I have a 12 yr. old goldendoodle that had a "puffy ear flap" - come to find it was a hematoma and day by day was growing. I could not imagine putting the old girl through surgery so I found out about Arnica Oil online. I bought it at a local health food store in a gel tube and applied it to her ear 3 days ago - it is almost completely gone and looks no different than the other ear. Why would someone put their dog through surgery when a $12 tube of Arnica Gel can heal it.
East Anglia, Uk
New York City, New York
New York City, New York
I have had 7 golden retrievers since 1972, including my current two. Four of my previous goldens had ear hematomas. A couple more than once. I have always had surgery done on them. Ears lanced, etc.
A couple weeks ago, one of my goldens got a hematoma on his left ear flap. I checked the internet and found Dr. Paws on YouTube. He made sense to me. I agreed with him. To put a dog through the surgery and recovery is terrible. Then I found a site where a comment mentioned success using Arnica oil. I figured I would try it. I bought a bottle online at Swanson's. I applied some to my golden's ear flap with some skepticism.
Three days later I noticed that the hematoma had shrunk. Really. Now a week later, the ear flap is almost flat with no cauliflowering. The flap is almost normal. It certainly seems that the Arnica oil worked. I will definitely use it again if needed.
Port St Lucie Florida
Ca, Valley Springs
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Arnica oil is amazing. Our baby is almost 13 years old. He got a hematoma in his ear. We took him to the vet, she drained it, a month later it came back, bigger than ever. My husband put the arnica oil on it. Within one week the blood has diminished and so far no cauliflouring. We use the Arnica at least once a day and keep his ears clean. No vet and no pain for my baby....yay
Los Angeles, Ca
Fort Worth, Tx
I am trying to find a remedy for entire ear flap hematoma in my 13yrs of pit bull. It's been there approx 2 weeks and has not changed in size.
EC: Please check the aural hematoma page in our pets section here: https://earthclinic.com/pets/aural-hematoma-natural-remedies/
Hi EC....I need you guys opinion urgently on a problem I have with my dog....it seems like out of nowhere, his one ear suddenly started swelling to the size of a quarter. I rushed him to the vet thinking the worst of course and he was diagnosed with hemathoma (not sure if I spelt it correctly)anyways, what it is is a ruptured blood vessel in the inner ear that is caused by some type of trauma to the ear. He recommended surgery asap but I told him I need to think about it because of the cost but most importantly I am worried about my dog....he is my best friend....any response would be greatly appreciated...thank you guys...
Hope, Bc. Canada
I am at the emergency Vet with my dog who has a hematoma in his left ear. The whole ear flap is swollen. They are going to drain it and give me antibiotic drops, but the vet tells me that the hematoma will come back the next time he shakes his head. The next option is surgery but I declined that. While waiting for them to check out my dog, I am reading about a vet on YouTube who just lets the hematoma heal on its own after a few weeks. Says this is better than surgery as surgery forms scar tissue and doesn't prevent more hematomas. Does anyone have any suggestions how to prevent another hematoma from forming once this is drained. Oh, I also read about arnica helping to heal a dog's hematoma.
I ran out of probiotics last week and I think that upset his yeast.. then he got ear irritation and itchiness and started shaking his head last night, which is when I think the hematoma formed. Thank you so much in advance for any suggestions.
Hope Bc Canada
Justin, Texas Usa
Charleston, South Carolina
My 15 year old cat has a swollen ear. It's really bad, looks like it's about to burst, but hasn't. He's perfectly fine, yells at me everytime I come into the room! What can I do about this?
I recently put my German Shorthair through the hematoma surgery. He has had to wear a cone the entire time and I've returned to the vet 4 times for bandage changes and to have his stitches removed. He had the stitches removed yesterday and the hematoma is back already!! It hasn't even been 2 weeks since the surgery and I'm out over $500! What do I do now?!
