What Are The Home Treatments For Dogs’ Ear Hematoma?
Does your dog shake their heads a lot more than normal? Is the dog’s ear inflamed and red? They may have an ear hematoma that’s causing their discomfort.
But what precisely does that mean? Continue reading to learn more about this painful ailment and available treatment options.
What Exactly Are Ear Hematomas In Dogs?
An auditory hematoma, also known as an ear hematoma in dogs, is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the ear, which causes bleeding to occur in the space between the cartilage of the ear and also the skin of the ear.
An ear hematoma in a dog can cause the dog to experience acute ear pain, and the significant swelling can be quite alarming. If the hematoma is not treated, it will eventually heal, but this process could take many weeks.
Even though they are not as red as a typical blood blister, they have the appearance of a blister because they have the same shape. There will be puffiness and a firm, swollen lump on the earflap that has a spongy or water-balloon-like texture.
Additionally, there will be swelling. Even when they give the impression of being on the edge of exploding, hematomas rarely really do so. On the other hand, they can cause your dog quite a bit of discomfort, especially if you touch them.
What Are The Root Causes Of Ear Hematomas Dogs?
Dogs can get ear hematomas by shaking their heads or scratching their ears too roughly, which can bring on the condition.
Because the tissue of the ear flap, also known as the “pinna,” is relatively thin, the blood vessels in it are susceptible to rupturing when it is wounded.
A balloon-like lump will grow on the dog’s ear due to the space that normally exists between the ear’s cartilage and the ear’s skin becoming filled with blood and fluid.
This causes the ear to inflate very quickly. Ear hematomas can occur in dogs of any breed, but dogs with larger ear flaps are more likely to suffer from them. This is because larger ear flaps are more likely to rub against the skull when the head is shaken.
But what drove the person to start shaking their head and scratching, which in turn led to the formation of the hematoma? There are a lot of factors below the surface that could be to blame, including the following:
- Blood coagulation
- Immunological disorder
- Skin allergies
- Pinna fracture caused by trauma (i.e., a bite to the ear)
- Ear mites (very rare in dogs)
- Infection caused by yeast or another kind of bacterial infection
Most aural hematomas are brought on by either an infection or an allergic reaction.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Ear Hematoma In Dogs?
One of the most common and undeniable signs of an ear hematoma is a change in the outward appearance of the ear.
The lump or fluid-filled pocket sometimes referred to as “cauliflower ear,” can cause the ear to appear larger and inflated, giving the impression that it is enlarged. The swelling may be hard or soft, and its consistency may shift over time.
The following is a list of symptoms to look out for:
- The ear flap contains fluid.
- Itchiness to an extreme degree
- Excessive scraping of the ear canal
- Excessive shaking of the head
- The tilting head sideways
It is essential to remember that these symptoms do not necessarily point to a hematoma in the ear but could instead indicate an underlying problem that needs to be treated.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, prompt medical attention from a veterinarian is essential.
Who Might Be In Danger Of Getting Ear Hematoma?
If your dog has a history of ear problems, there is a greater chance that he will develop an ear hematoma. They are far more irritating to him if they force him to scratch behind his ear and shake his head.
Hematomas are more prone to develop in dogs who have problems with blood clotting or bleeding problems, even without any visible trauma.
Ear hematomas are more common in dogs with long, floppy ears, such as Basset Hounds and Blood Hounds, making these breeds more likely to develop the condition.
How Might One Avoid Getting An Ear Hematoma?
Maintaining a regular grooming routine is the most effective way to prevent hematomas. A dog that receives frequent brushing is less likely to develop matted fur, which can lead to skin irritation and even tears.
It is possible to prevent infections in a dog’s ear by keeping their ears clean, which is another reason dogs shake their heads and paw at their ears. Dogs with their ears cleaned regularly are less likely to develop ear hematomas.
How Can Doctors Determine If Someone Has An Ear Hematoma?
A hematoma in the ear can be diagnosed with a physical examination.
The earflap, which is hot and bloated on the exterior and red and inflammatory on the inside, may be seen clearly by the veterinarian. They will also consider the dog’s medical history and other physical indicators, such as a shaking head.
An essential next step is to conduct a diagnosis to determine the precise reason for the head shaking that resulted in the hematoma.
Your dog’s ears will typically be examined with the aid of an otoscope by the veterinarian, who may also consider taking a sample or doing cytology on an ear swab.
This involves looking at the cotton swab under a microscope to see whether or not there is yeast or bacteria.
Is There A Cure For Ear Hematoma In Dogs?
Because ear hematomas develop due to an underlying reason, the source of the problem must be addressed before any treatment can be considered.
Ear infections and ear mites can both be effectively treated, whereas allergic reactions can typically only be controlled rather than cured.
What Kind Of Treatment Is There For A Hematoma in The Ear?
