Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue

Harlequin Haven
Great Dane Rescue

11567 St. Rt. 774
Bethel, Ohio 45106

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Ear Hematoma 

Dogs with long floppy ears are more likely to get ear hematomas  than those with upright ears. Ear hematomas are typically the result an ear infection or ear mites but can develop after any ear trauma.

Itchy or painful ears often result in the dog pawing at the ears or swinging the head around in an effort to relieve the discomfort.  This swinging and scratching can cause an ear hematoma.

The hematoma is characterized by firm, fluid filled lump on the earflap. Typically it appears on the inside part of the earflap, it is often red, and feels warm to the touch. It is caused by ruptured blood vessels bleeding under the skin and forming a pocket of blood.

The vet may choose to aspirate some of the fluid from the lump.  Microscopic examination of the fluid can confirm the diagnosis of a ear hematoma.

Treatment is two-fold. Surgically repair the hematoma, and treat the infection that caused this self-induced trauma. The surgical procedure requires that the dog be sedated. Then the hematoma opened and drained. Multiple stitches are required to seal the ear back together. Sutures are typically removed 10 days later after the ear has properly drained and healed. The vet may also prescribe medications for the ear infection.

Failure to treat a hematoma can lead to swelling of the entire earflap. Also, scar tissue formation within the hematoma will result in a severely wrinkled, thickened, earflap that will predispose the dog to further ear problems.

Of course, the best treatment is prevention. Keeping your dog's ears clean is one of the best methods of preventing ear infections. Preventing infections reduces the likelihood of ear hematomas.

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