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Cauliflower ear is a dog disease that affects the ear cartilage of animals like dogs. It is most noticeable that cauliflower ear in dogs appears in those that have long ears.
However, it cannot be ruled out for dogs with a different type of body structure. Cauliflower ears disease is also called an aural hematoma.
Cauliflower Ear Or Hematoma In Dogs
Dogs are affected by cauliflower ear, just like the professional boxers do. Ear hematomas are the result of the bursting of blood vessels in the ears.
These blood vessels bleed into the space between the skin and the ear cartilage. Dogs with long, floppy ears are at the risk of getting ear hematomas or cauliflower ears.
This disease is commonly associated with ear infections in dogs, habitual scratching of the ear and violent shaking of the head, and such traumas related to violent behaviors.
Cauliflower Ear Symptoms In Dogs
- Affected Dogs involve in aggressive shaking or scratching of their ears can be affected by cauliflower ears. These dogs will suffer allergic reactions.
- Consistent tilting of the head by a dog to one side
- Head jerking/shaking
- Swollen pinna
- Pain on palpation
- Swelling in a part of or entirely in the pinna. The pinkish or reddish color change is visible on the ear/s after such swelling
- Inner or outer ear infections
- Excessive bleeding or clotting of blood
- Pawing at the ear/ears
Cauliflower Ear In Dogs Causes
- The reason for Cauliflower ears in dogs is due to an untreated hematoma in the dog’s ear.
- Settlement of foreign particles within the ear canal
- Ear infection
- Allergies through regular scratching
- Cartilage damage
- Fly bites hitting the tips of the ears of dogs frequently
- Aural hematomas can also be due to a suppressed immune system.
Cauliflower Ear In Dogs Treatments
Dogs with cauliflower ears can be treated, but the disease stage calls for the kind of treatment to be adopted.
1. Treatment At Early stage
Vets treat dogs in the initial phase of cauliflower ears by adopting a simple procedure of taking a syringe to eliminate the fluid present in the hematoma.
It is noted that dog owners know about home-based treatment for their dogs with mild symptoms of this disease.
How To Treat Cauliflower Ear at Home For dogs?
- Application of Calendula in tincture form on the swollen part of the ears of their dog
- Garlic and Mullen, which possess antibiotic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, can be made into a mixture. Some drops of it can be applied to the ears of the dog and massaged softly.
- A warm compress can remove the excess fluid formed due to hematoma and ease the pain, inflammation, and irritation within the dog’s affected ear.
- Applying a few drops of vinegar solution, i.e., prepared by mixing apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with warm water on the dog’s affected ear/s, can kill the bacteria and clear the ears.
- Oil ear cleaner also has the right antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antiviral features. Using this will help treat the swelling on the affected ears of the dog and clean its ears.
- The oil mixture containing neem oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, and eucalyptus in needed quantities should be dropped into the dog’s ear canal in small drops. It must be done daily up to some period and massaged for the oil to spread.
Other non-surgical treatments
Ear cleaning under anesthesia and applying antibiotics or ointment into the dog’s ear canal are some of the non-invasive treatments.
2. Treatment At Moderate Or Critical Stage
Dogs that are in the severe stage of the disease are usually recommended for surgery. The affected dogs in the moderate stage could be advised to be under constant or long-term medication.
The vet might operate on dogs that are in the moderate stage of cauliflower disease.
The surgical procedure in a stepwise fashion for removing the hematoma that is majorly responsible for cauliflower ears in dogs:
- An incision is made by the vet surgeon on the affected dog’s earflap where the blood clots and fluid present in the hematoma will be cleared off.
- To prevent the hematoma from refilling with fluid, some stitches are done on the affected hematoma area.
- Excision of the ear cartilage could be possible.
- The sutures or stitches need to be there for at least three weeks to ensure complete healing from the refilling of fluid, which will definitely not happen again.
Prevention Of Cauliflower Ear In Dogs
Two essential steps should be followed by dog owners to prevent the occurrence of hematoma or cauliflower disease in their dogs, and they constitute:
Monitoring the dog’s behavior – A dog owner needs to monitor the pet’s behavior to check out that it does not involve any violent action. This kind of behavior might result in injury to the dog’s body, inclusive of its ears.
Look out for any infections – Dog owners must regularly lookout for whether any sort of disease has attacked their dog. The dog must not be permitted to shake periodically or scratch its head.
However, if the owners happen to see these activities in their dog, then the latter must be taken to diagnose infection and then for further treatment.