Cauliflower ear in dogs is referred as the aural hematoma or the ear hematoma. Hematoma refers to the collection of serum or blood a clotted blood in the ear flap or pinna. In such conditions, the ear flaps or the pinna will be quite thicker. It leads towards swollen pinna or swelling in any one part of the pinna. The condition is called as cauliflower ear in dogs due to swollen ear flaps.
Causes of cauliflower ear in dogs:
The earflaps comprise a double layered skin, which is surrounded by a cartilage layer. Cartilage is responsible for giving a shape to the earflap. Blood vessels of the ears pass through side by side along the entire cartilage. Cartilage can be broken due to hard and violent shaking of heads. When the slide is broken, it leads towards accumulation of blood and serum in the ears, causing cauliflower ear in dogs. Even though vigorous head shaking of the ears and heads are found to be responsible for aural hematoma, there are many dogs affected with cauliflower ears without shaking their heads. In many cases the causes of cauliflower ear in dogs are not known. Further, any disease in the ear canal of the dogs is likely to develop into cauliflower ears. However, it is also considered the cause of the condition in many dogs and only a few dogs are affected.
The other cause of cauliflower ear in dogs might be the long ears of the dogs. Dogs with long ears have high risk of developing ear infections frequently. They generally tend to be affected by any foreign object or a parasites in their ears without getting notices as the long ears hide them. Parasites and other objects in the ears create itching and dogs have the sense of discomfort. Eventually, they shake their heads vigorously to recover from the discomfort. Such violent head shakes breaks the ear slides, blood vessels and the cartilages in the ear resulting towards aural hematoma, i.e. cauliflower ear in dogs.
Major sign of the condition is head shakes. In addition, pet owners might sense a bad odour or debris in the ear canal of the infected dogs. Thickened earflaps are also an apparent sign of cauliflower ear in dogs.
Treatment of cauliflower ear in dogs:
Treatment of the aural hematoma is based on the causes and the prevailing condition, which includes the infection in ear, swollen flaps, etc. In many cases, it will be reduced by using a thin needle aspiration. Unfortunately, there is a high risk of recurrence of developing cauliflower ear in dogs, when it is treated with needle aspiration. Other treatment of cauliflower ear in dogs is surgery. Surgery involves applying S-shaped incision on the ear surface of the affected dogs to flush out the clots and bloods in the ear. After surgery, the ear is stabilized to prevent from any additional damages by covering the ears with bandages. Bandaging the ears might not be comfortable for dogs, but the same help in quick healing and recovery. Even though surgery is an effective treatment option, many veterinarians do no prefer surgery, being a complication process.