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Ear Hematoma Surgery in Dogs: Procedure & Recovery

An ear hematoma causes uncomfortable swelling in or around your dog's ear. In this article, our veterinarians in Clovis will clarify what an ear hematoma is and why surgery might be the optimal choice for your pup.

What is an Ear Hematoma?

Trauma or injury can break the small blood vessels inside your dog's pinnae (the little bones on either side of their ear), leading to an uncomfortable swelling known as an aural hematoma. While it is more common in dogs with floppy ears, all dogs have the potential to develop this condition.

The Importance of Treating a Hematoma

The preferred treatment method for aural hematomas is surgical correction. This procedure is highly effective, offering permanent solutions while preventing the formation of scars on the ear. The likelihood of a hematoma recurring after surgical treatment is extremely low.

If an underlying cause of the ear problem, such as an infection or allergy, is identified, it will also receive treatment. In most cases, veterinarians must address the root cause of the initial issue. Fortunately, the underlying problem is typically an easily treatable infection or allergy.

What is an Aural Hematoma Procedure Like?

Surgical treatment for an aural hematoma involves making a small incision to open and drain the blood. Next, multiple small sutures (stitches) are used to close the incision. A surgical drain may be inserted to prevent further blood pooling and facilitate drainage if necessary. Additionally, the pinna is supported with a bandage or other material to minimize damage and promote healing.

It's important to note that draining a hematoma without surgery may not always be the optimal solution. If your pet has a mild or small hematoma, or if surgery is not feasible due to anesthesia-related concerns, your veterinarian might attempt to drain the swelling using a large needle. However, this approach is suboptimal as aural hematomas often recur if not surgically removed, sometimes even within 24 hours.

Furthermore, if blood clots are already present within the hematoma, it may be challenging, if not impossible, for your vet to remove the swelling using a needle.

How Much Does Dog Ear Hematoma Surgery Cost?

Like most procedures, several different factors determine cost. These factors usually have to do with the severity of the hematoma. Still, they can also include things like the severity of the underlying issues and your dog's ability to handle anesthesia. If surgery isn't a possibility because anesthesia isn't an option, frequent trips to drain the hematoma are likely to result.

At Family Pet Hospital, we'll consult all options with you and provide a good-faith estimate of what a procedure will cost, no matter what you choose.

What to Expect After Dog Ear Hematoma Surgery

Recovery after ear hematoma surgery for a dog is typically quick and straightforward. Most dogs return to their normal head-shaking behavior within two weeks.

During the initial days post-surgery, your veterinarian will provide your pup with pet-friendly pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate any discomfort. If necessary, antibiotics will also be prescribed.

The drainage tubes or bandages may be removed within 3-14 days, although in severe cases, some or all sutures may remain for an additional two weeks. Your veterinarian will ensure that appropriate medications are administered to prevent any potential infections during this period.

Your vet will provide you with instructions on how to care for your pet at home and when to schedule follow-up appointments for proper healing assessment. In case of any discharge, your vet will advise accordingly.

Additionally, your dog will be given an Elizabethan collar to prevent ear scratching, reducing the risk of inflammation, bleeding, or premature suture removal. Some pets may also have a head bandage for added protection and gentle pressure.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you notice swelling in and around your dog's ear and are worried they may have a hematoma, contact our Clovis vets today for evaluation and treatment.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Family Pet Hospital is always accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health and well-being of Clovis dogs and cats. Contact us today to get started! 

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