A Dog With A Recurrent Auricular Hematoma

My 10-year-old Rambo has an ear haematoma about 2 cm size. This is the 3rd time he got one, in spite of drainage with a syringe every time.  Last time I gave him an antibiotic also. Can you please tell me conservative management this time with drug and please specify the dose of drugs?

There are a number of factors to consider in Rambo’s case.  Click here to read about the basics of auricular (or aural) hematomas.

Side view of Junior's hematoma showing how thick the swelling is
Side view of Junior’s hematoma showing how thick the swelling is

The first is, why does Rambo keep getting hematomas in his pinnae?  Most cases are the result of excessive shaking of the head caused by itchiness.  Ear itchiness may be the result of ear infection, ear parasites (such as ear mites), allergies that cause itchiness around the head.  Recurrent hematomas may also be a result of poor blood-clotting ability in the body.  If he has been treated for otitis, has the infection recurred?  Does he have a whole new infection?  Is there a new physical problem?

Draining alone is rarely curative for auricular hematoma.  When a veterinarian removes the fluid, the resulting space cries out for something to fill it, so additional fluid quickly replaces what has been drawn off.  While there is a protocol for removing fluid followed by certain medications, my success rate with the procedure has been dismal, so I can’t recommend it.  And, it is not a procedure for a layman to attempt.

As to drug dosages, there are many Web sites that publish medication names as well as dosages.  We don’t, and there is an excellent reason:  safety.  There is much more to the practice of medicine than “cookbooking” certain steps.  Knowing which medications are actually correct for which disease processes, knowing about drug interactions, knowing the dangers of using approved medications in inappropriate circumstances, these are but a few of the reasons the layperson shouldn’t use prescription drugs.  He simply does not have proper training and knowledge.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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