My Dog’s Ear is Full of Fluid What Should I Do?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 02/23/21 •  3 min read
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Has your dog suddenly developed a pocket of fluid in his ears? Has he been shaking his head quite a bit or scratching at his ears? Then we’re glad you’re here!

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In this article, we’ll take a look at what causes fluid to develop in the ear, the cause, as well as treatment of the condition.

What is the Cause of Fluid in Dogs’ Ears?

One of the main causes of fluid in a dog’s ear(s) is an aural hematoma. This condition can develop from excessive scratching of the ears or head shaking. These are usually caused by underlying problems such as ear mite, an ear infection, allergies, and more.

A hematoma is a pocket of blood and fluids that gather after vessels in the ear(s) are broken. The ear then develops a pocket between the skin and cartilage of a dog’s ear. The dog may feel pain and discomfort as the pockets grow. Sometimes the hematoma can become large very fast.

This is a condition that’s very common in dogs that have long ears; however, it can occur in dogs with short ears or pointed ears that stand up. This type of health issue can become worse if untreated.

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Symptoms of a Hematoma in a Dog’s Ear(s)

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has one or more ear hematomas:

In some cases, the blood pocket may heal on its own; however, the inflammation and swelling can damage the dog’s ears. They’re also painful. What’s more, if the problem is caused by an underlying health problem, this must also be treated to prevent further hematomas from forming in the ear(s).

If your dog has an ear hematoma, then it’s time to call the vet. This is a problem that needs to be treated, as it can cause pain and discomfort for your dog. Do not try to puncture the hematoma on your own. This is not a blood blister.

Treatment of Ear Hematoma in Dogs

In most cases, the vet will perform surgery on your dog. This is one of the best treatments. During the surgery, the vet makes an incision that covers the length of the blood pocket. The vet will then drain the blood and fluids. After this, the ear is usually tacked down, which means the outer surface of the ear will be sutured.

Dogs with pointy ears or long ears may also need the incision bandaged up. This will prevent the formation of another hematoma. The dressing may need to be changed each day due to the fluids that will keep draining from the ear.

If any underlying health issues are found, these will also be treated.

The good news is that most dogs will have a full recovery with prompt medical care.

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Kyoko

Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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