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My Dog's Ear is Bleeding: Causes & Treatment

As a pet parent, seeing your dog experience a bloody ear can be worrisome. It could be a minor irritation or a more serious issue. In this article, our emergency vets in Douglasville will discuss the possible causes of bleeding ears in dogs, the symptoms that might be visible, and when you should schedule a visit to your vet.

Dog Ear Bleeding

Dogs may experience bleeding in their ears due to various reasons. This can include discharge from the ear, swelling of tissues, or internal bleeding. Swollen tissues can lead to bleeding, which usually results from prior trauma and is more common in long-eared dogs.

Reason for an Ear Bleeding on a Dog

Several factors, including infections, foreign objects, tumors, trauma, and autoimmune diseases, can cause ear bleeding in 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.
Your dog may also experience systemic issues in some instances, including:
  • Bleeding from ear infections can cause a perforated eardrum, leading to systemic concerns.
  • It is common for dogs to scratch and shake their heads. However, this can lead to the development of hematomas - a condition where blood accumulates in the ear flap.

Symptoms Related to Bleeding Ears in Dogs

If your dog has ear bleeding, you may notice some accompanying symptoms such as:

  • 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 must contact your veterinarian immediately and schedule an appointment. Ear bleeding can result from several causes, some of which may raise serious concerns. It's crucial to obtain a diagnosis from your vet and follow their recommended treatment options to ensure your dog receives proper care. 

For minor cases of external ear bleeding in your dog, you can follow these 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 styptic powder to the wound, then press the absorbent pad firmly. Contact the vet if bleeding persists for 10 minutes.

Step 4: It's important to apply antiseptic ointment to the wound's surrounding area, but not directly on it. Otherwise, the bleeding may start again.

If your dog gets into a fight with another animal or sustains a deep wound, it's important to seek immediate veterinary care by contacting your primary vet or visiting the nearest emergency animal hospital.

How Your Vet Will Treat Your Dog's Bleeding Ears

Your vet will conduct a thorough examination and diagnostics to identify the problem. Once they diagnose your dog's condition, they will present a treatment plan for addressing the issue. Treatment options may encompass the following:

  • 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

Managing ear bleeding in dogs quickly is essential for a speedy recovery and a positive prognosis. If your dog's condition is chronic, your veterinarian will establish a long-term treatment plan.

In the case of ear bleeding caused by chronic ear infections, it's crucial to address each infection promptly to avoid 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.

Is your dog experiencing blood in their ears? Schedule an examination with our vets in Douglasville immediately.

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

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