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Aural Hematoma in Cats

By: Dr. Nicholas Trout

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A veterinary consultation should be sought as soon as an aural hematoma is discovered, although this is NOT a surgical emergency.

  • Complete the course of medications (topical, oral or both) for the treatment of an underlying ear disease, if one was found.

  • Where a bandage is used, check under the neck region to make sure it is not too tight and does not interfere with breathing.

  • Monitor your pet for tolerance of a bandage or collar. Call your veterinarian if this is a problem.

  • When there is no bandage, check the incision daily for excessive swelling or redness. A watery, bloody discharge is considered normal for the first few days following surgery.

  • Return to your veterinarian in 10 to 14 days for suture removal. Most cats will tolerate this procedure without the need for sedation.

  • Check your cat's ears frequently, at least once a week, feeling around the base of the ear for any pain or discomfort and looking down the ear canal for waxy build up, redness or any other type of discharge. The ear canal should be open, clean and not inflamed. If it is inflamed, you should consult with your veterinarian. Do not be tempted to probe the ear yourself with something like a Q-tip, as it is possible to damage inadvertently the canal or ear drum. If your pet has a history of ear infections, this type of monitoring will be even more important.

  • At the earliest signs of head shaking, consult with your vet. Very few cats that actually have outer ear disease go on to get an aural hematoma, but addressing the underlying ear problem early will help to prevent the occurrence of this troublesome secondary disease.

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