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Care Guides

Ear Hematoma Guide

Taking proper care of your pet after surgery is vital to their speedy recovery. Luckily, Mancelona Veterinary Hospital has the steps to make it easy.

Taking Proper Care of Your Pet After Surgery

Hematoma of The Ear Flap

What is an ear hematoma? Hematoma of the ear flap is an accumulation of blood between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. This accumulation of blood creates that swollen feeling in your pet’s ear.

What causes an ear hematoma? The most common cause of an ear hematoma in dogs is an ear infection or other irritation within the ear, such as allergies. Ear infections and allergies irritate the ear, resulting in shaking of the head. The hematoma is caused by damage to the cartilage or overlying skin from vigorous repeated head shaking or scratching at the ears with the back feet. Less commonly, allergic skin disease, immune disorders, or blood clotting deficits can cause ear hematomas.

How to treat your pet’s hematoma? The fluid within the hematoma needs to be drained, and in most cases, the ears need to be treated for an infection. The veterinarian will lance the hematoma and drain the fluid under anesthesia. In most cases, sutures will be placed through the ear flap along with an incision to allow the ear to heal and maintain normal shape. If nothing is done the ear will usually constrict and shrivel while healing and be malformed.

Care After Hematoma Surgery

  • Give all medication as directed.
  • Don’t be alarmed as there will be a small open incision inside your pet’s ear. Please be advised that there will be, at times, a small amount of drainage that may come from your pet’s ear. This incision will completely heal with time.
  • Offer your pet a small amount of water 6-8 hours after their procedure. After an hour, you may offer them a small amount of food. If your pet experiences vomiting, pick up their food and water and try again in the morning.
  • Keep your pet quiet for the next couple of days.
  • E-Collars are available for purchase to prevent your pet from scratching at their ear and are highly recommended. If your pet scratches, they may remove the sutures prematurely.
  • SUTURE REMOVAL IS NEEDED IN 3 WEEKS. No appointment is necessary for suture removal. We are available Monday-Friday, call our office and tell us when you will be coming for a minimal wait time.
  • You may clean around the incision with small amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Contact our office if fluid continues to accumulate under the skin.