An aural haematoma is a collection of blood, often clotted, within the pinna (ear flap). This blood collects under the skin and causes the ear flap to become swollen. It may involve the whole ear flap or only one area.
ematomas are caused mainly by vigorous head shaking associated with ear problems. Excessive shaking causes blood vessels to break, resulting in bleeding within the ear flap.
Treatment consists firstly of diagnosing the cause and treating accordingly. The ears should be cleaned and any infections treated. Sometimes foreign material such as grass seeds may be lodged in the ear canal.
The animal is anaesthetised and an incision is made over the clot, which is then drained. If it is only drained with a needle the swelling will recur. The space where the blood clot was removed from is then sutured down to prevent the haematoma from recurring. This is accomplished by a series of sutures through the ear flap.
The ear is then bandaged. This bandage stays in place for 3 to 5 days, at which time the veterinarian will remove and recheck the ear. The sutures remain in place for approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Any ear infections should be rechecked to prevent another haematoma occurring.
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