Dear Daisy Dog
Our Labrador retriever, Marley, has been shaking his head for a week. Today one of his ears puffed up like a big, soft pillow. What should I do?
It sounds like Marley has an ear hematoma, also called an aural hematoma, a problem that needs his veterinarian’s attention.
Marley’s head shaking, probably triggered by a painful ear infection, undoubtedly broke a blood vessel between the two layers of skin that comprise his ear flap. The result is a warm, soft pillow of blood trapped in his ear flap.
Your veterinarian can relieve Marley’s discomfort, heal his underlying ear infection and withdraw the excess blood from his ear flap.
Ear hematoma treatment techniques vary by veterinarian. Some insert a small tube, called a teat cannula, into the bottom tip of the ear flap to let the blood drain. Over the course of a few weeks, the skin layers stick together again.
Other veterinarians remove the blood from the ear flap and surgically “quilt” the skin layers together.
Left untreated, Marley’s ear will continue to irritate him and eventually wrinkle into an odd shape. So call your veterinarian today for an appointment.