So your dog's ear is swollen and it looks like there is a big blister on it. It can be small or occupy the whole ear.
Regardless of the size, what you are seeing is most likely an ear hematoma. The name sounds a bit scary and its sudden appearance is alarming... but nothing to worry about.
Ear hematomas can be a serious problem, but the cause is usually obvious and easily treated.
Let’s dive right in…
What is an ear hematoma?
A canine ear hematoma is the collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. It is sometimes referred to as aBlutblase.
The most common type of hematoma in dogs is an ear hematoma (or ear hematoma). These happen when aBlood vessel bursts and bleeds between the cartilage and skin of the auricle.
Ear hematomas vary in size and appearance. They can be small and only affect part of the ear...or they can be so large that they block the ear canal and affect how the ear sags or stands.
They look like a blister, although they may not be as red as a normal blood blister. There will be obvious swelling and a firm swollen mass on the ear flap that may feel spongy or like a water balloon.While it looks like it's about to burst, hematomas rarely do. But they can be very painful for your dog, especially when touched.
What Causes Ear Hematomas in Dogs?
Hematomas are thoseresult of trauma. The most common types of trauma that cause ear hematomas are excessive scratching or head shaking. This means your dog is more likely to develop a hematoma when dealing with...
- ear infection
- insect bites
foreign objectsin the ear can also cause discomfort leading to excessive head shaking and scratching.
Another common cause of ear hematomas isbite woundsthat do not injure the skin.
TIED TOGETHER:Is it an ear hematoma or an ear infection?
Which Dogs Are More Prone to Ear Hematomas?
Your dog is at a higher risk of developing ear hematomas if this is the caserecurring ear problems. Especially if they make him scratch his ear and shake his head. Hematomas are also more common in dogsclotting or bleeding problems, even without obvious trauma.
dogs withfloppy earsare also more prone to ear hematomas.
What happens if a hematoma is left untreated?
If you leave a hematoma to itself,the blood is eventually reabsorbed. This can be done in as little as 10 days for smaller hematomas. However, larger hematomas may take weeks or even months to resorb. andThere is a risk of scar tissue causing permanent disfigurementthat creates cauliflower ear. Then the skin takes on the appearance of a cauliflower floret.
Whether this disfigurement is problematic depends on the location of the hematoma.
When to worry about a hematoma
There are 3 main scenarios in which an ear hematoma becomes more serious.
- The hematoma isblockage of the ear canal.
- Permanent disfigurement through natural healing could narrow the ear canal. That wouldincrease the risk of ear infections.
- The hematoma is so large and painful that it causesundue discomfort.
In these cases, your options may be a bit more limited. But the hematoma is still treatable.
Conventional treatments for ear hematomas
If your dog has an ear hematoma, most conventional vets will recommend surgery. The vet will drain the hematoma and remove any blood clots by making an incision in the hematoma. She will then stitch the ear in several places to reattach the skin and cartilage. This will help prevent disfigurement while the ear heals.
The vet may also insert drainage prior to suturing so any new buildup of fluid can be easily drained. This procedure is invasive and your dog will need to be sedated.
Other conventional options may be...
- Aspirationwith a syringe. This removes the fluids, but usually only provides short-term relief.
- Ateat cannula(or similar drain) placement. This will make it easy for you to drain the hematoma until it heals properly. Disfigurement can still pose a risk.
- AVacutainer, creating a vacuum. This removes the blood and keeps the skin and cartilage tight together to improve healing and reduce disfigurement. But you have to change the drain when it fills up.
These options are less invasive than surgery and don't require anesthesia. But there are more natural options that might be worth trying first.
Treatment of ear hematoma at home
To prevent the hematoma from getting bigger, it is importantAct fast. You can treat hematomas at home, of course... but they can be pretty serious.Therefore, be sure to consult your holistic veterinarian.
Here are two areas to focus on. (You should do them at the same time).
1. Find the root cause
Whether you choose natural or conventional treatments, you need to address the underlying cause of the hematoma.Otherwise, you risk the formation of another hematoma.
The good news is that the most common causes of ear hematomas are natural remedies.