San Antonio Tx
Canine Aural Hematoma Repair – Pinna Surgery versus Pinna Splint
An aural hematoma is a blood and fluid pool formed in an animal's ear flap, or pinna, after a blunt force injury causing arterial breaks forcing tissues to expand and fill. Aural hematomas represent a condition that in not mortal, but can be a contributing factor in contraction of the pinna and subsequent future ailments for animal. Traditional treatments include expensive and painful surgeries, and weeks/months of recovery. Moreover, there is often permanent damage to the ear and a good percentage of reoccurrence of future hematomas. Surgical aural hematoma treatments for removal of blood clots range from lancing, to skin section removal, to biopsy tool removal of skin allowing for holes to provide ability to draw semi-coagulated fluids out of hematoma region. All surgical remedies impart local wounds to aural canal side of pinna, and must be further addressed during post-surgical recovery. These blood pool surgical removals of fluids, along with non-surgical hypodermic needle aspiration, are intended to allow apposition of skin and cartilage tissues. Only the hypodermic needle aspiration does not impart wounding to the pinna, with aftercare required. (1)
A novel method in the treatment of aural hematoma may address some of the concerns with current surgical procedures. The purpose of this article is to inform the veterinary industry (veterinarians, technicians, and medical device suppliers) a new tool to perform corrective aural hematoma repair. Preliminary research on a novel cross-sectional study on the impact of the pinna splinting device AuralsplintTM was conducted between June 2012 and June 2017 (unpublished results). Of the 190 participants who used the Auralsplint device, there were 49 responses to the surveys (25%). The study was conducted by the creator of the device who has no academic training, but a researcher was consulted of interpretation of the results. The participants were instructed to report on the visible ear conditions before, during and after treatment. A gradient of results ranged from: Complete healing with no visible damage, lesser healing with slight visible damage, visible healing with no hematoma present, to no visible healing hematoma present. A control group of participants outside of the criteria were involved to present the need for treatment early in affliction and a comparison of results. Criteria requirements were hematoma present less than 7 days from onset without any aspiration, or hypodermic needle aspiration alone within first 7 days and subsequent hypodermic aspirations on a four day schedule thereafter. Participants willfully requested acceptance into study after they searched online for an alternative to options available. Results suggest that the Auralsplint device promotes healing for the modality with a promising future as a viable alternative to surgeries for the aural hematoma affliction. Given the potential for biases of the author, results should be interpreted with caution. Potential implications of the AuralsplintTM, with no disregard or disrespect intended to existing veterinary surgeries and procedures, the author attempts to provide surgery-free alternatives to the treatment of aural hematoma through a novel therapeutic device. In no way is the Auralsplint recommended to take the place of a professional veterinarian. Instead, canine owner with their animals depending are encouraged to talk with their veterinarians about multiple options to assist in making decisions about best practices. (2,3)
In any treatment modality we must look to the healing properties of the animal and how these properties are used. The understanding: The broken blood vessels causing expansion of the tissues in the pinna are subsequent to a blunt force injury causing the broken blood vessels. Any underlying conditions which may lead to irritation and discomfort causing shaking of the head or scratching of the ear most likely (but not always) have caused the aural hematoma, and are treatable outside of any reparative treatment for the aural hematoma tissue damages. Without any treatment to repair the torn tissues of an aural hematoma, the bulbous fluid filled into the hematoma will resolve and diminish over time. Serum fluids likely will be rapidly reabsorbed, whereas hemoglobin fluids will clot. Either way, the animal's own regenerative abilities are observed as in progress. Given this generalization and the fact the aural hematoma has not ruptured due to over expansion, at some point the animal's own abilities have sealed the broken vessels. Leaving us to examine the clot formation in the aural hematoma, rapid coagulation occurs upon ceasing of new fluids entering into the hematoma region. Granulation begins occurring in 3-6 days. This granulation process must be the precursor to the adhesion of tissues to the clot, respective both the outer skin and the inner cartilage. The interior of the clot at this point is not understood as to its purpose other than subsequent to volume of fluid generation during open vessels filling at time of active hematoma. Speculation of the migration from interior of