Have you noticed a strange bulge on or in your cat's ear? Today our Maury County vets examine aural (ear) hematomas in cats - what they are, how they are surgically treated, and what costs are associated with surgery.
What is a Cat Ear Hematoma?
An ear hematoma is a blood-filled pocket that develops between the skin and cartilage of a creature's ear flap. Ear Hematomas are rare in cats, but not unheard of. Cat breeds that are particularly susceptible to ear infections or allergic reactions are at an increased risk of developing a hematoma.
What a Cat's Ear Hematoma Would Look Like
Causes of Ear Hematomas in Cats
There are two chief measures cat owners can take to prevent their cat's from developing ear hematomas.
Firstly, keeping your cat indoors restricts their ability to be injured in scrapes with other cats or wildlife, while also allowing you to keep a close eye on them.
Secondly, cleaning your cat's ears regularly helps make sure pressure and irritation do not build. While some cats will be fine without regular ear cleaning, it is better to make it a habit of your grooming routine as hematoma or not, no cat enjoys having their ears all blocked up.
Treatment for intestinal obstructions can be surgical or non-surgical. Many factors go into this decision including the location, how long the object has been stuck, and the size, shape, and structure of the object.
In some cases, a vet can retrieve the foreign object with an endoscope. If this is not possible, your vet likely will consult the ultrasound or X-rays to determine where (and what) the obstruction is.
Some foreign objects, given time, can pass on their own. However, when it comes to a timeline for intestinal blockage in dogs, time is absolute of the essence. If the object does not pass on its own and your dog has the symptoms listed above, your dog will need to be treated as soon as possible.
If your vet determines that the foreign object presents an immediate danger, emergency surgery is ordered.
Cat Ear Hematoma Surgery
Surgery is generally required to treat a pet with a hematoma. Mild hematomas may be drainable with a needle if your pet cannot be anesthetized, but this is generally unideal as it does not resolve the root condition and the ear hematoma will most likely return. Furthermore, if bloodclots have formed it is often impossible, or at the very least supremely difficult, to drain a hematoma with a needle.
Cat ear hematoma surgery begins by surgically opening the ear with a small incision, and then proceeding to drain the blood pocket. Once fully drained, stitches will be used to repair the burst blood vessels and prevent future pooling.
Your cat’s head will be bandaged for their recovery period, putting pressure on the ear to ensure the pocket is not filled again before they've fully healed. There may be some minor scarring as a result of surgery, but the scaring will be much less noticeable than the consequences of not treating a hematoma.
When a hematoma is surgically removed, the odds of developing another one in the same ear are monumentally small. The cost of ear hematoma surgery for cats carries based on their exact condition and individual veterinary practice, contact your vet if you have questions regarding the costs of surgery.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.