There are two main types of allergies and each has different symptoms.
food allergies– chronic ear infections, bronzing nail beds or lips, itchy skin, dull coat, watery eyes
Food allergies can arise from any food, but common culprits include corn, wheat, rice, eggs, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and lentils. The best way to narrow down the cause is with an elimination diet or an allergy test.
environmental allergies- Itching, hives, ear infections, hair loss, chewing or licking paws.
Typically, veterinarians treat environmental allergies with antihistamines like Benadryl. But these drugs can do more harm than good. Instead try…
- bovine colostrum
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- bee pollen
Ear infections in dogs are one of the top reasons for vet visits. When your dog has an ear infection, they will have hot, smelly ears with a waxy discharge. They may also appear crusted or scaly. In severe cases, your dog may lose balance or hearing.
Antibiotics, steroids, and topical treatments are usually prescribed for ear infections.But these only treat the symptoms temporarily...and they can have nasty side effects. Fortunately, there are natural options instead.
Popular remedies include green tea, calendula, apple cider vinegar, and oregano oil.
Ohrmilbenare from the same family as ticks, but do not bite. Instead, they feed on the wax in your dog's ears.
Ear mites are usually picked up outdoors or from another animal such as a cat, dog, or ferret.If your dog has ear mites, he may have:
- Lop ears when they normally stand up
- Dark Discharge
- A bad smell
There will also be pinprick-sized white moving spots... but you'll likely only see these if you have good eyesight. To try to diagnose them yourself, you can use a cotton ball to collect debris from the external ear canal. Place it on a dark background, then use a magnifying glass to spot moving spots.
Natural remedies for ear mites include olive oil, garlic oil, and green tea.
Dogs occasionally pick up ticks. Unlike mitesTicks are big enough to see.But if they're deeper in your dog's ear, they can be hard to see. Be sure to look as far into your dog's ear as possible if nothing is obvious on the outer canal.
Most people's first reaction when they spot a tick is panic, but that's not necessary. While it's important to act quickly, don't rush into it. Once you've removed the tick, any irritation it caused should quickly go away.
2. Fix the hematoma
There isseveral natural remediesYou can try. The vets Dr. Wynne and Marsden recommend Chinese herbal medicine or homeopathy.
Yunnan Baiyao is a Chinese herbal formula for internal use. Use 250 mg powder per 20 pounds of body weight or 1 capsule or tablet once or twice daily.
Arnica montana30C orHamamelisC30 are homeopathic remedies that can help with hematomas. They work best for simple hematomas that don't have a lot of ear infections.
dr Wynne and Marsden recommend dosing one of these agents up to twice daily for 1 week and then once daily for 4 to 5 days.
You can also use arnica or witch hazel three times a day. Both should be available in health food stores.If the hematoma continues to expand, stop treatment and consult your veterinarian.
Herbalists Greg Tilford and Mary Wulff recommend yarrow as another herbal option. Apply yarrow oil topically to strengthen the outer capillary walls.
Witch hazel can also be effective. Its powerful astringent properties help constrict weak or inflamed blood vessels.
Compression wraps and bandages keep your dog's ears snug against his head. This prevents further shaking and scratching, which could worsen the hematoma or cause a new one.
Depending on the cause of the hematoma, a wrapmay help or make it difficult to fix the underlying cause.Your dog may also find the feel of a wrap or bandage uncomfortable.
This last option is for the adventurous. But it is also seengood results.
Humans have used medicinal leeches for centuries and continue to do so today. In fact, the FDA considers them a medical device.
You may already know that they feed on blood, but that's not all they do.Leech saliva also has healing properties that prevent blood from clotting.This helps prevent scar tissue from forming and makes them a good choice for hematomas.
Veterinary leeches can be purchased online from companies such as Biopharm. But you should consult your holistic veterinarian before using this remedy.
Can You Drain an Ear Hematoma at Home?
Draining a hematoma at home is not recommended.It may temporarily relieve your dog's discomfort, but it can also lead to infection. And the hematoma usually returns.
If you think your dog's hematoma needs draining,consult your holistic veterinarian.
Ear hematomas can be a little intimidating when they first appear, but there are many ways to treat them naturally. So before you undergo surgery, consult your holistic veterinarian and try some of these less invasive options.
Riede F et al.Medicinal leeches for the treatment of venous congestion and hematoma after plastic-reconstructive surgery.J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010;8(11):881-8.
