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Ear Bleeding in Dogs

A dog's bloody ear can be a concerning sign for any pet parent whether due to a minor irritation or a more serious issue. Here, our Tigard emergency vets talk about the causes of bleeding ears in dogs, the symptoms that may occur and when to visit your vet.

Dog Ear Bleeding

Bleeding in a dog's ears can have a number of different causes. This can include discharge from within the dog's ear, puffy tissues or internal bleeding.

Pockets of fluid develop with bleeding that originates in the swollen tissues, frequently as a result of previous trauma and more commonly in long-eared dogs.

Causes of Bleeding in the Ear

The following are some of the most common causes of bleeding in the ears of dogs:

  • 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.

Systemic problems may also be experienced by your dog in certain circumstances, including the following:

  • Bleeding caused by ear infections resulting in a systemic concern may result in a perforated eardrum.
  • Your dog scratching and shaking their head which may potentially result in hematomas.

Symptoms Related to Bleeding Ears in Dogs

It is possible that you will also observe the following symptoms if your dog is experiencing bleeding in the ear:

  • 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 discover blood in your dog's ear, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. There are several causes of ear bleeding, some of which are significant. A vet's diagnosis and prescribed treatment options are the only way to properly treat your dog.

If your dog's ear bleeding is only a small external cut, there are a few steps you can take to stop 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

To establish the problem, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination and diagnostics. Once your dog's ailment has been determined, they will recommend a treatment plan. Among the possible treatments are:

  • 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

There is a relatively short recovery time and a favorable prognosis for treating bleeding ears in dogs if the situation is managed promptly.

If your dog's condition is the result of an ongoing condition, your veterinarian will devise a long-term treatment plan. If chronic ear infections are causing the ear bleeding, you must treat each one as soon as possible to avoid problems.

When is it an emergency?

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

  • Bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes
  • 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 blood in or on their ears? Please contact our vets in Tigard right away to have it treated.

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Cascade Veterinary Referral Center is accepting new patients! Get in touch with us today for information on how to book a specialty appointment for your pet. 

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