Aural Hematoma, What it is and What to do
Dogs and Aural Hematoma Concerns
For any section of skin under an ear-flap that happens to develop a collection of blood, this is a result (whatever the cause) that is referred to as Aural Hematoma. In simpler terms, this is a form of a blood blister. It can be a serious matter to deal with, often involving surgery. Though this may also be seen with Cats, it would be extremely rare.
Aural, as used here, refers to the areas involving the ear. This type of ‘hematoma’ underneath the ear flap, also known as the Pinna, tends to occur more commonly with dogs than with cats. This coincidentally aligns with the higher frequency with which dogs suffer from Yeast infections (causing skin problems). Yeast issues occur with much lower frequency in cats.
Severe Head Shaking often to Blame
The cause of the hematoma – the rupturing of small blood vessels under the flap of the ear due to the trauma from injury, such as a blow to the ear. Most often, however, such damage is self-inflicted, especially for dogs with longer, heavier ears that can slap the head when shaken. Very itchy ears (from ear conditions) can result in severe shaking of the head. This can easily lead to hematoma problems that may require doctor visits. Alternatively, some dogs may deal with their itchy ears via vigorous scratching. Again, a hematoma could be an inevitable result. Consequences of the hematoma may include infection, ear mites, foreign matter working its way into the ear canal, etc.
Painful Infection can set in
Advanced damage from this condition may be shown by an ear flap that becomes swollen, infected, and severely uncomfortable – often painful. Should the issue heal on its own, the Pinna can appear to be crinkled/wrinkled, shrunken in size, or even laden with scars. There have been cases where the ear flaps have been physically stitched to prevent future hematoma damage.
Treatment by a Vet may include surgery to open the hematoma for draining and removal of any clot residue or fibrin. Sutures are used in the repair to tack the very thin skin layers over the thin cartilage in a tight manner in an effort to eliminate space for blood or serum to re-accumulate. The risk of infection from all this requires the use of antibiotics afterward, and also anti-inflammatory medication usually.
Aural Hematoma Separate Issue from Yeast
NOTE: Aural Hematoma issues in Dogs can quite often be a result of Yeast Infections involving the Ears. In fact most systemic yeast infections BEGIN at one or both of two common areas – feet/paws, or ears. In fact, my 14-year old Border Collie – after having zero visible yeast issues for most of those 14 years, showed up with a nasty yeast infection (left ear) just before turning 14. This was a result of Steroid shots received 2-3 months earlier. For a better example, one of the worst yeast cases in Nzymes history – SAVANNA – this Bulldog had nothing other than serious yeasty ear infections – before Treatments with Steroids and antibiotics.