An aural hematoma is a distressing and uncomfortable health issue for your dog or cat. Natural remedies can be used to prevent aural hematomas and heal smaller hematomas. Larger hematomas will benefit from having a drainage “plug” inserted into the ear by your vet. Even though this may seems extreme for a hematoma, remember that pets are often long suffering and you may not realize how painful the swelling at the site of the ear is. The more quickly you can resolve this issue for your furry friend, the better.
What is an Aural Hematoma?
Aural simply means that it has to do with the ear. Hematoma is a fancy word for bruise. But an aural hematoma is more than “just a bruise.” The “bruise” is usually more significant that the purple discoloration that people experience. Blood pools beneath the skin causing swelling and pain.
Aural Hematomas can be caused by a direct injury to the ear, but more commonly they are caused by a dog shaking his head vigorously or scratching his ear. Dogs scratch their ears when they have bacterial or yeast infections in their ears or when they are dealing with fleas, ticks or mites in or on the ears.
Arnica can be found at the health food store in the form of a gel, oil, cream or salve. Each will work to treat bruising assuming the product is of high quality. You can also make your own Arnica oil, ensuring and excellent end result.
- 1 cup dried arnica flowers
- Olive oil
Place the arnica flowers in a glass canning jar. Pour olive oil into the jar until it just covers the flowers. Cap the jar and let it sit for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, strain out the flowers with a coffee filter. Now you have arnica infused olive oil. You can use the oil before two weeks is up, but it will not be as strong a solution.
Homeopathic Lachesis 30 and Hamamelis 30 have been used as internal remedies to complement topical treatment of aural hematomas.
Bentonite clay can be made into a paste and applied topically to a bruise. The clay needs to be kept moist as it becomes uncomfortable when it dries on the skin. It can be applied right to the skin or it can be made into a poultice and applied to the ear.
Draining the Hematoma
Sometimes a vet will drain the hematoma in the office. While this provides some immediate relief, often as soon as a pet begins to shake his head again the hematoma will return.
A better option is a small plug that is inserted into the ear flap by the vet. Then the owner will drain and clean the plug twice a day for several weeks. (Removing the plug early may mean that it must be reinserted.) To keep the dog from agitating the plug, usually an E-collar is used, unless the pet is being carefully supervised, as on a walk.
Preventing Aural Hematomas
Preventing a hematoma in the first place will save your pet misery and pain and save you trips to the vet and the cost of vet care and possibly surgery.
Make ear care part of your weekly routine for your dog. Clean his ears weekly (or even twice weekly if he is prone to having trouble.) Keeping ears yeast, infection, flea and mite free will usually ensure that he is not scratching his ears and shaking his head.
Choose a remedy to use weekly that will prevent the cause of your dog shaking his head or scratching his ears.
If your dog is prone to yeast infections in his ears, consider Arcane solution.
If your dog swims a lot, a combination of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol, used after each swim will help to dry out his ears and prevent infection. Mix together 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Keep this in a small bottle and apply several drops into each ear.
Dogs that struggle with mange or mites can use Ted’s Mange Cure as a preventative on a weekly basis.
If your dog is plagued with fleas, a spray of apple cider vinegar and water can be sprayed onto his ears each day. Use 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Avoid getting this into his eyes or on broken skin.
At the first sign of scratching the ears or shaking the head, check your dog’s ears!
Certain breeds are more likely to have trouble with aural hematomas. Dogs with droopy ears and larger ears tend to have more difficulty.
Has your dog had an aural hematoma? We would love to hear your story!
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