aural hematoma in cats

What is Aural Hematoma in Cats?

What is it?

Aural hematoma in cats is a condition with blood collection in the ear flap or pinna. It is often caused by trauma or injury to the ear and can be painful and uncomfortable for the cat. In addition, aural hematoma can lead to complications such as infection and scarring if left untreated.

How is it Treated?

Cat treatment for an aural hematoma typically involves draining the blood from the affected area and applying pressure to prevent a recurrence. In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove clotted blood and scar tissue and prevent the ear from collapsing. Treatment may also include antibiotics to prevent infection and pain management medications from reducing discomfort.

Breed Predispositions

Scottish Fold American Shorthair Himalayan Persian


While giving her energetic Bengal cat, Daisy, a good ear rub, Maria noticed an unusual swelling on the cat’s ear flap. Worried about her feline companion’s well-being, she scheduled an appointment with her veterinarian for a thorough examination. After a detailed assessment, the vet diagnosed Daisy with an aural hematoma, a condition that can affect cats of any age or breed.

An aural hematoma in cats is a blood collection in a their ear canal. They are painful lumps behind the ear of domestic cats. This condition usually occurs after a feline suffers trauma to its head, neck, or ears. If left untreated, these lumps can cause pain and infection.

Most AHs are small and painless, but some grow large enough to cause discomfort or interfere with eating and drinking. The most common cause of FAH is an injury to the pinna, the external ear canal. Other possible causes of ear hematomas include infections, inflammation, foreign bodies, tumors, neoplasia, and congenital disabilities.

Types of Aural Hematoma in Cats

  • Acute hematomas

Acute aural hematoma (AAH) is common in dogs and cats. It is caused by minor injuries and tends to form quickly and heal within a few days. It occurs when bleeding is inside the ear canal, the underside of the ear, or any external part. The blood collects behind the eardrum, causing swelling and pressure. This may lead to hearing loss, pain, and discomfort.

The hematoma will eventually cause permanent damage to the inner ear if your cat doesn’t get the necessary treatment. Fortunately, most cases resolve naturally within a couple of days. However, some pets require medical treatment.

  • Chronic hematomas

Chronic aural hematoma (CAH) is an ear condition where blood accumulates in the inner surface of the ear. It develops over several weeks and may persist for weeks or months. It usually requires veterinary attention. CAH occurs when there is a blockage somewhere along the eustachian tube. This causes fluid pressure to build up behind the tympanic membrane, pushing it down toward the neck of the petrous bone. The result is a painful swelling of the ear drum.

Causes of Cat Ear Hematoma

Falling off a table or couch is the most common cause of aural hematoma in cats. Cats who fall from heights often land face down on hard surfaces, causing the ears to strike against furniture or walls. The impact causes bleeding inside the ear canal, resulting in severe swelling and pain.

Other factors contributing to aural hematoma formation include excessive scratching, age, breed, diet, genetics, and health conditions. Older cats are more likely to develop aural hematomas due to natural wear and tear on the body. Breeds predisposed to developing aural hematomas are Siamese, Persian, Himalayan, Russian Blue, Maine Coon, American Shorthair, and Burmese.

Causes of Aural Hematoma in cats
  • Diet plays a role in whether or not a cat develops aural hematomas. Some foods contain ingredients that can irritate the lining of the eardrum, leading to inflammation and swelling. Foods that are commonly associated with aural hematomas in cats include chicken, beef, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese.
  • Genetics is also another factor that causes AH. Certain breeds are more susceptible to aural hematomas than others. For example, Persians are much more likely to develop a problem than other breeds.
  • Health conditions also affect the likelihood of a cat developing AH. For example, cats who suffer from diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, thyroid problems, allergies, and seizures are more likely to experience aural hematomas because of these diseases’ effects on the body.

