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Dog Ear Bleeding: Causes & Treatment

Dog ear bleeding can result from minor irritation or a serious problem. Causes, symptoms, and when to consult a vet are discussed in this article. Our emergency vets in Ketchum provide valuable insights and information to help you care for your furry friend.

My Dog's Ear is Bleeding

If your dog's ear is bleeding, several factors could be responsible for it. These may include discharge from the inside of the dog's ear, swollen tissues, or internal bleeding.

Bleeding that stems from swollen tissues often results from prior injuries and is more frequently observed in dogs with long ears.

Causes of Bleeding in the Ear

As mentioned above, there are a number of possible causes of ear bleeding in dogs. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • 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's ear is bleeding, you might also observe these accompanying symptoms:

  • 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, it's important to contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Ear bleeding can have various underlying causes, some of which may be serious.

To ensure your dog receives the necessary care, seek a diagnosis and recommended treatment options from your veterinarian.

If your dog has a minor external cut that's causing ear bleeding, you can take the following steps 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

Your vet will perform a complete examination and diagnostics to determine the issue. Once your dog's condition has been diagnosed, they will offer a treatment plan for the concern. Treatment options could include:

  • 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

It is important to promptly address bleeding ears in dogs to improve recovery time and prognosis. Your vet will create a long-term treatment plan if a persistent issue causes your dog's condition.

In the case of chronic ear infections causing bleeding, it is crucial to treat each 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 contact our vets in Ketchum right away to schedule an examination.

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Sun Valley Animal Center is accepting new patients at our two convenient locations! Our vets are passionate about the health of our Valley's pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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