Wiki Toolbox

Cat Ear Hematomas

From Pet Health Learning Center

Revision as of 12:44, June 16, 2012 by Libbi (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Cat Ear Hematomas

Most veterinarians can honestly say that ear hematomas in animals is one of the most common ear problems that they have to treat. Cat ear hematomas need to be taken care of immediately and correctly, or else the conditions of the ear could take a turn for the worst.

These hematomas can be very painful for cats, and there are usually underlying medical conditions that are causing the hematoma that needs to be treated.

What is an ear hematoma?

An ear hematoma is a collection of blood in between the cartilage and the skin of the ear. The blood comes from a ruptured blood vessel in the ear, and the blood seeps into the empty space under the skin. After the blood leaks, pressure can start to build up from the ruptured blood vessel, which can cause many problems, including swelling and pain.

Ear hematomas can occur very quickly. In some cases, the swelling of the ear can occur only minutes after the blood vessel is ruptured. A cat that has an ear hematoma will most likely have a noticeably swollen ear that is filled with fluid. At first, the swelling can become extremely painful to the cat, even to the touch. But, the pain will eventually fade away after a few days. Even though the pain stops, the swelling will most likely continue, resulting in scar tissue that can deform the ear.

What cats are at risk?

Any cat can develop an ear hematoma. But, cats that are constantly shaking or scratching their ears are at the most risk, because the shaking and scratching can actually rupture a blood vessel.

Many cats scratch and/or shake their head due to chronic irritations. These chronic irritations can include Cat Ear Infections, Cat Ear Mites, and Cat Allergies. To protect your cat from ear hematomas, you should make sure that your cat doesn't suffer from these chronic irritations.


There are many different types of treatments that are available for cats who are diagnosed with ear hematomas. The type of treatment for each specific cat relies on some determining factors, including: personal preference of veterinarian, how soon the ear hematoma was identified, and the actual size and condition of the hematoma.

Obviously, getting a treatment for the hematoma is better if done as soon as possible, so you should be sure to pay attention to your cat's health and behavior.

The most common treatment for cat ear hematomas is a surgical procedure. The surgery consists of the veterinarian cutting open the site of the hematoma and draining the blood, followed by stitching up the hematoma, which can require numerous sutures.

Then, once the hematoma is taken care of, the veterinarian will most likely configure a plan to aid with the underlying problem that caused the hematoma, if it is diagnosed. Getting this done can help prevent other hematomas from forming in the future.

Another form of treatment is for the veterinarian to drain the blood from the hematoma with a syringe, thereby avoiding surgery. This type of treatment is in cases where the hematoma is relatively small or it is old and partially healed.


The best thing you can do for your cat is to prevent any ear hematomas from occurring in the first place. This can be done by taking your cat to the vet regularly and watching their behavior closely. If you notice any changes, especially if they are scratching or shaking their heads, take action immediately.

Ask an Expert


Dr. Janice Huntingford

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Customer Service

1 877 633-2401

Live chat by BoldChat

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report.

90 day money back guarantee