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Will Ice Help An Ear Hematoma On a Dog? (Explained!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Ear hematomas are a common injury in dogs. They can be caused by a number of things, such as fighting, playing too rough, or getting hit in the head.

If your dog has an ear hematoma, you may be wondering if you can treat it at home with ice. In this blog post, we will discuss whether or not ice will help with ear hematoma in a dog.

Key Takeaway

  • Ice can help an ear hematoma on a dog because the application of ice or cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • A warm compress can help a dog’s ear hematoma by reducing swelling and promoting blood circulation in the affected area.
  • It is not recommended to pop your dog’s ear hematoma as it can lead to complications and further injury.

Will Ice Help An Ear Hematoma On a Dog?

Will Ice Help An Ear Hematoma On a Dog

Ice will help an ear hematoma on a dog. Ice compression can help reduce swelling and pain because cold constricts blood vessels. From the cold, the area will be numb and the inflammation will be reduced. It can also help the ear hematoma heal more quickly.

Ear hematomas are one of the most common problems that we see in dogs. They occur when blood vessels in the ear rupture and bleed into the surrounding tissue. This can happen for a number of reasons but is most commonly seen in dogs who have floppy ears (like Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds) or who scratch or shake their heads a lot.

Ice is most commonly used in the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury occurs. You can apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times per day. As the hematoma begins to heal, you can start using heat instead of ice. Heat will help increase blood flow to the area, which can aid in healing.

To use ice compression, wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on your dog’s ear for 20 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day until the swelling goes down. You should see improvement within a few days. If you don’t see any improvement, or if your dog seems to be in pain, talk to your veterinarian about other treatment options.

There are a few things that you can do to help prevent ear hematomas from happening in your dog. First, keep their ears clean and dry. This will help to prevent infection, which can lead to ruptured blood vessels. Second, if your dog has floppy ears, try to keep them upright as much as possible.

This will help to prevent the build-up of pressure in the ear that can lead to a hematoma. Finally, if your dog is prone to ear infections, talk to your veterinarian about using preventive medication.

What Causes Ear Hematomas In Dogs?

Ear hematomas in dogs are predominantly caused by trauma to the ear, often from excessive head shaking or scratching, usually due to underlying issues like ear infections or allergies.

Trauma or Injury

Trauma or injury to the ear is one of the most common causes of ear hematomas in dogs. Vigorous head shaking or excessive scratching can lead to the rupture of a blood vessel within the ear flap, resulting in a hematoma. As a veterinarian, I’ve seen this occur often when dogs try to alleviate discomfort or irritation in their ears.

Ear Infections or Chronic Ear Inflammation

Ear infections or chronic ear inflammation can cause significant discomfort for a dog, leading to persistent head shaking or scratching. This continuous trauma can cause a blood vessel in the ear to break, forming a hematoma. It’s crucial to treat these underlying conditions promptly to prevent complications like hematomas.


Allergies can cause inflammation and itching in a dog’s ears. This can prompt the dog to scratch excessively or shake its head, potentially causing a hematoma. As a vet, I regularly encourage pet owners to monitor their dogs for signs of allergies, such as frequent scratching, redness, or changes in behavior.

Foreign Objects or Parasites

Foreign objects, ticks, or mites can irritate the ear canal, causing the dog to scratch or shake their head. This action can lead to the rupture of blood vessels in the ear, resulting in a hematoma. Immediate veterinary care is essential in these cases to remove the foreign object or parasite and treat the hematoma.

Underlying Conditions Affecting Blood Clotting

Certain underlying conditions can affect blood clotting, making the blood vessels in the ear more prone to rupture and leading to a hematoma. If your dog has a condition that affects its ability to clot blood properly, it’s important to be vigilant about potential complications like ear hematomas.

Breeds with Floppy or Pendulous Ears

Breeds with floppy or pendulous ears, like Cocker Spaniels or Basset Hounds, are particularly susceptible to developing ear hematomas. The increased movement and vulnerability of their ear flaps can lead to more frequent instances of trauma, potentially causing a hematoma. As a veterinarian, I always advise owners of these breeds to regularly check their dogs’ ears for signs of discomfort or swelling says SmallDoorVet.

Will a Warm Compress Help a Dog Ear Hematoma?

Will Ice Help An Ear Hematoma On a Dog

A warm compress can provide some relief for a dog ear hematoma by reducing discomfort and swelling, but it is not a definitive treatment.

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen numerous cases of ear hematomas in dogs. While applying a warm compress to the affected ear can help soothe the area and decrease inflammation, it’s crucial to understand that this is more of a temporary comfort measure rather than a cure.

The warmth from the compress can help improve blood flow to the area, which can reduce swelling and offer some pain relief. However, it’s important to be gentle when applying the compress, as excessive pressure could potentially worsen the condition.

Remember, an ear hematoma often indicates an underlying issue such as an ear infection or allergy. Thus, while a warm compress can alleviate some symptoms, it’s vital to address the root cause to prevent recurrence. Always consult with a veterinarian for appropriate diagnosis and treatment options.

From my experience, most ear hematomas require veterinary intervention, which may include draining the fluid, administering medications, or in some cases, surgical intervention. So, while a warm compress might provide your dog with temporary relief, make sure to seek professional veterinary care for a comprehensive treatment plan.

Can I Pop My Dog’s Ear Hematoma?

Will Ice Help An Ear Hematoma On a Dog

Attempting to pop your dog’s ear hematoma is not advisable as it could lead to serious complications, including infection and increased pain.

As a practicing veterinarian, I strongly discourage pet owners from trying to treat an ear hematoma at home by popping it. Hematomas are blood-filled swellings that occur when a blood vessel ruptures. If you attempt to pop it, you risk introducing bacteria into the site, which can lead to a severe infection.

