THIS is when steps should be taken to have your Pomeranian treated! Do NOT wait to “see if it is going to go away”… If you do THAT, it will eventually go away, but it will be too late to prevent the ear from possibly shrinking!
How and When Does the Ear Shrink?
The dog’s ear can actually shrivel up and shrink if the hematoma is not properly treated. When this happens, the ear will often have a wrinkled look that is dubbed a “cauliflower” ear. Once this happens, it is permanent. Therefore, identifying hematoma and making sure that your Pomeranian has the proper treatment is vital. And of course, in cases where it is possible, you will want to prevent this from ever happening in the first place.
No matter what caused the Hematoma, as soon as it is noticed, treatment can prevent the ear from shrinking…
A vet should do 1 of the following:
Aspirate the ear – This is done with a sterile needle. The blood and other fluids are taken out. The vet will then inject corticosteroid into the now-empty area. The ear will be wrapped so that outside pressure will keep the ear from refilling with fluid. This works best on a smaller hematoma
Surgically open up the ear flap – The blood is then drained, any clots are removed, and the ear is then stitched back up. A rubber drain is also sutured in the ear to drain fluid as it heals. The ear will be bandaged on top of the dog's head to reduce damage as it heals when the dog shakes its head from itchiness. The drain will be removed after only 3 to 5 days.
A cannula can be placed into the ear to allow drainage of fluids as the ear heals. This can take quite a while.
While you are waiting for your veterinarian to give treatment, you can use warm/hot compresses 2 - 3x a day on your Pomeranian’s ear/s.
Treatment should be given ASAP for both medical reasons and appearance reasons. Surgery is the best option in most cases. Timing is very important, the longer you wait to give your Pomeranian treatment, the longer your dog will be in pain and the higher the chances that shriveling will occur.
Aside from surgery, a Pomeranian will almost always also be given prednisone for this health issue (or another corticosteroid) for about 30 days if the cause is an infection (More ahead on other causes). Dosing is approximately .05 mg/kg once a day for a week and then every other day.
Repeat Treatment - In 10-20 % of cases, hematomas will re-occur. However, with the surgery option of treatment, this number is lower. In some cases, your Pomeranian may need to have a 2nd surgery, but remember that odds are that they will not.
Risks & Choosing the Best Treatment
When aspiration is done, there is the possibility of a 2nd infection settling in…or of the 1st on re-occurring. Also, …Fluid may return when the bandage is removed.
Surgery is the fastest way to resolve a hematoma issue and works best to stop the “cauliflower” wrinkling…but do be aware that SOME scarring may show due to the surgery and stitching. If there is scarring, there may be some hard skin where the hematoma occurred. Slight shriveling of the ear may also occur as it heals, however in almost all cases, it will be MUCH less than if treatment was not given.
The cannula option is not often done, and this is because very few Pomeranians can handle such an disturbing feeling of constantly having something in their ear. Even if a cone is put on the dog, most Pomeranians will be feeling quite miserable.
More About Wrinkling
Without Treatment - As you can imagine, if a hematoma is not fixed, the chances of wrinkling and shrinking are very high. The pain can be quite severe for the Pomeranian. As the ear eventually heals itself (which can take quite a while), the ear will begin to “crumble”. And one must know that this is not just a “cosmetic” issue of how a Pomeranian looks…Once an ear shrivels up, crumbles in and shrinks, it often leads to deformed ear canals…which then lead to more infections!
With treatment - Any post-treatment wrinkling will depend on how large the hematoma was and how quickly treatment was given.
While you cannot stop all infections from occurring, an owner certainly has control over 3 of the biggest problems that lead to this:
These small parasites can live anywhere on your Pomeranian’s body and can cause skin irritation, sores, and infections. Because mites are not as common as ticks or fleas, most dog owners don't even know they exist.