Othaematoma of the ear.

Your pet has had surgery today to drain an othaematoma. An otheaars2aematoma is a collection of blood between the two cartilage layers of the ear. It is normally caused by shaking of the head or scratching the ear. You vet will have checked for an underlying cause (usually an ear canal infection).

There are many methods of treating an othaematoma. The most common is to insert a drain into the othaematoma and place stitches in the ear. This allows blood to drain from the ear. If a drain was placed you may see blood dribbling from the ear. The vet may not have placed a drain.

It is important to realise that NO method of treating othaematomas is 100% successful all of the time. Scar tissue formation and thickening of the ear is a common complication. Recurrence of the othaematoma, in the short or long term, occasionally occurs. Infection of the surgery site occurs rarely but is a serious complication. Infection causes a pussy discharge, severe swelling and puffiness/sponginess and pain. Please call you vet if you are worried.

If your pet scratches his ear after surgery we may need to place an Elizabethan collar (“lampshade”/”cone of shame”) to prevent him/her from removing the sutures.
The procedure was performed under general anaesthetic. This means that your pet may be a bit sleepy tonight. He/she may not want to eat tonight, but should be eating by tomorrow morning. Please offer him/her food tonight, and always have water available.
The anaesthetic was given via a catheter in the front or back leg. We have placed a small plaster over this area, which you can remove tomorrow.

Please restrict his/her activity over the next 3 days. Do not allow him/her to swim for 3 weeks and do not bath him.

  • Please contact us if:
    The ear swells or appears very red
    There is a discharge or oozing from the wound site, more than mild blood ooze
    He appears very lethargic or sedated
    You notice the stitches have “disappeared” (i.e. been scratched out!)
    The leg in which the catheter was placed appears swollen or red
    If you notice any signs of illness (e.g. not eating, vomiting)

Please give the medication supplied as instructed. The pain killers should only be started the morning after the operation, unless otherwise instructed. Please clean around the drain exit sites 3 times a day with dilute Savlon/Betadine and cotton wool to remove crusted blood).

We will need to see your pet every 7 days for 3 weeks to check the wound and remove the drain and sutures as necessary. Please make an appointment for this.
If you have any queries or concerns please call us.

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