Pet insurance policies are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company.
Follow Us
Little girl kissing pitbull's cheek

Pitbull has an ear hematoma?

Q: Our pitbull Kylie suddenly developed a mass that made her ear flap swell like a balloon. It’s soft and warm, and it grew from nothing to huge while we were at work today. Is this mass cancerous?

A: Probably not. It’s most likely an ear hematoma.

Many medical terms are derived from Greek or Latin, and “hematoma” is no exception. In Greek, “hema-“ refers to blood, and “-oma” means mass.

So Kylie probably has a mass-like structure engorged with blood, essentially a big blood blister.

An ear hematoma, also called an aural hematoma (“aural” is Latin for ear), forms when a small blood vessel inside the ear flap breaks. This can occur when a dog shakes her head, particularly if her ear flap hits a hard object.

You should make an appointment with Kylie’s veterinarian, who can treat the hematoma and any ear infection, if that’s what caused her head shaking.

Treatment of an ear hematoma involves removing the blood and encouraging the outer and inner surfaces of the ear to stick together again. Some veterinarians drain the blood and inject an anti-inflammatory. Others place a drain in the hematoma for a few weeks so the ear flap doesn’t refill with blood. Still others suture the outer and inner surfaces of the ear together.

Whatever treatment your veterinarian chooses, Kylie should be fine.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com
 

Q: I have diabetes, so I...

Q: When our dog, Addie,...

Cat communication | @car0L_in via Twenty20

Q: My daughter, Jayne,...

Cat scratching chin | @sussialfredsson via Twenty20

Q: My 4-year-old cat...

More From Figo Blog
@alyson.tomassetti via Twenty20

It seems there’s a holiday for every occasion...

Party animals: pets celebrating the good life | @mattspataro via Twenty20

They’re called party animals for a...

Cat playing | @klovestorun via Twenty20

When we think of cat toys with a purpose, what...

Feline fitness: Tips for exercising your cat

We tend to think of cats as lithe and agile...

Colorful cat illustration

Working as a veterinary technician for eight...

Q: My pug, Biscuit, has been...

Animal shelter volunteer pets a dog adoptee

Are you passionate about pets? So are we! I...

Kitten sleeping in a superman position | Interesting cat facts

10. The first cat movie was made by Thomas A....

HELP