One of my Scotties recently had to have a hematoma removed from her ear. I had never heard of this problem in dogs and didn't realize how serious it can be. Poor baby had to have surgery and it looks like her ear will not be able to stand up again. My Vet says this is a fairly common problem.
An ear hematoma is a pocket of blood that forms within the exterior portion of a pet’s ear flap. Although both dogs and cats can suffer ear hematomas, the condition is much more common in dogs.
Ear hematomas are usually caused by some kind of self-trauma — such
as when a pet aggressively scratches at the ears or shakes his or her
head, causing the ear flaps to slap against the skull. This trauma can
cause blood to leave the vessels and pool in a pocket between the skin
and cartilage components that make up the outer part of the ear flap.
Treatments range from draining the hematoma with a needle, to surgical correction of the problem.
Surgical repair is often considered the most effective treatment for ear
hematomas. While under anesthesia, an incision is made along the length
of the hematoma on the inner surface of the ear. After the fluid and
blood clots are removed, the inner surface of the ear is tacked down to
the outer surface of the ear with sutures. You can see this result in picture at left.
The most common cause of an ear hematoma
in dogs is an ear infection or other irritation within the ear. Ear
infections cause irritation to the ear, resulting in shaking of the head
which in turn causes the development of the hematoma. I also read that a trauma or even flea infestation can be an underlying cause.