Meet Alfie! This gorgeous pup came into the clinic recently with a swollen ear. He was diagnosed with an aural haematoma, which is a blood filled pocket within the pinna or ear flap. The blood collects under the skin and causes the ear flap to become thickened and swollen, usually occurring as a result of local irritation to some part of the ear. When something irritates the ear canal, a dog is likely to respond by scratching or shaking the head. Excessive shaking causes blood vessels to burst, resulting in bleeding.
Treatment involves releasing the pressure of the blood filled ear flap under general anaesthetic. This is achieved by making a small incision to allow the ear to drain and placing multiple sutures throughout the ear pinna to help hold it closed. These sutures are required to be kept in place for 3 weeks while the ear heals. During this period, it is extremely important that the animal wears it’s elizabethan collar and the ear is kept clean. It is also important to treat any ear infections that may have caused the aural haematoma. This is the most common reason for aural haematomas and is the reason we test for ear infections at the time of surgery.
Alfie has recovered well from surgery and will be out of his elizabethan collar in no time! If you suspect your pet has an aural haematoma, please call our staff on 3200 6045 or make an appointment online.