brain. Blood clots in this system can cause severe damage to the ears and surrounding tissue. This condition is known as an auricular hematoma (AH). AHs are commonly caused by head injuries but can also occur due to other causes, such as heart disease or cancer. They tend to be particularly dangerous because they often go undetected until very late, when they may already have caused significant damage.

The cost of treating an ear hematoma in dogs can vary depending on the size and location of the hematoma. Treatment may include surgery, medication, and blood transfusion. The average cost for treatment of an ear hematoma is around $1,000 to $2,000.

There are many reasons why a dog might scratch. One possibility is that they are trying to remove something irritating them, such as a flea or hair. Other possible causes include dry skin, allergies, parasites, or cancer. If you’re unsure what’s causing your pet to scratch excessively, it may be best to take them in for a check-up with their veterinarian.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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