How Much Does Dog Ear Hematoma Surgery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

An ear hematoma are fluid-filled pockets inside of the earflap, and if something were to cause these vessels to rupture, it would start to bleed beneath the skin, forming this fluid-filled pocket.

This condition is commonly seen flappy-eared dogs, but any dog, in general, can get it.

This problem is easy to diagnose, and depending on the scenario, your vet may or may not recommend surgery.

How much does dog ear hematoma surgery cost?

Depending on the severity of the hematoma, your vet and where you live, the entire procedure can cost anywhere from as little as $300 to more than $2,000.

Vetary.com, for example, says the procedure can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,500, depending on the local cost of living and the complexity of your dog’s condition.

On this Reddit.com thread, someone asked if $500 were too much for this procedure, and according to the responses, the results seemed mixed.  One dog owner said his vet recommended the procedure, but it was purely for cosmetic reasons, while another said his vet wouldn’t even consider the surgery unless it was a show-quality dog.

This BabyCenter.com forum thread, one member stated she took her dog to a clinic and was quoted $1,000 to drain and quilt the ear.  Another member, on the same thread, said she was quoted up to $470 to have their dog’s ear drained.

Dog ear hematoma surgery overview

The veterinarian, during your initial visit, will first take a sample of the fluid inside of the swelling using a fine needle to confirm the diagnosis.  In addition to this, your veterinarian will want to dig deeper to know what’s causing this condition.  For example, otitis externa, which is commonly diagnosed alongside this condition, may cause a bad odor near the ear and/or inflammation.  Aside from the needle aspiration, your veterinarian will more than likely run a bacterial culture and other laboratory analyses to determine a beneficial treatment option.  He or she will also inspect the ear canal for any signs of ear mites or a bacterial yeast infection.

The surgical treatment, if your dog were a candidate, would require general anesthesia and an incision, which is created in the injured ear in order to remove the fluid between the skin and auricular cartilage.  Numerous sutures, after the incision has been created, will differ, depending on the extent of the hematoma.  This incision, when the sutures are being placed, won’t enclose the incision; rather, it will remain uncovered to allow the ear to continue to drain.

After the surgery, your veterinarian will put a pressure wrap on the ear to help promote drainage and restrict the fluid from building up.  This pressure wrap will need to stay in place for seven days, and usually, 14 to 21 days later, your veterinarian will ask you to come back so the sutures can be removed.

During the recovery process, your veterinarian will ask that you keep the ear canal cleansed, dried and treated with the medication he or she prescribes.  Your dog will also be required to wear an Elizabethan collar until the sutures are withdrawn.

What are the extra costs?

All veterinarian offices will have different billing practices.  While most combine the bill in one, you may be charged for the additional laboratory testing, pain medication, follow-up visits and/or anesthesia.  It’s important to ask for an itemized bill to know, for certain, what’s included in your finalized payment.

Tips to know:

Dogs, with this condition, will often have a water balloon-like sac in one or even both ears, either partially or completely filled with blood.  The swelling can vary in size, and in some cases, it can even block the ear canal.  If left untreated, the extra weight can cause a permanent change to the shape of the ears and/or create an uncomfortable situation for your dog.  Most dogs will consistently shake their head and/or scratch their ear when there are signs of a hematoma.

How can I save money?

Without any treatment, most of the time, they will resolve on its own; however, that may be problems if you avoid treatment.  First of all, it can cause a lot of pain for weeks; secondly, as the fluid is reabsorbed the by the body, the ear can crinkle up and shrunk down by the scar tissue, resulting in a deformity known as “cauliflower ear.”  In most cases, depending on your dog’s situation, a hematoma may last months if left untreated.

Aside from surgery, another option, which is cheaper is via an aspiration, a process where the blood is drawn from the ear.  But in some cases, one session may not be enough, resulting in multiple visits over time.


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Average Reported Cost: $633.33

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Cheryl (derby,  New York) paid $550 and said:

    Our dog goes in in 4 days for the procedure. She is a cocker spaniel and gets frequent ear infections. we noticed her ear was very swollen and brought her in immediately. We have to wait 7 days to have surgery. Cost is $550.00. I hope all will go well.
    Prayers for our Crystal!!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Hart michigan (Ludington,  Michigan) paid $255 and said:

    Gabby goes in friday for this and that is what the cost will be

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Aaron West (Alpharetta,  Georgia) paid $1095 and said:

    Way overpaid but got Sarge in and out same day.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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