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Hematoma on Dogs

Canine Hematoma/Seroma

A hematoma is when blood collects outside of blood vessels in a localized area, while a seroma is similar but contains only serum fluid without red blood cells. These can occur anywhere in the body, with subdermal ones under the skin being the most common. However, they can also develop in the head or brain, within organs, and even on the ear, known as an aural hematoma.

Symptoms and Types

The symptoms of hematomas or seromas vary depending on where they are located:

  • Subdermal hematomas and seromas typically manifest as a soft swelling under the skin.
  • Hematomas or seromas in the head/brain can lead to various symptoms such as coma, seizures, and other neurological issues.
  • Hematomas and seromas in other organs might not show any symptoms or can result in organ failure or dysfunction.


The primary cause of hematomas and seromas is typically trauma. Other contributing factors include abnormalities in blood clotting, which can result in excessive bleeding.


Diagnosing a hematoma or seroma varies depending on its location. Subdermal ones are typically diagnosed through a physical examination along with analyzing fluid extracted from the lesion. However, hematomas and seromas in internal organs or the brain/head might necessitate specialized imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans for accurate diagnosis.


For small hematomas or seromas, they may resolve on their own without treatment as they are reabsorbed. However, larger ones may require drainage by a veterinarian. In certain instances, a temporary drain might need to be inserted to facilitate the ongoing drainage of blood and/or serum from the affected area.

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