Dog Aural Hematomas
Definition of Aural Hematomas
Aural hematomas are warm, painful swellings under the skin of a dog’s ear flap from accumulation of blood. They are common, and usually happen when dogs shake their heads and scratch at their ears to relieve itching associated with ear infections. Other things that can lead to head-shaking and ear-scratching are skin allergies, food allergies, infestation by fleas, mites, ticks or lice and twigs, grass awns, foxtails or other foreign things getting stuck inside the ear. Puncture wounds from fights with other animals can also cause hematomas. Dogs with long, heavy ears are most likely to develop aural hematomas, as are those living in hot, humid climates and those that go swimming a lot. Diagnosis isn’t difficult and surgical treatment fortunately is usually successful.
An dog aural hematoma is a localized collection of blood between the skin on the inner side of the ear flap (the “pinna”) and the auricular cartilage that contributes to the shape and stiffness of the ear. “Auricular,” and “aural,” mean pertaining to or coming from the ear.Aural hematomas are caused by bleeding from one or more terminal branches of the auricular artery, which provides the blood supply to the ears. The hematoma usually results
Most localized swellings on the inside of the ear flaps (pinnae) are hematomas, although abscesses can also occur on the pinnae, especially after a dog fight.Owners of dogs with aural hematomas may notice one or more of the following signs:Dogs with particularly pendulous pinnae (long, heavy ears) tend to have an increased risk of developing aural hematomas. Dogs with outer ear infections (otitis externa) or middle ear infections (otitis media), and those with parasite infestation,
Aural hematomas are not particularly difficult to diagnose. However, they must be distinguished from an abscess, seroma or soft tissue neoplasia (cancer) for an appropriate treatment protocol to be determined. The diagnostic process really is focused on identifying the reason for the dog’s head-shaking and/or ear-scratching; the hematoma itself can be identified visually and by taking a fine needle aspirate to confirm that the fluid in the pocket is blood.When presented with a dog that
The goals of treating aural hematomas are to drain the blood-filled pocket, facilitate ongoing drainage until the inner layers of the ear flap can re-connect, promote adhesion of the epithelium and cartilage by promoting direct skin-to-cartilage contact, and prevent or at least minimize ear deformity and scarring.The most definitive way to treat an aural hematoma is to drain it surgically, flush the incision site thoroughly with sterile saline and then place several mattress sutures to