What Can be Done About Fluid Leaking from a Dog’s Ear?

By Tess Thompson

We tend to take our bodies for granted until the time they start to trouble us. At times, the same is the case with the health of our dogs. Still, any issue with health leaves us a bit unnerved since most of us have little knowledge about canine anatomy, pathology and treatments.

When one sees fluid running down the ear of your dog's ear, it is likely to create a bit of a panic. It is important to understand the causes behind the problem and the treatments that are available.

Your dog’s ears comprises of three segments.

  • The pinna is the externally visible cartilaginous structure of the external ear. This ends at the ear drum.
  • The middle ear is constructed of a small bone and an air filled chamber lined with a mucus membrane.
  • The inner ear is responsible for receiving sound and is situated near the cerebrum and the cerebellum in the brain.

All parts of the ear are delicate. Although the external ear may appear strong, it is made of cartilage and not bone. Tampering with the middle and inner ear should be avoided at all costs. If there is any need for an examination of the internal or middle ear, it should be done by a specialist.

When your dog is troubled by ear mites, fungal infection, bacterial infection, or external substances like grass or weeds in the ear, it is very likely that he will scratch the external ear. The intensity will depend on the extent of his irritation. Aggressive and continuous scratching ruptures blood vessels beneath the skin. This causes the ear flaps to swell and results in an aural hematoma. An aural hematoma can cause blood or serum to leak into the area around the external ear. A similar condition can occur in a cat with ear mites.

The aural hematoma is the external manifestation of an underlying problem. The treatment of such cases like ear mites can come in the form of home remedies dog ear mites, ear cleaning, and ear flushing. The hematoma, however, needs to be treated by draining the fluid. This can be done in various manners:

  • Syringe – This is a simple procedure, but it the solution is not permanent and can recur. This happens when the empty space left behind after removing the fluid gets filled again with blood.
  • Surgery – This procedure involves a surgical incision of the ear flap to remove blood and clots that may have formed. To prevent recurrence, the empty space is stitched up and allowed to heal.
  • External devices – This procedure involves a small flexible tube that is inserted into the ruptured vessel. This can be done only if the opening is large enough to insert the device. The success of the method depends largely on the cooperation and tolerance of the dog.

A dog with ear mites can develop hematomas very easily. This can lead to other infections as well. Removal of hematomas is a temporary treatment and the underlying cause also needs to be addressed. Even after the hematoma treatment, if your dog is still uncomfortable and is shaking his head or scratching ears, it is a sure sign that some infection or ear mites still exist.


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