clot to exterior of clot for granulation and other regenerative elements exists as reduction occurs, and spent red blood cells are removed and reabsorbed. It is this author's belief the reduction of the bulbous clot by reabsorbing, along with granulation occurring at all points exterior of clot, is the greatest contributing factor to contraction of the pinna, as the bulb is reduced from the furthest point from center towards the center, thus the attached tissues are drawn toward center. By establishing the animal is using the blood pool to provide healing and regenerative elements, we must attribute the blood pool, or clot, is essential in providing the tissue elements for permanent reattachment of the skin to cartilage. Even after healing of an untreated aural hematoma, the skin and cartilage are opposed, due to the reduction of the clot leaving the space between the tissues reduced from that of full bulbous clot. The contraction due to reduction has been addressed. However, at some point a blood clot is needed between the skin and cartilage to provide the elements for granulation to occur, and thus adhesion of said skin and cartilage tissues against clot, and subsequently skin to cartilage once absorbable spent red blood cells are removed. By this premise, the amount of contraction is proportionate relative to the thickness diameter of the pooled blood clot, therefore the thinner the clot, the less the contraction. By this same premise, the greater amount of surface area adhesion, the greater the attraction. Complete granulation of all area within the hematoma region would need to be considered the most effective for adhesion of tissues. Any allowance for deviation and sporadic development of granulation would contingently provide less adhesion and potential for less permanent reattachment. The amount of blood clot needed to perform sufficient granulation is left for further studies. But, without a blood clot directly opposed to both sides the skin and cartilage predicts less abilities to heal with same efficiency as areas with adequate blood clot. Therefore, a sporadic area of blood clotting, determined by thickness and location, is less supportive to animal's own ability to regenerate than that of a blood clot continuous in size and complete in total area of damaged pinna. The aspiration of the fluid pool is set to reduce the size of the hematoma bulb, allow for apposition of skin and cartilage tissues, thus reducing the amount of contraction during healing. Aspiration can be performed in different methods. If the fluids are still fluid, then a hypodermic needle aspiration is sufficient to remove nearly all the fluids present. If the length of time from onset is greater than 6-7 days, and coagulation in the pool has started, the removal by surgical means is required to allow apposition of the skin and cartilage tissues. (1,4,5,6,11)
It is time to look at the surgical treatments themselves and how the decision to use surgery for canine aural hematoma repair compares against the other options the clinic can offer. The clinic has to assume a patient visiting a clinic knows he or she is being offered an assortment of options, and costs to treat their animal's condition. With the cost of surgery the pinnacle of pricing, the patient must assume this choice is the greatest care. Reality shows this is the greatest abilities of the veterinary surgeon to use his or her training in an operating room environment. To assume this is the best care for the aural hematoma affliction is based on perspective. With blood pool now removed, apposition by surgical method is achieved by carefully suturing the skin to cartilage by means of choice by surgeon. Critical to success is the ability of the surgeon to oppose the tissues in such a fashion to allow granulation to occur in the areas between sutures. The small segmented sporadic blood pools subsequently clot and healing begins to occur. The amount of granulation at suture penetration locations cannot be consistent with the areas between sutures due to nature of modality. As the author has already established, the more consistent the blood clot, the better the production of granulation and adhesion after healing. To summarize, the surgical aspiration has imparted wounds to the skin of the pinna and now in need of post-operative care, the sutures are providing sporadic ability to adhere, and any clot formation is now non-consistent. (2,9,10,11)
Stated here in this interpretation, surgery shows increased chance for infection with regard for surgical procedures imparting wounds to pinna, as well as sporadic development of the essential blood clot. Suture placement is critical to keep from cessation of fluids to any point interrupted. Included in surgical modalities is the continued allowance for any blood and fluids re-entering the hematoma region to flow freely out of the region through wounds or drains specifically placed for this reason. Previously established in this interpretation is the need for the blood clot to form to produce the granulation and regenerative elements required in permanently healing the aural hematoma, complete with blood vessel sealing of breaks and adhesion of skin to cartilage. It appears less than necessary to allow the essential regenerative elements to escape the area in need of said elements. It is understood the continued flow of fluids into a surgically repaired hematoma region may introduce recurrence of expansion, and therefore contribute to alteration of the surgeon's treatment modality. Finally, pinna surgery post-operative care is substantial and must be included in the considerations for its use and results. (5,6,8)
