EAR HEMATOMAS

Island Life - - Paw Corner -

An ear hematoma is a firm, fluid-filled, swollen mass that is vis­i­ble on the in­side of the earflap. Usu­ally it af­fects only one ear at a time but oc­ca­sion­ally both ears are af­fected. A dog will get an ear hematoma from shak­ing its head or scratch­ing at its ear be­cause it has an un­der­ly­ing al­lergy or ear dis­ease. The scratch­ing or shak­ing of the ear rup­tures the tiny blood ves­sels in the ear’s car­ti­lage caus­ing them to bleed un­der the skin of the earflap form­ing a pocket of blood. The dog may have an in­fec­tion or in­flam­ma­tion in the ear canal, a for­eign body in the ear or ear par­a­sites. Some­times the dog sim­ply has lots of fleas and ticks. Th­ese all cause pain, itch­i­ness or ir­ri­ta­tion that a dog would seek to al­le­vi­ate by shak­ing or scratch­ing. Oc­ca­sion­ally the hematoma is caused by a dog­fight where the fight has rup­tured the blood ves­sels- in this case the haematoma may also be in­fected. There are sev­eral pro­ce­dures for treat­ing au­ral hematomas; the ap­proach will de­pend on the sever­ity of the dog’s con­di­tion. One method in­volves the plac­ing of a soft drain se­curely into the tip of the ear al­low­ing the fluid to drain. This is left in place for two to three weeks as the earflap seals. An­other method per­formed un­der gen­eral anaes­the­sia in­volves mak­ing a sur­gi­cal in­ci­sion into the swelling on the ear, al­low­ing the fluid to drain. Then mul­ti­ple su­tures are stitched into the ear to seal it back to­gether. Af­ter about ten to four­teen days fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dure, the su­tures will be re­moved. Fail­ure to treat a hematoma can lead to en­large­ment of the swelling to en­com­pass the en­tire earflap. Over time, scar tis­sue for­ma­tion within the hematoma will re­sult in a se­verely wrin­kled, thick­ened de­formed earflap that can pre­dis­pose the dog to fur­ther ear prob­lems. To help pre­vent an ear hematoma form­ing again, it is es­sen­tial that we de­ter­mine what is mak­ing the dog shake its head or scratch its ears. A thor­ough ex­am­i­na­tion of the ears will be nec­es­sary. When the dog is brought to the clinic we use an oto­scope to look down into the ear canals to de­ter­mine the pres­ence of a for­eign body or in­flam­ma­tion in the ears. Ear swabs are taken and the ma­te­rial is eval­u­ated un­der the mi­cro­scope to look for causes of oti­tis (ear in­fec­tion) such as yeast, ear mites or bac­te­ria. Al­ler­gies can also cause ir­ri­ta­tion to the ears. Wounds of the pinna or earflap should be treated to pre­vent fur­ther trauma to the ear caused by shak­ing and scratch­ing. The dog with the ear haematoma may be placed on ear drops con­tain­ing an­tibi­otics, an­ti­fun­gals and anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries to stop the ir­ri­ta­tion to the ears. It may also be rec­om­mended that the dog is treated for fleas and ticks. At the first sign of your dog shak­ing or scratch­ing at her ears, be sure to have her ex­am­ined by a ve­teri­nar­ian so the prob­lem can be di­ag­nosed and treated prop­erly.

From the Vet Clinic in con­juc­ton with Sam's An­i­mal Wel­fare. If you have any ques­tions or would like to vol­un­teer to help Sam's, please call the Vet Clinic on 25702.

Win­ner of the 2015 No­bel prize in lit­er­a­ture

Voices from Ch­er­nobyl: The Oral His­tory of a Nu­clear Disas­ter

{ By Svet­lana Alex­ievich.} On April 26, 1986, the worst nu­clear re­ac­tor ac­ci­dent in his­tory oc­curred in Ch­er­nobyl and con­tam­i­nated as much as three quar­ters of Europe. Voices from Ch­er­nobyl presents per­sonal ac­counts of the tragedy. Alex­ievich in­ter­viewed hun­dreds of peo­ple af­fected by it and their sto­ries re­veal the fear, anger, and un­cer­tainty with which they still live. This is one of the works that granted her the Novel prize in lit­er­a­ture this year.

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