The hematoma will be repaired surgically, which will be the most effective treatment.
The specific steps of the surgical technique change based on the circumstances and the veterinarian’s preferences, but the procedure itself adheres to the same core guidelines no matter what.
An incision is made in the patient’s skin over the hematoma so that the blood may be drained and any blood clots can be removed. After that, the empty area, also known as dead space, is closed off by threading several sutures into the ear.
This helps to promote the creation of controlled scar tissue, reattaches the cartilage to the skin, and prevents future recurrences.
A surgical drain could be utilized if you need some help with drainage. The pinna is then propped up with support to prevent further damage and speed up the healing process.
After an ear hematoma operation, some dogs will have buttons stitched onto their ears as a temporary cosmetic measure. This is done to provide the skin with a larger surface area and to maintain its position while it is healing.
The following are examples of other traditional treatments:
- Aspirating fluid by the use of a syringe. This will relieve some discomfort in the short term, but it won’t stop the fluid loss.
- Using a vacutainer to create a vacuum. The blood is evacuated, and the skin and cartilage are kept as close together as possible to facilitate healing and reduce the risk of disfigurement. On the other hand, you’ll have to replace it when the drain gets clogged up.
- The insertion of a cannula into a teat (or equivalent drain). Because of this, draining the hematoma will be simpler until it heals correctly. There is still a chance of physical disfigurement.
Is Ear Hematoma In Dogs Contagious To People Or Other Pets?
The hematoma itself does not spread to other animals or people and is not contagious. On the other hand, the underlying cause of ear hematoma may, in certain instances, be a contagious condition.
Ear mites, for example, can spread to other animals and cause them to scratch their ears, which might result in the development of a hematoma if the scratching is severe enough.
A person who is exposed to ear mites may acquire a slight skin rash on their hands, arms, or legs, but this condition is extremely uncommon in humans.
What Complications May Occur If Ear Hematomas Are Not Treated?
When a hematoma is left to heal, the blood will eventually be absorbed back into the body. When it comes to more minor hematomas, this can happen in as little as ten days.
The healing process for larger hematomas might take many weeks or even months. Scar tissue has the potential to develop a lifelong deformity known as cauliflower ear, and this risk should not be discounted.
You know you’ve arrived at this stage when your skin looks like individual cauliflower florets. The placement of the hematoma will determine the severity of the disfigurement and whether or not it presents an issue.
How Much Does Treating An Ear Hematoma In Dogs Cost?
The cost of treating an ear hematoma might fluctuate depending on several factors.
The extent of the hematoma, the costs charged by your veterinarian’s office and for any testing that needs to be done, and the location in which you live (the cost of living is typically greater in cities) are all factors that contribute to the total price.
In some instances, treating an ear hematoma can be done on an outpatient basis in the veterinarian’s office with only a small amount of general anesthetic required.
When it comes to more serious cases, the price will go up. If the hematoma is significant, it may be best to administer general anesthesia to the dog before beginning treatment. The process of draining the wound can be excruciating for the animal.
If surgical intervention is required, additional costs will be incurred due to the requirement for anesthetic medicines, utilization of the operating room, and the participation of various medical personnel.
To assess whether or not it is safe for your dog to undergo surgery, your veterinarian may require blood tests from you.
The total cost of therapy for ear hematomas can range anywhere from $300 to $2,500, depending on the severity of the condition. Laboratory testing, pain medication, and subsequent doctor’s appointments can add to additional costs.
Healing Process And Management Of An Ear Hematoma In Dogs
If the hematoma is treated using needle aspiration, your veterinarian will give you drugs and instructions for at-home care to use if the hematoma recurs.
If surgical intervention is necessary, you will receive detailed postoperative care instructions. These suggestions might include the following:
- Cleaning, drying, and administering the required medication to treat the ear canal are necessary.
- After surgery, it is important to thoroughly clean the wound and massage away any small pockets of fluid that may have formed.
- Maintaining the use of the cone until the sutures have been removed and the hematoma has reached its full state of recovery.
Follow-up treatment and regular monitoring are essential for preventing a recurrence and the possibility of a hematoma developing in the opposite ear. Both of these outcomes can be avoided by providing proper care.
Is There A Vaccine For Ear Hematomas In dogs?
There is currently no vaccination available to treat ear hematomas or the majority of the underlying conditions that can lead to the development of hematomas.
In Sum: Ear Hematoma In Dogs
Scratching or shaking the head can cause blood to collect behind the skin of the ear, which could lead to the formation of a hematoma.
It is very essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of aural hematomas and get treatment as soon as possible because your dog may experience discomfort due to the condition.
Your veterinarian will offer guidance regarding the postoperative care your pet may require. Promoting a healthy lifestyle generally, maintaining proper cleanliness, and being aware of potential risk factors are essential for preventing ear hematomas.
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