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Why is my dog's ear bleeding?

A dog's ear bleeding can be a worrying sign for any pet owner, whether due to a minor irritation or a more serious issue. In this article, our vets in Franklin discuss the reasons behind bleeding ears in dogs, the symptoms that may accompany them, and when it is necessary to take your pet to the vet.

Dog Ear Bleeding

Dogs can experience bleeding in their ears due to various reasons. This may occur due to discharge from their ear, swollen tissues, or internal bleeding.

Inflamed tissues can lead to the development of fluid pockets, usually caused by prior injury and is more common in dogs with long ears.

Reasons for a Dog Ear will be Bleeding

Some common reasons for bleeding in a dog's ear include:

  • 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 certain cases, 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 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, you should first get in touch with your veterinarian and schedule an appointment. Ear bleeding could be caused by various factors, some of which could be significant. Only a vet's diagnosis and prescribed treatment can provide the proper care for your dog.

However, if the bleeding is only due to 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. 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 has been in a fight with another animal or has a deep wound, contact your primary veterinarian or visit the 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

The recovery time and prognosis for treating bleeding ears in dogs are relatively quick if managed promptly. If your dog's condition is a result of a persistent condition, your veterinarian will develop a long-term treatment plan.

In case chronic ear infections are causing ear bleeding, it is crucial to treat each one as soon as possible to avoid complications.

When is it an Emergency?

It is important to have a veterinarian examine all instances of ear bleeding in dogs, as certain situations may require emergency care.

  • If bleeding persists for more than ten minutes, it is considered abnormal and requires medical attention.
  • If your dog is showing symptoms of infection or if their symptoms are worsening or ongoing, they may require emergency care. 

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.

If you notice blood in your dog's ears, please get in touch with our veterinarians in Franklin to schedule an examination immediately. 

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet Battlewood is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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