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What is Aural Hematoma?

While a hematoma is any abnormal blood filled space, an aural hematoma is a collection of blood under the skin of the ear flap (sometimes called the pinna) of a dog (or cat). Ear hematomas (pictured below) occur much more commonly in dogs than in cats; they are generally the result of trauma to the ear flap, either from an injury or from the dog scratching at the ear. Itchiness can also be an underlying causative factor, often occuring due to ear mites, allergies, infections or foreign matter in the ear canal.

Since there is little strength or depth to the tissues of the pinna, clotting may be delayed, especially if the dog or cat continues to upset the clotting by additional self trauma. Despite this, hematomas are capable of heling on their own, but will usually leave behind a scarred, crinkled and shrunken pinna.

TREATMENT

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. The sutures hold the inner and outer surfaces against each other so that when scar tissue forms, the two surfaces are smooth and not lumpy. The sutures generally stay in place for a few weeks while the incision is left open so that fluid will continue to drain as the ear heals. Eventually, the incision will heal on its own.

For a dog with droopy ears, the treated ear is often flipped up and bandaged against the head to prevent head shaking during recovery. An Elizabethan collar (a cone-shaped hood that fits over the pet’s head) is often recommended so the pet can’t scratch at the ears.

Another treatment involves the placement of a small drain, or rubber tube, in the external portion of the ear. The drain stays in place for several weeks as the fluid resolves and the ear heals. Some pets may not tolerate this, and cats’ ears are usually too small for this technique.

REFERENCES

Rachel Seibert, DVM
University of Tennessee

Karen M. Tobias, DVM, DAVCS
University of Tennessee

AITHAL HP, KINJAVDEKAR P, AMARPAL, MAITI SK, PAWDE AM, SINGH GR.
2000, Treatment of aural haematoma with local administration of dexamethasone in dogs. Indian Veterinary Journal, 77, 619-621.

BOJRAB, MJ, CONSTANTINESCU, GM.
1998,: Sutureless technique for repair of aural
hematoma. Baltimore, Williams and Wilkings, 97-98.

CHAKRABARTI A, PAL B, DAS B.
1994, Treatment of a hematoma in the dog. A non
surgical approach. Indian Veterinary Journal, 71 (10), 1229-1230.

FOSSUM THERESA WELCH, H. B. SEIM III, C S. HEDLUND, A. L. JOHNSON, K.S. SCHULZ, M. D. WILLARD, A. BAHR, G. L. CARROLL,
2002, – Small animal surgery, p.307-310, Mosby Elsevier

 

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CANINE REHABILITATION TECHNIQUES

In an animal physical therapy practice, a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner CCRP usually confers with the diagnosing veterinarian on the cause and severity of an animal’s condition to develop a specialized therapy plan on a client by client basis and adjust according every single session.

Each technique used in animal physical therapy has different benefits and not all techniques are useful for every condition. Also duration/cycles/tolerance of each different abilities of the animals differs depending on medical condition , we strongly do not encourage excessive rehabilitation plan which cause fatigue.

Physical therapy for orthopedic conditions can include any combination of the following techniques: Ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy (pool or/and treadmill),  muscle building exercises electrical stimulation , Muscle mass massage , Sit and Stand exercises , TENS and strengthening exercises focusing on their various muscle group when muscle atrophy is noted .

Neurological conditions generally benefit the most from propioception exercises – balance and coordination , muscle building exercises, cold laser therapy, Aquatic Treadmill, Cavaletti poles weaving, passive range of motion , muscle memory training focusing on the loss or reduced of reflexes.Surgical repairs and traumatic injuries are generally treated with Ultrasound or heat therapy after inflammation is subsided, TENS and Cryotherapy for pain and inflammation reduction, massage, Passive Range of motion exercises , NMES , and hydrotherapy (depending on condition and surgery done – Hydro pool swimming or Hydro Treadmill), strengthening and weight bearing exercises .

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