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Why is my dog's ear bleeding?

It can be a worrying sign if you notice your dog's ear bleeding. It can be due to a minor irritation or a more serious health issue. Our emergency vets in San Diego are here to discuss the causes and symptoms of bleeding ears in dogs. We will also advise you on when it is necessary to take your pet to the vet.

Dog Ear Bleeding

Dog ear bleeding can have a variety of causes. It may be a discharge inside the dog's ear, swollen tissue or internal bleeding.

Pockets of fluid form as a result of bleeding from swollen tissue, often following previous trauma and more frequently in long-eared dogs.

Causes of Bleeding in the Ear

Here are some of the most common causes of dog ear bleeding:

  • 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.
In certain cases, your dog may also encounter systemic issues, which could affect their overall health and well-being.
  • 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 has bleeding in the ear, you may notice these other symptoms as well:

  • 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 notice blood in your dog's ear, the first thing to do is contact your vet to make an appointment. There are many causes of ear bleeding, some of which are important. A veterinarian's diagnosis and their treatment options are the only way to treat your dog properly.

If your dog's bleeding ear is just a small external cut, there are a few things you can do 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. You should contact your vet if the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes.

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 diagnose the problem, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination and diagnostic tests. Based on the diagnosis, they will recommend a treatment plan, which may include various options.

  • 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

If your dog has bleeding ears, seeking veterinary attention as soon as possible is important. The recovery time and prognosis for treating this condition are relatively quick if managed quickly.

However, your veterinarian will devise a long-term treatment plan if the bleeding results from an ongoing condition such as chronic ear infections. It is important to treat each ear infection promptly to prevent further 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 immediately contact our vets in San Diego for an examination.

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San Diego Bay Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Diego companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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