Aural Hematoma Swollen Ear

Jaz came to visit us due to a very swollen ear. The ear had filled with blood causing an aural hematoma.

An aural hematoma is a clot of blood that collects between the skin and the cartilage of a pet’s ear flap. It’s typically caused by overly aggressive ear scratching or head shaking that results from an ear infection. Dogs and cats can both suffer ear hematomas, though dogs (particularly those prone to skin allergies and ear infections) are more prone to them.

Surgical repair was considered the best form of treatment for Jaz’s ear. Without surgery the ear would scar and distort. While under anesthesia, an incision was made along the length of the hematoma on the inner surface of the ear. The fluid and blood clots were drained from the ear, then the inner ear was tacked down to the outer surface of the ear with sutures. The sutures are placed through plastic tubing to protect the ear tissue. The sutures hold the inner and outer surfaces against each other so that when scar tissue forms. The sutures generally stay in place for a few weeks while the incision is left open so that fluid will continue to drain as the ear heals. Eventually, the incision will heal on its own.

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