Dog Ear Hematoma Ice Pack

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 clots by making an incision in the hematoma. She’ll then suture the ear in multiple places to reattach the skin and cartilage. This will help prevent disfiguration while the ear heals.

The vet may also insert a drain before suturing so that any new fluid build-up can be easily drained. This procedure is invasive and your dog needs to be under sedation.

Other conventional options may include …

  • Aspiration using a syringe. This will remove the fluids, but usually only provides short-term relief.
  • A teat cannula (or similar drain) placement. This will make it easy for you to drain the hematoma until it properly heals. Disfiguration may still be a risk.
  • A vacutainer, which creates a vacuum. This removes the blood and keeps the skin and cartilage close together to improve healing and reduce disfiguration. But you’ll have to change the drain as it fills up.
  • These options are less invasive than surgery and don’t need anesthesia. But there are more natural options that may be worth trying first.

    Affected individuals are usually holding their head sideways, and they may or may not be shaking their head. They are pretty uncomfortable, if not downright painful.

    When I was in veterinary school in the seventies, the conventional wisdom was that the dog (or cat) has an ear infection. This causes him to shake his head and scratch his ears until he finally breaks a blood vessel in the pinna, which then begins the inflation process. Treatment would obviously need to include treatment of the ear canal infection that started the process. Then the pinna would receive a major surgery. If you don’t drain these bloody swellings, it takes months for the body to stop the leak and absorb all the fluid. The ear pinna gets badly scarred and deformed and “wadded up” in the healing process, much like the cauliflower ear of the boxer whose head has been pummeled hard enough to break ears, noses, and cheekbones. Plus,the pet stays really uncomfortable for a long time.

    One thing is for sure: small hematomas almost always get bigger. When you first notice that ear swelling, rapid treatment will result in a much faster and simpler healing process than if you wait until the entire pinna is involved.

    Many dogs do not even need a tranquilizer for this. You just poke a hole, squeeze out the gooey, pop in the tube and put in one stitch to hold it.

    Draining the swelling by simply puncturing it doesn’t work very well. The pocket refills quite rapidly. You needed to keep the pocket draining until the vessels inside healed up. In the old days (jeez, I was a kid in “the old days”), this involved cutting a sliver of skin out of the underside of the ear so that it wouldn’t heal up too fast. Then the ear pinna was sewn to a piece of some rigid material so that it wouldn’t wrinkle up and “cauliflower” as it healed. What a horrendous, messy piece of surgery that was, not to mention the mess during the healing process.

    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.


    Can you ice a dog ear hematoma?

    My dog’s hematoma just popped on its own. What should I do?
    1. Try to gently clean the area with warm water and a mild, non-stinging cleaning solution (like dilute chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine). …
    2. If your dog allows, place gentle pressure on the area to help it fully drain.

    How can I treat my dog’s ear hematoma at home?

    Additionally, if there is any possible trauma to ear, in the acute setting, the use of ice to the area may beneficial in intervals of 15 to 20 minutes to reduce any potential hematoma formation.

    Can you ice an ear hematoma?

    In order to treat the hematoma, your vet will most likely try to treat the underlying cause first, to prevent the possibility of another hematoma forming on the same or opposite ear. Many veterinarians will recommend conservative care, using at-home warm compresses and/or anti-inflammatories or other pain medications.

    Can I put a warm compress on my dogs ear hematoma?

    10 days to 6 weeks