Paw Print

Aural Haematoma

What is an aural hematoma?

An aural hematoma, also known as an ear hematoma, is a blood blister that develops between the skin and cartilage of the “pinna” (ear flap). It’s very common in dogs who are prone to ear infections, especially if they have floppy ears rather than ears that stand straight up.

The condition occurs when trauma or an injury to the ear flap causes the small blood vessels inside the pinna to break and leak internally, resulting in a blood-filled swelling.

What does an aural hematoma look like?

With an ear hematoma, your dog’s ear flap will be swollen.

If the lesion is confined to just one part of the pinna, the swelling may be small. For larger hematomas, the whole ear flap will be engorged, and the weight of the collection of blood may cause the ear flap to droop and hang lower than usual.

An ear hematoma may feel squishy or taut to the touch. More than likely, your pup will object to you touching it, since the pressure can be painful.

What causes aural hematomas?

In almost all cases, some sort of trauma or injury is to blame — that’s what causes the blood vessels between the ear cartilage and skin to break and leak.

The most common type of ear flap trauma is from a dog repeatedly scratching their ear and shaking their head, due to an ear infection, allergic skin condition, ear mites, or a foreign body lodged in the ear canal. For that reason, your vet will take a close look inside your pet’s ears.

Aural hematomas can also develop from an accidental bump or injury to the ear flap. For example, this could happen during vigorous play, if your pup runs through bushes and their ear gets scraped by a sharp branch, or following a bite wound on the ear flap from another dog or a wild animal.

Less commonly, health conditions that cause blood clotting abnormalities can also lead to a blood pocket formation in the ear flap.

What is the treatment for an aural hematoma?

A surgery is usually best because it can provide a permanent solution for the hematoma, and surgery has the best chance of preventing scars.

Additionally, it’s crucial to treat the underlying cause of the aural hematoma — so if your dog has an ear infection, that needs to be addressed, too.

Paw Print

Lateral Wall Resection

What is Lateral Ear Canal Resection?

When dogs experience chronic ear infection of the outer ear, or ear infection that fails to respond to traditional medications, a lateral ear canal resection may be recommended. This procedure involves the removal of one side of the external ear canal, which allows improved drainage and ventilation. Dogs that have long ears are particularly susceptible to otitis externa and can benefit from this procedure if the ear canal is sufficiently open and ear structures are undamaged. If permanent damage has occurred to the ear canal this procedure may not be adequate to address the problem.

Although this procedure may not eliminate future ear infections, it makes future infections less common and easier to treat. A veterinary surgeon is required to perform this surgical procedure.