Discover a rare but possible occurrence where your cat's ears can get injured, leading to hematomas. Join our Gaithersburg veterinary today as they delve into ear hematomas in cats and provide comprehensive insights on the surgical treatment for this condition.
Ear Hematomas in Cats
A hematoma, also called a "blood blister," is a pocket of blood that forms inside an organ or tissue. Aural hematomas occur between the skin and cartilage of a cat's ear flap, with variations in size and location. Although cat ear hematomas are rare, it is essential for pet owners to be aware of the signs and know how to respond if their cat experiences one.
Causes & Symptoms of Ear Hematomas in Cats
Cat ear hematomas are usually the result of damage or injury to the ear. When a cat's ear gets hurt, the blood vessels break and blood leaks into the nearby area, forming a hematoma. The primary reasons for cat ear hematomas are:
- Scratching and shaking of your cat's head caused by:
- ear infection
- ear mites
- skin allergies
- foreign object in the ear canal
- Scratches or bites from the environment or other animals
- Underlying health concerns and conditions
Diagnosis of Ear Hematomas in Cats
Easily detectable by your vet through a visual examination or feeling the cat's ears, diagnosing ear hematomas in cats becomes even simpler when there is an accompanying infection.
In case of uncertainty, your vet might opt for a blood sample to identify the cause and confirm the presence of a hematoma.
Treatment for Ear Hematomas in Cats
The best way to deal with ear hematomas is usually through surgery. However, if your pet can't be sedated or if the hematoma is small, your vet might choose to drain it instead. This method will get rid of the hematoma, but it's not a long-term solution because the condition is likely to come back. On the other hand, ear hematoma surgery is a permanent solution that prevents excessive scarring and solves your pet's problem. During treatment, your vet will also address any underlying causes of the hematoma to prevent it from happening again.
Ear Hematoma Surgery for Cats
The main and most effective way to treat ear hematomas in cats is through surgery. Although the specific steps may differ depending on the situation and veterinarian, there are standard procedures involved, including:
- A small incision will be made at each end of the hematoma to remove the blood from the pinna. A drainage tube will be sutured into the hematoma to drain any fluids that builds up or the vet may choose to completely open the area to prevent a buildup of blood and fluids.
- The veterinary surgeon will close up the area where the blood accumulated permanently preventing further hematomas.
- The pinna will be supported to allow for proper healing through the cat's recovery process after ear hematoma surgery.
Once the ear hematoma has been resolved your vet will treat any additional conditions related to the ear hematoma.
As your cat heals the vet will remove any drainage tubes, bandages, or sutures when it is safe to do so.
What Happens if Ear Hematomas Are Left Untreated
While ear hematomas will drain, heal and scar on their own this is not recommended. If left untreated, the following may occur.
- While healing the ear hematoma will cause swelling and pressure which will be very painful for your cat.
- The ear flap could become swollen and prevent you from being able to treat any infection that may be present.
- The process of ear hematomas in cats healing on their own could take a very long time.
- There is an increased possibility of ear hematomas reoccurring if left to heal on their own.
- If an ear hematoma heals naturally there is a good chance that it will leave an excess amount of scar tissue.
To ensure your cat's comfort, promote healing, and prevent future occurrences, it's advisable to have your vet examine and surgically treat an ear hematoma. Feel free to inquire directly about the cost of cat ear hematoma surgery from your vet for a more precise estimate.