Lee NJ et al. Treatment of sublingual hematoma with medicinal leeches.J Oral and maxillofacial surgery.1996;54:101-3.
Epstein Sr. The shit therapy: leeches at WAH. July 3, 2012.
What can I give my dog for ear hematoma? ›
Some aural hematomas are treated by draining the hematoma and injecting a steroid into the pocket. Repeated draining is often needed so be prepared to return to your veterinarian for a few visits. Oral steroids are often recommended as well.How can I drain my dog's hematoma at home? ›
If your dog allows, place gentle pressure on the area to help it fully drain. You can also wrap a soft bandage around your dog's head (holding the ear flap flat against the head) to help keep the pocket from filling again. Make sure to check and replace the bandage often to ensure it stays clean and dry.Can a dog ear hematoma heal on its own? ›
Commonly found in dogs, an ear hematoma, also referred to as an aural hematoma, is a blood-filled pocket on the inside of the ear flap. An ear hematoma is extremely painful for a dog, and the intense swelling can be alarming. If left untreated, a hematoma will heal on its own, but that can mean weeks of discomfort.Should I massage my dogs ear hematoma? ›
More important than the kind of drain used is the follow-up care that the dog receives. “The main thing is that the owners have to gently massage the ear” to keep the hematoma draining, Dr. Kaplan explains.How long will it take for my dogs ear hematoma to go away? ›
If you let a hematoma heal on its own, the blood will eventually reabsorb. This can happen in as short as 10 days for minor hematomas. Larger hematomas may take weeks or months to disappear. There's also the possibility that scar tissue will cause lifelong deformity, leading to cauliflower ear.What is the home remedy for hematoma? ›
Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Prop up the bruised area on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.What helps break down a hematoma? ›
Treatment for a bruise or a hematoma
Treatment should begin as quickly as possible after injury. First-line therapy is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE method). If the injured area is painful, the injury can be treated with OTC medications like Tylenol or Advil.
Most haematomas get better quickly and remember to avoid massage to your injured area. Some may take longer to resolve and you might feel a raised lump for some time. After the first 48 hours and whilst you wait for it to heal, just keep gently exercising and stretching the area as long as you don't cause pain.Can a dog live with a hematoma? ›
Hematomas on organs or in the brain can lead to more serious medical conditions, but most subdermal hematomas are not serious. Your veterinarian can assess how serious the hematoma is and determine if treatment is needed. Some smaller hematomas will go away on their own, while larger ones may need to be drained.What happens if a hematoma is left untreated? ›
If a haematoma is left untreated and the pressure within the haematoma exceeds the blood pressure in the dermal and subdermal capillaries, it may result in a large area of necrosis of the overlying skin. Therefore, an urgent evacuation of the haematoma must be performed to release the tension over the skin.
Why is my dog's ear blown up like a balloon? ›
A large accumulation of blood under the skin makes the ear flap blow up like a pillow creating a thick, soft, heavy ear flap. The dog or cat senses this and shakes the ear even more creating trauma to the ear flap. Aural hematomas are often accompanied by pain or itching in the ear canal.How do you treat a dog's swollen ear flap? ›
Some can be drained with a syringe and needle, but if the swelling comes back (which is very common), your vet may advise surgery to open the earflap, remove the blood, and leave a drainage hole to stop it refilling.Will a hematoma drain on its own? ›
Hematoma is the accumulation of blood in the surrounding tissues following an injury to blood vessels. Most hematomas resolve on their own. However, adequate care is required to avoid complications. The requirement for surgical drainage of hematoma varies according to the location and severity of the hematoma.When should a dog's hematoma be drained? ›
Some dogs require subsequent drainage of the hematoma in 3-5 days after starting therapy and most aural hematomas have resolved by 7-10 days with proper treatment.How do you get rid of a hematoma overnight? ›
- Ice therapy. Apply ice immediately after the injury to reduce blood flow around the area. ...
- Heat. You can apply heat to boost circulation and increase blood flow. ...
- Compression. Wrap the bruised area in an elastic bandage. ...
- Elevation. ...
- Arnica. ...
- Vitamin K cream. ...
- Aloe vera. ...
- Vitamin C.
