A hematoma is a blister-like inflammation of the skin accompanied by painful swelling and itchiness. An aural hematoma, which occurs in the cartilage in or around the ears, is a relatively common problem for some dog breeds. While this condition does not pose a serious risk to your dog's health, it is important to have your dog treated. The common surgery options are incision and drain surgery, although some animal hospital and clinics may offer additional procedures.
In this procedure, the surgeon cuts the inside of the affected ear to allow the fluid-filled swellings to drain. The incision is sutured shut after the ear has drained. The dog must be sedated during the procedure. You must make a return trip to the clinic or hospital one to two weeks after the surgery to have the stitches removed.
Drain surgery is a common alternative to incision, but its suitability can depend on the severity of the condition. In this procedure, the surgeon opens only a small slit in the dog's ear and inserts a draining mechanism, called a teat cannula. You must gradually drain the fluid with this device over a period of several weeks. The small cut gradually seals itself as the hematoma drains. This option does not require stitches, and the dog only needs local anesthesia during the operation.
Hygiene and Health Care
Dealing with existing health care issues may be necessary to combat hematoma. Chronic ear infections, which often require prescription medication to treat, are usually the cause of aural hematoma. Cleaning your dog's ears periodically with saline water or a similar solution can help prevent serious problems later.
Causes and Prevention
Identifying the cause of your dog's hematoma, which may require the assistance of a veterinarian, is a critical step in preventing this problem from happening again. Fungal or bacterial pathogens, as well as household allergens, may be at fault. Physical irritation, such as frequent scratching, can also rupture the fragile blood vessels in your dog's ear. Your dog may require a prescription medication to treat infection. Ear mites, fleas and other parasitic organisms may also be to blame, so keeping your dog free of these pests is also important.
- little dog image by Dragomir Uzunov from Fotolia.com