Aural Hematoma (often called Dog Ear Hematoma) is more common with dogs than with cats.
It is also more common with dogs that have a large ear flap, like your poodle.
What is a Dog Ear Hematoma?
Hematoma is a swelling of the ear flap (pinna). The tiny blood vessels in the ear flap are broken and bleeding into the space between the ear cartilage and the skin on the underside of the ear.
As the blood seeps into the space between the cartilage and the skin, it creates a larger and larger cavity as it continues to fill with blood.
You can see the swollen area best when you examine the underside of your dogs’ ear flap. It will look all puffy as if air has been blown into it.
There are a number of things that can cause this condition.
Common Causes of Hematoma
The most common cause is the dog shaking his head from side to side vigorously and/or scratching his ear(s) incessantly. However, it must be understood that an Aural Hematoma is almost always a secondary condition.
Therefore, if your poodle is shaking his head or scratching his ear or rubbing it on the ground, you should identify the reason for this.
Reasons Dogs Shake Or Scratch Their Ears
It could be one or more of the following irritants:
- Ear infection
- Ear mites
- Other parasite
- A foreign substance lodged in the ear
- Allergy – which causes his skin to itch, including the tender skin on the inside of his ear
Signs of a dog ear infection are redness, swelling, odor, brownish or reddish discharge, incessant scratching of the ears.
You should consult your vet if you see signs of an ear infection. Left untreated, a dog ear infection can lead to an inner ear infection (which can affect his balance) and could even cause deafness in the ear.
Other Causes For Hematoma Could Be:
- An injury to the ear flap – possibly from a dog fight
- Other impacts to the ear
A dog ear hematoma can heal on its own without surgery. The blood is re-absorbed into the body, leaving an empty cavity between the cartilage and the skin.
Eventually, this heals as well when the layers of the ear flap bond together again and form scar tissue. This may leave a scarred and/or misshapen ear flap (pinna).
Watch as “Doc Pawsitive” explains:
They believe this creates a better bonding of the tissue, sealing up the cavity between the cartilage and skin and more likely preventing a recurrence of the Hematoma.
Listen to what Dr. Aimee Beger has to say: