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Aural Hematoma - What can I expect?

March 2nd, 2008, 08:53 PM
My cat has a very large aural hematoma in his Right ear. I took him to the vet here in Toronto on Thursday afternoon. He said there are risks involved with surgery because the cat is 12 years old, and the cat was absolutely freaking out - biting, growling, screaming and thrashing around - even with sedation. The vet didn't get a good look, but said the inner ear looks irritated. He put the cat on antibiotics, and said that if the hematoma fills the entire ear, it could block the ear canal- and get infected, etc...

Well, it's gotten a lot worse - I don't think it can get any bigger. Everywhere I read online, it says it will take care of itself - with the obvious future scarring. I'm just wondering when it will stop growing! He's miserable, has lost his appetite from the antibiotics, has a bit of the runs from the same, and I just don't know what to do. Anyone have any advice? I just feel like the longer I wait, the bigger the thing gets! But I was quoted 400 dollars for the surgery and don't want to put the cat through it with all of the risks, and with his absolute fear of the vet.

Any advice that can help me know what to expect from this thing would be great!


March 3rd, 2008, 06:10 AM
I have never had a pet with hematoma, but I am pretty sure somebody on this forum will have some experience.

There is risks at all ages for cats to be put under anesthetic (humans too), but I believe there is blood work a vet can do prior to determine some of the risks.

If the ear is not getting any better, and your cat is not eating, your only choice may be surgery. A cat that does not eat is at risk for fatty liver disease and some cats once they stop eating for any length of time, it is hard to get them to start eating again.

You can call around to other vets in your area to find out how much they charge for the surgery/blood work, you may be surprised the difference in fees.

March 3rd, 2008, 09:11 AM
We've had dogs with hematomas, but we had all of them surgically drained if it became apparent that they weren't healing on their own. So I'm not sure how bad it can get. The risk of infection may be as dangerous for your cat as the risk of surgery. Tough call to make. :grouphug:

As for the cost, see if your vet will allow you to pay on an installment plan. That will make the money crunch a little less painful.

Good luck, breyeguy. Please keep us posted.

March 4th, 2008, 06:59 PM
I took him to another vet today for a second opinion. This vet said he's not ruling out surgury, but said that it will eventually go down and leave some disfigurment, but it's not causing the cat much pain. It would be far worse to put it through the surgury and the aftercare. Plus, the cat is so anti-vet that he said it would need to be put under anestheic again to remove the sutures. He quoted 850 dollars for the whole deal! So, I've decided to give it some more time - he also gave some drops. Poor little guy.

March 4th, 2008, 07:52 PM
:goodvibes: that it resolves on its own for your kitty's sake, then. He sounds like me...I hate seeing doctors, too! :D

Has the poor dear gotten his appetite back yet? :fingerscr

December 1st, 2008, 10:41 AM
An alternative to surgery.
We have been going through alot of trouble with our sheppard cross and an ongoing ear infection (3 months) and before we got it under good control we ended up with a hematoma about the size of a toonie in his right ear pinna.
My vet understands that we are on a tight budget and also that Topper is a 10year old overweight dog, so surgery was not the option we were looking for. She informed me that draining, even if steroids are injected afterwards is often not effective (often refills). Surgery is effective but very messy and long healing time.

Her suggestion was to treat with low dose declining prednisone for 1 month. She stated that she had had good success with this in the past with two other dogs. Although the blood screen to make sure that Topper could handle the prednisone cost us around 130$ the drugs themselves were only 25$ for the month, all considerably less than sugery.
We are now less than a week into the prednisone and the hematoma has shrunk very noticeably!!! With no sign of deformity. The only side effects we see are a very increased thirst and so more trips outside!!!

We are very excited as in a very short time we are getting our dog back! His right ear is finally coming back up and he is walking straight again. He is less lethargic and actively seeking attention again. (Likley due to the ear infection finally healing)

I should also add that he is on an antibiotic for 3 weeks to heal the ear infection (we did a culture and finally found one that seems to be working) and an antifungal for his feet as with the stress of the ear infection he also licked his paws to the point of a yeast infection.

I know this is a very long post, but I looked online everywhere before and after my first vet visit and NOT ONCE did I see this treatment listed. If your vet is not aware of this as a treatment for hematoma, it may be worth mentioning. (Not sure if it would work for cats).

Good Luck!