Vinegar mixed with warm water will help the healing process. Vinegar increases blood flow near the skin's surface, so it may help dissipate the blood that has pooled in the bruise area.Does heat help a hematoma? ›
Things You Can Do About Bruising or Hematoma:
After the first 48 hours, you may use heated compresses (which may be a heating pad, or a very warm wash cloth), 2 or 3 times a day, to help reabsorb the blood.
They will usually advise a person to avoid certain pain relievers, such as aspirin, which thin the blood and may make the hematoma worse. Sometimes, a hematoma may require surgical drainage. Surgery may be more likely if the blood is putting pressure on the spinal cord, brain, or other organs.Do hematomas hurt dogs? ›
Ear hematomas sometimes go away on their own, but they may cause your dog significant pain and discomfort due to the pressure and weight of the fluid in the earflap. It may take a month or more for the blood to be completely resorbed; with appropriate surgery, on the other hand, your dog's ear may heal in 10-14 days.What are 3 causes of a hematoma? ›
Hematomas are caused by traumas such as car accidents, head injuries, falls, aneurysms and bone fractures. Certain medical conditions such as hemophilia, blood cancers and liver disease increase the risk of developing hematomas. There are several types of hematomas, differentiated based on their location in the body.
How long is too long for a hematoma? ›
Most bruises fade away within two weeks without treatment. More severe bruising and hematomas may last a month or longer. These steps can help you heal faster: Rest and elevate the injured area to prevent swelling and relieve pain.How long does it take for a hematoma to dissolve? ›
Mild hematomas and contusions typically heal within about five days. A large hematoma may last weeks to months and as it heals it will change color and slowly shrink in size. Hematoma pain and swelling may be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. Aspirin should not be used as it may increase bleeding.What happens if my dogs ear hematoma Pops? ›
A hematoma that has burst can heal on its own, but it may take longer than if treated. Often the hematoma will refill with blood. The body will eventually reabsorb all the blood and fluids in the ear, but it may heal with scar tissue called a cauliflower ear.How much does it cost to fix a dog's ear hematoma? ›
You might be wondering, how much does dog ear hematoma surgery cost? The cost can run anywhere from $250-$500 or more depending on the size of the hematoma and the extent of follow-up care by your vet.Why do dogs get ear hematomas? ›
Causes of Ear Hematomas in Dogs
Other causes for headshaking, such as ear mites, having something stuck in their ear, and underlying issues such as allergies, can lead to an ear hematoma. Less commonly, allergic skin disease in dogs, immune disorders, trauma, or blood clotting deficits can cause ear hematomas in dogs.
If a haematoma is left untreated the blood in the ear flap will separate into serum and a clot and will gradually be absorbed over a period of 10 days to 6 weeks. This is an uncomfortable time for your dog and unfortunately some scarring will take place during this process.How do vets treat ear hematoma? ›
Treatment options include needle aspiration and bandages, tube drainage systems and incisional drainage. The goals of surgery are to remove the hematoma, prevent recurrence and retain the natural appearance of the ears.How long does it take for a hematoma to reabsorb? ›
How long does a hematoma take to heal? It usually takes around four to six weeks for a hematoma to disappear, but in some cases it may take months.What can you give a dog for swelling? ›
There are some of the available NSAIDs just for dogs:
- carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)
- deracoxib (Deramaxx)
- firocoxib (Previcox)
- meloxicam (Metacam )
- grapipant (Galliprant)
Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Prop up the bruised area on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
How do I know if my hematoma is infected? ›
- inflammation and swelling.
- tenderness in the area.
- warmth in the skin surrounding the hematoma.
Chronic subdural hematoma can be treated with tranexamic acid without concomitant surgery. Tranexamic acid might simultaneously inhibit the fibrinolytic and inflammatory (kinin-kallikrein) systems, which might consequently resolve CSDH.How serious is a dog ear hematoma? ›
Aural hematomas should be treated as soon as possible. In comparison to those that have been there for several days, acute hematomas respond better to drainage. Surgery is more difficult if a hematoma has formed and thickened. Scarring is more probable, resulting in a permanent cauliflower ear flap appearance.How does a hematoma resolve itself? ›
Most hematomas resolve spontaneously over time as the blood debris is removed and the blood vessel wall is repaired by the body's repair mechanisms. Other times, surgically removing or evacuating the blood in a hematoma becomes necessary based on its symptoms or location.