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My Dog's Ear is Bleeding: Causes & Treatment

My Dog's Ear is Bleeding: Causes & Treatment

Bleeding in your dog's ears can concern any pet parent, whether from a minor irritation or a more severe issue. In this article, our emergency vets in Marina del Rey discuss the causes of bleeding ears in dogs, the symptoms that might manifest, and when you should schedule a visit to your vet.

Dog Ear Bleeding

Bleeding in dogs' ears can result from various causes. These causes encompass discharge emanating from the dog's ear, swelling of tissues, or internal bleeding.

When bleeding arises from the swollen tissues, it typically stems from prior trauma and is more prevalent among long-eared dogs.

Reason for an Ear Bleeding on a Dog

As mentioned above, several possible causes can lead to ear bleeding in dogs. Among the most common culprits are:

  • Trauma: Either self-inflicted or caused by an exterior source.
  • Cancer: Either benign or malignant.
  • Parasitic infestation: Such as ticks, fleas, mites, or others.
  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections.
Your dog may also experience systemic issues in some instances, including:
  • Bleeding caused by ear infections resulting in a systemic concern may result in a perforated eardrum.
  • Your dog will likely scratch and shake their head, potentially resulting in hematomas.

Symptoms Related to Bleeding Ears in Dogs

If your dog experiences ear bleeding, you might also observe the following symptoms:

  • Visible blood on the rim or just inside the ear
  • Excessive head shaking or ear scratching
  • Pain in the area
  • Discharge of any color
  • Foul odor
  • Swelling of the ear and ear canal
  • Issues with balance
  • Avoiding opening their mouth

How to Stop Your Dog's Ears From Bleeding

If you spot blood in your dog's ear, immediately call your vet to arrange an appointment. Ear bleeding can stem from various causes, some of which may pose serious concerns. The vet's diagnosis and recommended treatment options are essential to ensure your dog receives proper care.

For minor cases of external ear bleeding in your dog, you can employ the following steps to halt the bleeding:

Step 1. Make sure you have your dog in a safe and calm area.

Step 2: Grab your dog's first aid kit:

  • Styptic powder (cornstarch or flour will also work)
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Absorbent pads, gauze, or cotton balls
  • Bandages

Step 3: Apply the styptic powder to the wound and hold the absorbent pads with firm pressure until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes, you should contact your vet.

Step 4: Apply the antiseptic ointment to the area surrounding the wound but not directly on it; otherwise, the bleeding may begin again.

If your dog was in a fight with another dog or animal, or if the wound is quite deep, you should contact your primary vet or visit your nearest emergency animal hospital.

How Your Vet Will Treat Your Dog's Bleeding Ears

Your vet will conduct a thorough examination and diagnostics to identify the problem. Once they diagnose your dog's condition, they will present a treatment plan for addressing the issue. Treatment options may encompass the following:

  • Topical and/or oral antibiotic medications for treating infections
  • Pain medications
  • Steroidal medications for any inflammation
  • Surgical drainage of hematomas
  • Clean and flushing of the ear canal for build-up or foreign body removal.
  • Treatments specific to certain diseases

Recovery Time For Bleeding Ears in Dogs

Quickly managing bleeding ears in dogs leads to a swift recovery time and a positive prognosis.

Your vet will establish a long-term treatment plan if your dog's condition stems from a persistent issue. In the case of ear bleeding due to chronic ear infections, it's crucial to address each infection promptly to prevent complications.

When is it an Emergency?

While a vet should see all instances of ear bleeding in dogs, certain situations may require emergency veterinary care, such as:

  • Bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes
  • Other signs that your dog may need emergency care include the symptoms of infection or other ongoing or worsening symptoms.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Does your dog have signs of blood in their ears? Please contact our vets in Marina del Rey right away to schedule an examination.

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Shane Veterinary Medical Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Marina del Rey companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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