Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Is your dog shaking its head....?

So your dogs shaking its head, annoying isn't it...?

The causes can be many but the top one's (depending on the time of year) are grass seeds, ear infections and an aural haematoma. Now the later of those few is normally a secondary problem to one of the ones before i.e. dog gets an ear infection, he shakes his head so much that he causes an aural haematoma.

Aural Haematoma's - Are very painful. Due to the dog shaking its head or scratching they cause considerable trauma to the cartilage of the ear. This causes tiny blood vessels to burst and the blood pools in between the two layers of cartilage and as it has nowhere to go its builds up and then you've got an Aural Haematoma. These cannot be self treated! They either need to be drained by your local vet and normally after having this done a few times if they don't go away they will need surgery.

Queue our case for today Sophie a small dog with.....you guessed it an Aural Haematoma:

She had such a poorly ear! I admitted her in the morning and first of all we took some pre-anaesthetic bloods. After these had been run little Sophie was given her pre-med, such a good little pooch didn't flinch for anything. During the op, the veterinary surgeon make an incision into the ear cartilage from one side and drained all of the fluid for the ear pinna. After this had been completed the wound is physically left open so that it can drain however the cartilage is sutured around the wound is sutured together so that there is no space left for the blood to pool between the sides.

Sophie woke up fine and after having a fabric buster collar put on she recovered well and was soon standing up and eager to get home. These operations are so fulfilling because the dog came in in pain and went home relieved. I couldn't imagine having all of that build up of blood in my ear cartilage...could you?

For those of you that are interested the Aural Haematoma was caused because Sophie had been scratching furiously at her ear because it was....infected! So we also not only sent her home with antibiotics and pain relief but also some ear drops! Equals one happy dog and owner!


  1. Veterinary care is expensive, some clinics far more than others. Staff salaries have gone up, equipment such as digital X-ray is pricy, and superior care costs.

    1. Couldn't agree more, trying to tell some owners that there is no 'NHS' for animals can sometimes be a difficult one. I love that digital x-ray has finally come into your average practice now. It makes life so much easier for the user and saves so much time overall for the animal that's actually on the table. Thanks for your comments :)