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Bleeding Ears in Dogs: Causes & Treatment

Bloody ears can be caused by a variety of issues from trauma to infections. Here, our White Hall vets discuss the common causes of bleeding in dogs' ears and what you should do when it happens.

My Dog's Ear is Bleeding

Many different causes can be behind bleeding from a dog's ear. The bleeding can also originate in different parts of the ear.

When bleeding originates in the puffy tissues, pockets of fluid can occur. This is usually due to previous trauma and occurs more frequently in long-eared dogs.

What causes dogs to experience a bloody ear?

While there can be many different causes, some of the most common reasons for ear bleeding in dogs include:

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

What are the signs of bleeding ears in dogs?

Along with blood, there are some other symptoms that your dog may display. These include:

  • 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

The very first step should be calling your vet to schedule an exam. 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: 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 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.

How to Treat Bleeding Dog Ears

Your vet will perform a complete examination and diagnostics to determine the issue. Once your dog's condition has been diagnosed, they will offer a treatment plan for the concern. Treatment options could 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 my dog to recover from bleeding ears?

Above all else, the recovery time for your dog's bleeding ears will vary depending on the underlying cause. Like many illnesses, injuries, and conditions, the faster you begin treatment, the faster your dog will recover.

If your dog has a condition that will cause chronic ear bleeding, your vet will determine an ongoing treatment plan to help manage their symptoms. 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 bleeding in my dog's ears a veterinary emergency?

No matter what the assumed cause is behind your dog's ear bleeding, you should always bring them to your primary care vet for an examination. Certain signs and symptoms indicate that you should bring your pet to an emergency animal hospital in White Hall right away, such as:

  • Bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes
  • Other signs that your dog may need emergency care (signs 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.

Have you discovered blood in your dog's ear? For emergency care, please contact our vets in White Hall.

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