Symptoms of Aural Hematoma in Cats

Cats who suffer from aural hematomas typically experience pain and discomfort in the affected area. Sometimes, the cat will try to lick or bite the size to relieve the pain. Painful swelling is often accompanied by fever, lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The node may be large enough to block the cat’s eardrum. Symptoms usually appear suddenly after a blow to the head or neck area. However, some cases occur gradually over several days.

Here are other signs you should look out for:

  • ear drooping
  • underlying ear infection
  • difficulty hearing
  • bleeding from the nose
  • excessive licking of the affected area
  • scratching or head shaking

Diagnosis of Ear Hematoma in Cats

Diagnosis begins with a thorough history and physical examination. Diagnostic imaging includes radiography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

  1. Radiographic studies show the location of the lump and its size. This type of x-ray uses radiation to create pictures of internal organs and bones.
  2. Computed tomography scans allow vets to see inside the skull and detect bone fractures. It used X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of the body.
  3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows vets to view soft tissue structures and organs. It uses radio waves instead of X-rays to create detailed images of soft tissues.

CT and MRI are helpful tools for diagnosing aural hematomas, but both are flawed. So, it’s always better to combine both methods to ensure accuracy. For example, MRI can show fluid around the eardrum, while CT shows bone changes. In addition, combining the results of both tests gives you a clearer picture of the problem.

Other diagnostic techniques include ultrasonography, otoscopy, and biopsy. These methods are less accurate than radiography but can give valuable information about the condition. So, when diagnosing aural hematomas, it’s essential to consider all available options. In addition, use multiple diagnostic techniques to ensure accuracy.

Treatment for Ear Hematoma in Cats

There are several treatments for aural hematoma in cats. The first step is to treat the underlying cause of the bleeding. This is done through medication, home remedies, steroids, surgery, or combinations.

Treatment for Ear Hematoma in Cats
  • Steroid injections are often used to stop the bleeding. Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that decrease swelling and pain. However, they can cause side effects, including weight gain, increased appetite, hair loss, and skin thinning.
  • Home remedies include applying a warm compress to the area to decrease swelling, keeping the cat friendly, and feeding your special cat diets. Do not use ice packs because they can cause further bleeding. Keep your pet calm during treatment. Avoid touching the ears or rubbing them. This can irritate the skin and worsen the condition.
  • Surgery is another option. Surgery involves removing the affected tissue and placing many sutures to close the wound closed. This includes draining the fluid via needle puncture or open incision and applying pressure over the affected area. Surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia.
  • Combinations of medications, home remedies, and surgery are sometimes used together. For example, steroids may be injected with antibiotics, and surgery may be combined with other procedures.
  • A follow-up visit is necessary to ensure your cat’s ear heals continuously and underlying causes are gone. 

Prevention of Feline Aural Hematoma

There are several ways to prevent aural hematoma in cats from forming.

  1. Try to avoid feeding your raw cat meat. Raw meats can contain bacteria that can infect the ear canal.
  2. Make sure that your cat gets plenty of exercise. Exercise helps to strengthen muscles and bones, which reduces the risk of injury.
  3. If your cat aggressively scratches or licks his ears, try to stop him immediately to lessen the risk of inflammation. Licking and obsessive scratching of the ears can also lead to ear infections and bleeding.

It is also essential to clean your cat’s ears regularly. First, remove excess hair and debris from the inside and sides of the ears. Then, gently wipe the outside of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in warm water. Do this every day until the problem goes away. Finally, recheck the ear canal for any foreign objects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, aural hematomas can burst when they become too large. This happens when blood accumulates behind the eardrum and causes pressure inside the ear canal. As a result, your cat may not be able to hear correctly for several days.

If your cat is bleeding from her ears, you must immediately take her to the veterinarian. If you wait too long, the bleeding could become worse. Instead, try giving your cat Vitamin E supplements. Try This supplement contains antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. However, you should only give your cat Vitamin E if you see signs of bleeding from her ears. If you notice any symptoms like excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, go to the nearest animal hospital immediately.