Moreover, without proper medical training and equipment, you could cause additional trauma to your dog’s ear, increasing their discomfort and potentially causing more damage.

It’s also important to note that popping the hematoma won’t address the underlying cause, which could be anything from an ear infection to allergies or even a foreign body lodged in the ear.

In my experience, the most effective treatment for an ear hematoma involves professional veterinary care.

This usually includes draining the fluid, administering medications to control inflammation and pain, and possibly surgery to prevent recurrence.

Therefore, if your dog has an ear hematoma, I highly recommend making an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. They can provide appropriate treatment and guidance on how to prevent future hematomas.

Should I Wrap My Dog’s Ear Hematoma?

It is advisable to consult with a veterinarian before wrapping your dog’s ear hematoma, as the appropriate treatment approach may vary depending on the specific case.

If the hematoma is small and not causing your dog any discomfort, wrapping may not be necessary. However, if the hematoma is large or painful, wrapping can help to prevent further damage and provide relief. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on whether or not wrapping is right for your dog’s individual case.

There are a few things you will need: cotton balls, medical adhesive tape, and clean gauze. First, soak the cotton balls in warm water. Next, gently clean the area around the hematoma with cotton balls. Be sure to remove any dirt or debris. Next, apply the medical adhesive tape to the gauze. Finally, wrap the gauze around the hematoma. Be sure to not wrap too tightly as this could cause further injury.

If you decide to wrap your dog’s ear hematoma, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the wrap is snug but not too tight. You don’t want to cut off circulation to the area. Second, be sure to check the wrap regularly and replace it if it becomes wet or dirty.

Finally, keep an eye on your dog for any signs of discomfort or irritation. If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is a Dog’s Ear Hematoma Painful?

A dog’s ear hematoma is not usually painful, but it can be uncomfortable. If your dog has a hematoma, you may notice him shaking his head or holding it to the side.

He may also rub his head on furniture or the ground. You may also see a bulge on the affected ear. If the hematoma is left untreated, it can cause the ear to become deformed.

Treatment for a dog’s ear hematoma typically involves draining the blood and then applying pressure to the area to prevent re-accumulation of blood. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct severe cases. In most cases, however, a dog’s ear hematoma will resolve itself without any long-term problems.

What Is The Recovery Time For a Dog With a Hematoma In The Ear?

The recovery time for a hematoma in the ear in cases where surgery is performed, dogs will typically recover within two weeks and be back to their normal activities.

During the first few days after surgery, the dog may experience some soreness, but this should gradually improve.

It is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions regarding post-operative care, such as keeping the ear clean and dry and avoiding bathing for a specified period of time.

Your veterinarian will provide you with specific guidelines for your dog’s recovery based on their individual case.

What Happens If A Hematoma Is Left Untreated?

If a hematoma is left untreated, it can lead to various complications depending on its location and severity. Here are some potential consequences of leaving a hematoma untreated:

  1. Skin Necrosis: In cases of traumatic subcutaneous hematoma, if the pressure within the hematoma exceeds the blood pressure in the capillaries, it can cause skin necrosis or tissue death.
  2. Brain Complications: Hematomas in the brain can be difficult to discover if left untreated. They may result in symptoms such as confusion, intense headaches, uneven pupils, or other neurological changes. Prompt medical intervention is crucial to prevent serious complications.
  3. Organ Damage: Hematomas that develop in certain organs, such as the liver or spleen, can cause damage to these vital organs if not treated promptly. This can result in impaired organ function or even life-threatening conditions like shock.
  4. Infection Risk: Untreated hematomas can become a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of infection. Infections can lead to further complications and may require more aggressive treatment.
  5. Prolonged Healing Time: Without appropriate treatment, the body’s natural healing process may take longer to resolve the hematoma. This can lead to prolonged discomfort, pain, and delayed recovery.


Q: Why do dogs get ear hematomas?

A: Ear hematomas in dogs are usually caused by trauma to the ear, such as scratching, shaking their head vigorously, or being in a fight with another animal.

Q: What are the symptoms of an ear hematoma in dogs?

A: The most common symptoms of an ear hematoma in dogs are swelling of the ear flap, pain, and the ear appearing thick and swollen.

Q: How are ear hematomas in dogs diagnosed?

A: To diagnose an ear hematoma in a dog, a veterinarian will examine the dog’s ear and may perform additional tests such as aspiration of the hematoma fluid or a biopsy.

Q: Can an ear hematoma heal on its own?

A: In some cases, small ear hematomas may heal on their own without intervention. However, larger or persistent hematomas usually require treatment.

Q: What are the treatment options for an ear hematoma in a dog?

A: The most common treatment options for an ear hematoma in a dog include draining the hematoma, administering medication to reduce inflammation and pain, and addressing any underlying cause.

Q: Can I treat an ear hematoma at home?

A: It is not recommended to treat an ear hematoma at home without veterinary guidance. Home remedies may not effectively address the cause of the hematoma and could lead to further complications.

Q: Can an ear hematoma in a dog be prevented?

A: While it is not always possible to prevent ear hematomas, regularly checking your dog’s ears for signs of infection or irritation, keeping their ears clean and dry, and addressing any underlying ear problems promptly may help reduce the risk.

Q: When should I consult a veterinarian about an ear hematoma in my dog?

A: It is recommended to consult a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has an ear hematoma. The veterinarian will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, ice can help in the treatment of an ear hematoma on a dog. Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain by constricting blood vessels.

The cold temperature of the ice helps to slow down leakage and promote the healing process.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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