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Dog Ear Bleeding: Causes & Treatment

Various reasons can cause bleeding in a dog's ears. Some are simple and can be treated with essential management, while others can be more severe. Our veterinarians from Los Angeles will discuss the causes of bloody ears in dogs and provide tips on how to stop a dog's ear from bleeding.

My Dog's Ear is Bleeding

Various factors, such as discharge from the ear, swollen tissues, or internal bleeding, can cause dog ear bleeding. Swollen tissues can cause pockets of fluid, which are more common in long-eared dogs and usually result from previous trauma.

Why are my dog's ears bleeding?

While there can be many different causes, some of the most common reasons why your dog's ears might be bleeding include:

  • Trauma: either self-inflicted or caused by an external source.
  • Cancer: either benign or malignant.
  • Parasitic infestation: such as ticks, fleas, mites, or others.
  • Infections: bacterial or fungal infections.

Systemic symptoms and conditions may accompany some cases of bleeding in a dog's ear.

  • 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.

What are the symptoms of bleeding ears in dogs?

Along with bleeding, your dog may also experience other symptoms, like:

  • 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 Treat Bleeding Dog Ears

If you notice blood in your dog's ear, the first thing you should do is immediately schedule an examination with your vet. There are various reasons behind ear bleeding, some of which can be serious. The only way to accurately treat your dog is by obtaining a diagnosis and recommended treatment options from the vet.

However, if your dog's ear bleeding is due to a minor external cut, there are a few steps you can take to stop the bleeding:

Step 1: Ensure your dog is in a safe and calm area.

Step 2: Grab your dog's first aid kit, including:

  • 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 apply pressure with absorbent pads until the bleeding stops. Contact your vet if the bleeding persists for more than 10 minutes.

Step 4: Apply the antiseptic ointment around the wound, avoiding direct application to prevent bleeding.

If your dog has been in a fight with another animal or has a deep wound, it is important to contact your primary veterinarian or visit the nearest emergency animal hospital.

What will the vet do for bloody dog ears?

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination along with diagnostic tests to determine the underlying issue. Once the diagnosis is made, they will provide a treatment plan which may include:

  • Topical and/or oral antibiotic medications for treating infections
  • Pain medications
  • Steroidal medications for any inflammation
  • Surgical drainage of hematomas
  • Clean and flush the ear canal for buildup or foreign body removal.
  • Treatments specific to certain diseases

How long will it take for my dog's ears to heal?

It is important to start treatment for illnesses, injuries, and conditions in dogs as soon as possible. The faster the treatment begins, the faster your furry friend will recover. If your dog has a condition that leads to chronic ear bleeding, your veterinarian will establish a long-term treatment plan to manage their symptoms. In case chronic ear infections cause ear bleeding, it is crucial to treat each infection promptly to avoid complications.

Are bloody dog ears considered an emergency?

No matter what the assumed cause is behind your dog's ear bleeding, you should always bring them to the vet for an examination. Certain situations may require emergency veterinary care, such as:

  • If bleeding persists for more than 10 minutes and does not stop, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Signs that your dog may need emergency care include 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.

Have you spotted blood in your dog's ears or other concerning signs? Please get in touch with our vets in Los Angeles right away to schedule an examination.

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