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Why are my dog's ears bleeding?

If your dog has fluid or blood coming from one or both ears it can be very concerning. If this happens you should reach out to your vet right away and schedule an examination to determine the cause. Here, our South Plainfield vets discuss the reasons behind your pup's bloody ears and how to stop your dog's ear from bleeding.

My Dog's Ear is Bleeding

There are several possible causes for a dog's ear to begin bleeding. Some are more serious than others. This can include discharge from within the dog's ear, puffy tissues, or internal bleeding.

With bleeding that originates in the puffy tissues, there are pockets of fluid that occur usually due to previous trauma and more commonly in long-eared dogs.

What are some potential reasons for my dog's ear bleeding?

Some of the most common causes behind a dog's ears bleeding include:

  • 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 which may potentially result in hematomas.

What signs might I see along with bleeding from my dog's ears?

Bleeding doesn't occur without a cause, and most causes will have additional symptoms. Some of the symptoms that you may notice include:

  • 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 from My Dog's Ears

If you spot blood in your dog's ear, you should contact your vet to schedule an examination. There are a variety of causes behind ear bleeding, some of which can be serious. The only way to properly treat your dog is with a diagnosis and recommended treatment options from the vet.

If your dog's ear bleeding is only a small external cut there are a few steps you can take 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.

What will the vet do if my dog's ear is bleeding?

When you bring your dog to the office for a bleeding ear, your vet will perform an in-depth examination of the ear and any diagnostics that they deem necessary. Once your dog's condition has been diagnosed they will offer a treatment plan for the concern.

Treatment options for bleeding ears might 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

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

The recovery time and prognosis for treating bleeding ears in dogs are relatively quick if diagnosed and treated quickly.

If your dog's condition is caused by an ongoing condition then your vet will determine a long-term treatment plan. If the ear bleeding is caused by chronic ear infections then you will need to ensure you treat each one promptly to avoid complications.

Is my dog's bleeding ear an emergency?

While all instances of ear bleeding in dogs should be seen by a vet, 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.

If your dog has a bloody ear, please contact our vets in South Plainfield right away to schedule an examination.

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