How do you bandage a dog’s ear? Let’s Explore

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To care for your dog’s torn ear, start by putting pressure on the wound for several minutes to stop the bleeding, using clean gauze or a sock. Next, clean the wound using warm, clean water. After that, bandage the wound by covering it with gauze or a paper towel, then use a long, narrow strip of cloth to wrap around your dog’s head and over the ears. Make sure that the wounded ear is bandaged flat against the head, and that you can fit 2 fingers snugly under the bandage. Then, take your dog to the vet within 24 hours, in case it needs stitches or further treatment. For more tips from our Veterinary co-author, like how to help the ear heal, read on!

  • Joe Moore “Shelly had a cut just inside of ear, looked like she cut it with toe nail. Had to make her stop itching so I used the bandage method describe in this article Worked like a charm, left it on for couple days wound healed! Thank you!”…” more
  • What causes ear wounds in dogs?

    Dogs are playful creatures and can often be found tearing through the woods, rolling around on the floor, or play-fighting with other four-legged friends.

    Unfortunately, all this rough and tumble means they sometimes get injured. Trauma is the most common reason for your pup’s ear tip injury, but it isn’t the only possible cause.

    Your dog may have an infection or something stuck inside its ear canal, making it scratch the area and shake its head, cutting the tip in the process. It can also be a sign of a more serious health concern.

    As a pet parent, it’s important to identify the cause of your dog’s injury to help you and your vet provide the right care.

    Got pet insurance cover through Purely Pets? Then you can use the 24/7 vet video consultation line for immediate advice.

    Here are some of the most common reasons why your dog gets ear wounds.

    Trauma and tears

    Dogs are active creatures and can easily injure their ear due to trauma while on a walk, from another dog bite, during a fight, or by itself when repeatedly scratching or shaking its head.

    If there is severe bleeding and your pet is in a lot of pain, it’s an emergency. Take your dog to the vet immediately and contact your pet insurance cover provider to see if you are eligible for financial help for urgent care and treatment.

    Ear infections and foreign objects

    Dogs get ear infections due to bacteria and yeast or also as a result of foreign objects, like grass seeds, getting stuck inside the ear canal.

    The itching and discomfort from an infection or foreign object can cause your dog to scratch its ear and shake its head, sometimes causing trauma to the ear tip.

    Dogs with long, hanging ears are much more likely to develop an ear infection than those with small pointy ones.

    Blood blisters (aural hematoma or vasculitis)

    Vigorous head shaking and ear scratching can sometimes cause an aural hematoma, which we know more commonly as a blood blister.

    These are blood-filled cysts and can cause a lot of mess when they burst. Unfortunately, dogs don’t pay much attention when we tell them not to scratch an itchy or uncomfortable site, meaning it can rupture over and over again.

    Blood blisters are more common in thin-eared canines and need to be treated by a vet to avoid further damage, which will likely include surgery and pain medication.


    There are a host of mites, ticks, flies and fleas that can bite your pup’s ears and cause a huge amount of itching. Excessive scratching because of parasites can easily cause a nick or two to the tip.

    Mange and biting fleas can also damage the skin and small blood vessels in your animal’s ear, causing wounds on the ear tip.

    To prevent fleas and other parasites from affecting your dog, The Kennel Club recommends:

  • Cleaning their bedding regularly.
  • Vacuuming furniture and floors often and throwing away the dust bag with each use.
  • Applying a parasite treatment with the help of your vet.
  • Cancer and other lesions

    Sometimes, frequent scratches or wounds on your dog’s ear tips is a sign of something more serious.

    It might be due to irritation from warts or polyps, but it could also be because of an internal or external tumour that needs urgent care.

    The blood vessels in your pet’s ear can become cancerous. Any lumps and bumps must be seen by a vet as soon as possible, especially if you notice a change in the size, colour, or shape.

    When should I take my dog to the vet for ear problems?

    Whenever your pup has something wrong with its ear, it’s a good idea to see the vet. Even when it’s something you can easily manage up at home, seeing a professional can rule out any further health problems and make sure the wound is healing nicely.

    If there’s a lot of blood and your dog seems very ill, get them to the vet immediately. If it’s a small cut and you can clean it yourself, do so, but then take them in or call the Purely Pets video consultation service at no additional cost for advice if you have pet insurance cover with us.

    Depending on the cause of the ear tip injury and any underlying health issues, your canine companion may need treatment such as:

  • Antibiotics for an infection
  • Pain medication to alleviate discomfort
  • Deep cleaning to remove ear wax build up
  • Steroids for inflammation and to promote healing
  • Surgery to stop bleeding from a blood blister and allow it to heal
  • Surgery to remove a foreign object if found
  • Further treatment for underlying health issues if necessary
  • How to bandage a dog’s bloody ear