The alternative modality presented is Pinna Splinting. Splinting of the auricle is a therapeutic treatment modality process allowing the animal's own abilities to re-grow the tissues in an environment suitable for the least amount of contraction after healing. By all indications in this interpretation, a consistent thickness blood clot throughout the entirety of the hematoma region provides the greatest chance of non-sporadic granulation and adhesion of tissues. The uniformity of the thickness of the blood clot, or more accurately presented thinner blood clot, provides lesser ability for contraction during recovery. Pinna splinting treatment occurs without wounding imparted to animal, therefore the post-operative care is lessened and the chance of infection therefore lessened. Also, for those patients unable to afford surgery or are unable due to health or general anesthesia complications, pinna splinting allows the animal owner the option for corrective clinical treatment, and for the clinic the additional income. (4,9,11)
Pinna splinting is achieved by locating the pinna in a fixed position where, after aspiration by hypodermic needle, a rigid device is attached by medical dressings to the pinna, presenting a wall against the damaged tissues, preventing the uncontrolled expansion of fluids into the hematoma. Once the small area of hematoma refills into a thin layer and equalization of fluid pressures is achieved, rapid coagulation and granulation begins to occur, without interruption or sporadic locations, but instead throughout the entirety of the hematoma. As per the previous evidence established, the animal now can function as though the hematoma has been left untreated, and can begin to and fully regenerate the needed tissues to seal the broken blood vessels and form the permanent attachment tissues between skin and cartilage at all points directly adjacent to blood clot layer. Once absorption of the spent red blood cells in clot layer occurs, the distance between skin and cartilage tissues being of a small size, the reduction and contraction is limited, relative to thickness of clot layer. The treatment duration for splint device in place has been established as 14 days consecutive. (11)
It would be difficult to describe the need for a new modality in a clinical environment without addressing the costs associated. A Veterinary Clinic needs revenue to not only survive but to thrive. The licensed veterinarian needs to charge appropriately for his or her services to generate revenue to employ the manpower to sustain the business model. By this standard, the amount of revenue per treatment generated is based upon the need of the clinic's business model. The larger the revenue generation per treatment equals the better the outcome for the business. This support for the business model can be altered by the number of patients treated against the number of patients not treated (due to lack of financial means). To sum this relationship, the more patients treated for less revenue equals the lesser amount of patients treated with higher revenue. (2,3)
The author, Daniel Whitton, is President of Auralsplint Inc. PBC, an aural hematoma researcher, inventor, and advocate for better animal healthcare through improvements in current modalities. The AuralsplintTM treatment is proprietary through US Patent 7,153,313 awarded to Daniel Whitton 2006. Subsequent patent protection is at present in place for further intellectual property and proprietary rights. The Auralsplint, through voluntary Pre-Market Approval, has been concluded by the FDA “the animal medical class 1 device is safe as prescribed for use under supervision of licensed veterinarians”. Without establishing a concrete analysis by dissection of both modalities in post mortal studies, the author is left to make interpretations of scientific expectations. However, having a tool to bridge the gap in treatment modalities could and should be used to satisfy the needs of the clients. The AuralsplintTM introduces a non-invasive, cost-effective, pain-free clinical device providing an alternative solution to surgery. Although study results are preliminary and non-casual, there is support for future clinical trials with this device as part of a whole purposed industry treatment. (6,11)
Author: Daniel Whitton
Auralsplint Inc. PBC
Krista Best, PhD
Professeure adjointe/ Assistant professor
Faculté de médecine / Faculty of Medicine
1. MacPhail C. Current Treatment Options for Auricular Hematomas. Vet Clin Small Anim. 2016; 46: 635–641
3. Hall J, Weir S and Ladlow J. Treatment of canine aural haematoma by UK veterinarians. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2016; 57: 360–364.
