Dogs have a keen auditory faculty. To help retain this extraordinary attribute, a dog’s ear canal is L-shaped to protect the tympanic membrane (ear drum) from any kind of injury. The typical structure of a dog’s ear means that a foreign substance that enters the ear or wax or debris that accumulates has to work its way upwards rather than straight out, as is the case in the human ear. This makes it difficult for anything going in to easily come out.
Common ear infections, like dog ear mites and yeast infections, lead to an increased production of wax which has to be removed manually. Further, dogs with drooping ears have restricted air flow into the ear cavity. Moist ears are a sure invitation for infections to establish roots.
Ear mites and other ear infections cause excessive itching, which is the root cause of blood clots that develop in a dog’s ear lobe. When a dog is uncomfortable due an ear infection, he is prone to shake his head and scratch his ears vigorously. This leads to bleeding due a rupture in a vessel in the external ear. Medically known as hematomas, clots occur because there is nothing in the ear that can produce enough pressure to stop the bleeding and the blood vessel swells. These blood clots can develop into serious conditions if not treated in time.
Most ear infections are effectively managed by regular cleaning followed by home remedies for ear mites like vinegar and water or mineral oil and vitamin C. In severe infections, a full ear flush is required even for examining the ear to pinpoint the cause of the discomfort to the dog. Once a hematoma is diagnosed, the treatment is limited to the following three options:
- Aspiration in which the fluid is drained out with the aid of a syringe. There is a strong possibility in this method that the blood vessel will swell again.
- Teat Cannula that involves a small flexible tube that is inserted into the swollen vessel for draining off the fluid.
- Surgery includes an incision that is made in the ear and the blood clots are removed. The cut is later closed with sutures.
The basic preventive measures for hematomas are similar to those for other ear infections. Regular grooming and ear cleaning of pet ears is a must and any negligence in the routine can cause a lot of discomfort to your pet. For example, even relatively less bothersome conditions like cat ear mites can develop into serious conditions if ear cleaning is not done on a regular basis. Hematomas can also cause many problems. Left untreated, they can lead to a complete blockage of the ear. After treatment, your pet may not look the same as before as surgery can alter the shape of the ear.