AURAL HEMATOMA is a collection of blood within the cartilage of the ear and the skin.

It usually arises as a self-inflicted injury from your pet scratching and head shaking. The underlying causes include all conditions that result from in otitisexterna(infection of the external ear canal).

Hematoma formation has also been associated with increased capillary fragility (e.g.,as seen with Cushing disease).Auralhematomaisthemostcommon result of physical injury or trauma to the pinna (the “flap” of the ear). The condition is common in dogs with chronic otitis externa and less common in cats.


Sources of irritation to the ear linked to the development of an aural hematoma include:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Immune-mediated diseases
  3. Allergies
  4. Parasites
  5. Foreign bodies
  6. Trauma(Bite wound or blunt trauma)
  7. Most animals usually have an associated infection. Recurrence of the condition is common if the underlying condition is not resolved. Auricular hematoma describes a collection of blood within the cartilaginous auricle (outer ear) that typically results from blunt trauma during sports(eg, amateur wrestling, rugby, boxing, or mixed martial arts). This injury warrants prompt drainage and measures to prevent the accumulation of blood.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Swelling associated with aural hematoma is most apparent on the concave inner surface of the pinna.
  • With time, scar tissue will thicken and deform the ear.
  • Resulting in a cauliflower contracture.




A few simple tests may be performed to make sure there is not an underlying reason for the ear being irritated or hard to heal from the bleed.




  • Pet owners should contact an ACVS board-certified surgeon for advice early in the disease process before chronic changes occur in order to achieve the best results. Treatment options include needle aspiration and bandages, tube drainage systems, and incisional drainage.
  • The goals of surgery are to remove the hematoma, prevent recurrence and retain the natural appearance of the ears.
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Surgery typically  includes making an incision on the underside of the earflap to drain the fluid and followed by placing several sutures to prevent fluid from building back up. A bandage is typically placed after surgery for a couple of days to help decrease swelling, discharge, and trauma.

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