4. Asinga T. Treating aural hematomas. Banfield. https://www.banfield.com/getmedia/98fe2955-5945-4d4f-8007-4e74fed9bb28/2_5-Treating-aural-hematomas. Accessed on February 20,2020.
5. Pavletic MM. Use of laterally placed vacuum drains for management of aural hematomas in five dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2014; 246:112–117.
6. Lanz OI, Wood BC. Surgery of the ear and pinna. Vet Clin Small Anim. 2004;34: 567–599
7. Hedlund C. Incisional Drainage of Aural Hematomas. Complications in Small Animal Surgery, First Edition. Edited by Dominique Griffon and Annick Hamaide. Published 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
8. Aural Hematoma. American College of Veterinary Surgeons. https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/aural-hematoma
9. Hall J, Weir S and Ladlow J. Treatment of canine aural haematoma by UK veterinarians. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2016; 57: 360–364.
10. Lahiani J, Niebauer GW. On the nature of canine aural haematoma and its treatment with continuous vacuum drainage. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2020; 61(3):195-201.
11. AuralsplintTM – Descriptive Report, author: Daniel Whitton; Researchgate.com DOI:
A new non-surgical corrective treatment for aural hematoma in canine. The Auralsplint provides an alternative to surgery and corrects the aural hematoma using the animal's own regenerative abilities in an environment suited for the least amount of contraction. No wounding, no general anesthesia, no pain medications.
The best way to combat an aural hematoma is with an Auralsplint. Any other treatment will either allow the hematoma to shrivel down, or worse cause undue wounding to your animal. It is very important to diagnosis the hematoma early, before 6-7 days. After this, the blood will begin to clot, and you will not be able to use an Auralsplint. The Auralsplint works very much like it sounds. It holds the ear in suspension until the animal fixes the problems. Not rocket science, not an invasive and gruesome surgery. Just common sense and some tape and plastic. I make this out to sound easy, and it is.
Castor Oil also does wonders for the inflammation! My pup Stella had an aural hematoma, I used Arnica as well, but saw that using Castor Oil slathered on/in the ear gave me great results too (sometimes I added some lavender to the oil). I also gave her a Turmeric supplement which also helps with inflammation. It was gone in about a month and her cauliflower ear isn't so bad, barely noticeable. Good Luck!!!
I just recently cured my dog's aural hematoma after only one week using:
1. turmeric in food (light sprinkle, ~1/8 tsp)
2. Chinese Herb Yunnan Baiyao, made into a paste and applied topically 2x/day (but can also be given internally - I just didn't have the time to figure out how best to do so because it is BITTER gross nasty)
3. Arnica tablets 30c, 2 crushed tablets 4x/day on day 1, then cut back to only three times a day.
Hope this helps!
San Francisco, Ca
Kenalog for Aural Hematomas
I just made a vet appointment since we have been through this before with my little guy. All vets want to lance and drain and stitch and make a mess. I found a vet on our first experience with this little problem, that treated with an injection of Kenalog. I work for a Retina (Eye) specialist and we use this drug to treat bleeds in eyes. It works like a charm as long as you don't fuss with the ear as it's healing. (I pressed on his little ear the first time and you could feel the blood rushing back in :/) Needless to say it dried up without a return visit. He hasn't had one in 3 years and I think this is now the opposite ear. We now live in another state and finding a vet to do this procedure took a couple of phone calls but I found one!
Average cost of injection is about $30 plus vet visit $50ish, so much better than $350 base for a messy surgery! The best results come from early treatment, the longer the blood sits the thicker it gets and is harder to remove. Good luck with your best friends, hope this helped someone <3
My golden retriever got a small hematoma at the bottom of her ear flap last month. After reading the posts on Earth Clinic about Aural Hematomas, I decided to leave the hematoma alone unless it got too big. That was a wise decision. It didn't get any bigger and disappeared after a few weeks. I had also read that draining it at the vet is not always the best decision as it can make the hematoma bigger.