Home remedies for draining aural hematoma in cats include applying ice packs and elevating the affected part. However, these treatments may only temporarily relieve symptoms. Home treatment does not remove the underlying problem. Your vet may recommend drainage of the hematoma through a needle puncture. This procedure requires sedation or anesthesia. Draining a hematoma at home is not recommended because it could lead to complications such as infection, nerve damage, scarring, or even amputation.

A hematoma does not require medical attention unless it becomes painful or causes swelling. There are some cases where it heals itself naturally. This causes the blood vessels inside to break down and drain through the ear canal. It is considered cured when it becomes more minor and less painful. This happens naturally after several weeks without treatment. However, if the hematoma does not decrease in size or become less painful, then it should be treated. Treatment options include ice packs, elevation, compression bandages, and medications.

An aural hematoma takes approximately three weeks to heal completely, but your cat will likely feel better sooner. After surgery, your pet’s ear must rest quietly for several days. They will probably require antibiotics to prevent infection. During recovery, keep your cat warm and dry. Do not let them get too hot. Keep your cat’s food and water bowls clean and fresh. Make sure that your cat gets plenty of exercise. Exercise helps your cat recover faster.

A cat with an ear hematoma can live as long as the hematoma is not enlarged or causes pain. The hematoma should be surgically removed if it becomes more extensive, inflamed, or painful. In addition, the hematoma may also need to be treated if the cat has other health issues, such as anemia or a weak immune system.

Repeated applications of warm compresses to the hematoma followed by cool compresses should help to reduce swelling and ease the pain. If there is significant bleeding, a veterinarian may need to lance or inject the hematoma with a numbing agent to control the bleeding.

Yes, aural hematoma in cats are painful, and pain levels vary from cat to cat. Some cats may experience mild discomfort or an occasional hiss when breathing, while others may be highly uncomfortable.

Suppose you can get your cat to a veterinarian soon after they exhibit any signs of bleeding in its ears. In that case, the vet can aspirate the hematoma and put pressure on it using a thread or cotton ball inserted into each ear. If this is not possible, antibiotic ointment may be applied twice daily until the hematoma resolves.

Hematomas can eventually rupture and cause significant bleeding inside your cat’s head if it doesn’t receive the necessary medical treatment. This condition can be fatal if not treated promptly. If you notice any swelling, redness, or decreased activity in your cat’s head, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible for an evaluation. A hematoma can be diagnosed by examination of the affected area and may require surgery to remove the blood clot. Treatment may include medications and surgery to relieve pressure on the brain.

Hematomas usually last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Keeping the cat warm and comfortable is essential, as heat helps speed healing. One way to help your cat heal from a hematoma is to perform regular veterinary checkups. If the hematoma is not causing any distress or there are no other signs of injury, your veterinarian may remove the fluid and bandage the area.

Ear hematomas are often benign and don’t usually cause any harm to cats. However, it could be fatal if the large hematoma causes brain or spinal cord compression. In rare cases, a ruptured ear hematoma can also result in serious medical complications. Therefore, if your cat has an ear hematoma, it’s essential to take him to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

The cost of cat hematoma surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure and location. Generally, surgeries that involve removing blood clots or repairing damage to delicate internal organs will be more costly than procedures that remove the hematoma. The price for a cat hematoma surgery may range from $1,000 to $5,000, with most costs falling within this range.

An ear hematoma is a mass or swelling in the Ear canal. It can be either red, orange, yellow, or white and may look like a grape or plum without the stem. Ear hematomas can develop from various sources, including trauma (falling or getting hit in the head), infection (such as otitis media or acute mastoiditis), and tumors.

Ear hematoma will eventually heal; recovery is generally quick and relatively uneventful. Patients usually experience minimal pain and mild discomfort during the first few days after surgery. After that, they may need to stay in bed for a few days but can typically resume their regular activities within a few weeks.

Ear scratching and shaking cause the cat’s aural hematomas to rupture and bleed. Otitis externa is a bacterial ear infection that can lead to inflammation and redness. Ear mites are another common cause of otitis externa, often as scratching or shaking ears.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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