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Aural Hematoma in Cat: When is Surgery Needed

Aural Hematoma in Cat: When is Surgery Needed

If your cat has developed an ear hematoma, you may be curious about ways to provide assistance. In this article, our veterinary team at Somerset will discuss available treatment options for ear hematoma's in cats.

A hematoma, often referred to as a "blood blister," is a collection of blood that forms within an organ or tissue. When it comes to aural hematomas in cats, they specifically manifest as pockets of blood between the skin and cartilage of the ear flap. While they are not a common occurrence in cats, it is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the signs and appropriate actions to take if their cat develops an ear hematoma. If you are wondering what happens if you leave a cat ear hematoma untreated, you will be happy to know that it can go away on its own but it also may make your cat increasingly uncomfortable.

What Causes Ear Hematomas In Cats?

In most cases, ear hematomas in cats are caused by trauma or injury. When the delicate blood vessels in the cat's ear flap are damaged, they rupture and release blood internally, resulting in the formation of a swollen pocket. Several common factors that can lead to cat ear hematomas are:

  • Scratches or bites (e.g. sharp thorns, fights with other cats)
  • Underlying health issues
  • Your kitty scratching their ears or shaking their heads due to:
    • skin allergies
    • ear infection
    • ear mites
    • foreign object in ear canal

Symptoms Of Ear Hematoma In Cats 

If your cat develops an ear hematoma, the primary indication is typically the presence of a new lump or swelling on the ear. In more severe cases, the swelling can cause the ear flap to sag due to its weight.

When touched, the swelling may feel firm or soft, but it is important to handle it gently as your cat may express discomfort if the area is tender. Alongside observing changes in your cat's ear's physical appearance, pay attention to their behavior. If the ear is irritated or sensitive, they may exhibit excessive grooming in that area or show aversion to being touched.

Diagnosis & Treatment Of Ear Hematomas In Cats

During your visit to the veterinarian, a thorough examination of your feline companion's ears will be conducted to check for mites or infections. These factors, along with injuries to the area, are common underlying causes of hematomas, particularly if your pet is susceptible to infections. In certain situations, your vet may opt to take a sample using a needle in order to confirm the specific nature of the condition.


The most frequently recommended approach for addressing ear hematomas is a simple surgical procedure. In cases where the hematoma is small or if your cat cannot undergo anesthesia safely, your veterinarian may attempt to drain the area using a needle. While this method may be suitable for certain hematomas, it is not ideal and the problem is likely to recur. Aural hematoma surgery offers a permanent solution to your pet's condition and can help minimize scarring.

Additionally, your vet will address the underlying cause of the hematoma, such as an infection or allergy, in order to provide comprehensive treatment.

Aural Hematoma Surgery For Cats

The procedure involves the veterinarian making a small surgical cut in the ear flap to drain the blood-filled pocket. Following that, the vet will use small sutures to close the pocket, preventing the reoccurrence of blood accumulation or infection. To provide additional protection against blood accumulation, the vet or veterinary surgeon will apply a bandage to the ear.

Post-Surgery Recovery

A cat ear after hematoma surgery wont be perfectly fixed. After the procedure, your cat may experience mild tenderness or discomfort for a few days. However, your veterinarian will prescribe medications to alleviate pain and prevent infection and inflammation.

To prevent your cat from scratching the surgical site and potentially causing complications such as inflammation, bleeding, pulled stitches, or infection, they will need to wear an Elizabethan collar.

Your vet will provide you with detailed instructions and valuable guidance on how to administer proper home care for your feline companion during their recovery at home. They will also inform you about when to schedule follow-up visits and have the stitches removed.

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.

Does your cat have a hematoma on their ear? Contact our Somerset team today to help your beloved pet feel better with our compassionate expert veterinary care.

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We're happily accepting new patients at Spinnaker Veterinary Clinic! Our experienced vets are committed to caring for pets in Somerset and surrounding areas. Reach out today to schedule your pet's first appointment. 

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