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Ugh! The nasty hematoma.

Ugh! The nasty hematoma.

An aural hematoma or ear hematoma is broken blood vessel in the ear that bursts and a pool of blood then collects between the skin and the cartilage of a dog’s ear flap. It's typically caused by overly aggressive ear scratching or head shaking that results from an ear/yeast infection. A foreign material like grass, a tick, or a playful or sometimes not so playful bite from another dog can also cause this kind of painful untimely injury.

Treatment of a hematoma can vary, depending on the individual dog’s health circumstances, your healing preference and budget. Your veterinarians recommended healing plan and their preferred personal preference of procedure can vary from other veterinarians. Whether you proceed with healing a hematoma naturally, with aspiration (draining of the hematoma), or surgery, it’s critical that the affected ear stays immobile and unable to flap during healing. One hard shake and it’s back to square one, even if they have had surgery to correct a hematoma another one can reoccur above or below the surgical site.

Choices for healing and recovery in the past have been bandaging and the Elizabethan cone. While we agree that the Elizabethan Cone most certainly has its merits, wearing one for longer healing can be stressful, bandages can be escapable, even the stickiest of bandages, ears can flap which will result in regressed healing or possibly the need to redo surgery.

Following assessment and possibly treatment by your veterinarian, your dog will most likely have its ear inverted and taped to the top of his or her head. This is followed by more tape, gauze and more tape to hold the gauze in place. (Did anyone notice how many times the word tape was just used?) Some of this tape sticks to the poor pups’ fur and skin. Now stop and imagine someone folding your ear down and taping all around your head to keep it in place. When getting a re-check of the damaged ear, if the tape is still in place it must be cut and pulled off the dog. This can pull out a lot of fur at times and be painful. If the bothersome area does not meet the healing standards, the taping process is repeated. This can go on for sometimes weeks. Tight bandaging, gauze and tape is very restrictive, there is little to no air circulation. The point of all the tape and wrap is to keep the ear immobile. This will stop the blood flow to the ear flap.

With our wrap, your dog’s ear can be left down in a natural position, no tape, easy access and they are not trapped 24/7 in a tight, sticky bandage. You can safely monitor the ear, keeping the collar on, simply undo the chin Velcro, assess healing and then reattach chin Velcro. Your dog can eat, sleep, play and use the dog door easily while healing.

We highly recommend our Pinpoint Mesh for longer healing plans. It provides the perfect balance of breath-ability, flexibility and durability. If you have a dog with an extremely determined temperament, pairing the mesh with our denim wrap is a great idea! It’s best to have a spare wrap on hand to secure the ears should you need to hand wash and line dry one. For rowdy shenanigans, doggy daycare, partners in crime like dog siblings that will try nibble and pull on the wrap, heavy scratching during healing, use the denim. For restful times, senior pups, dogs with more sensitive skin, we recommend the pinpoint mesh. Rotate the two as needed.