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Floppy-Eared Dogs Need Extra Help to Avoid This Miserable Condition

By Dr. Becker

Ear or  aural hematomas are fluid-filled pockets on the inside of the earflap.

There  are tiny blood vessels in the pinna or the floppy part of your pet's ears.

When  something causes these little vessels to rupture, they bleed under the skin and  form a fluid-filled pocket.

Ear  hematomas are most commonly seen in floppy-eared dogs, but they can occur in  any breed of dog – whether their ears are floppy or not – and even occur in  cats.

How Ear Hematomas Develop

Most dogs  develop ear hematomas from shaking their heads or chronically scratching at  their ears.

Dogs  shake their heads a lot.

They shake after baths. Sometimes they try to shake  themselves dry.

Other  times the ear is bothering them, which could be an allergic response that is  causing intense itching in the ears, or it could be an ear infection.

Shaking  the head alone can cause those tiny blood vessels to burst, but so can smacking  the ear against something while shaking.

Trauma to the ear can cause bleeding as  well.

Other  causes of ear hematomas are injury to the earflap (usually from a dogfight),  infection or inflammation of the ear, presence of a foreign body, or even a  parasite in the ear.

Once  bleeding under the skin begins, it creates irritation, which will make your dog  shake his head even more. If the problem isn't addressed and blood and other  fluids continue to accumulate in the skin, the hematoma can become quite large,  even to the point of blocking off the opening of the ear canal.

It's not  uncommon for ear hematomas to rupture while the dog is shaking his head,  spraying blood all over the place. Hopefully, pet owners don't let ear  hematomas get to this point...

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