feline auricular hematoma
Cat Behavior 101,  Cats,  Holistic cat care

Odin’s New Cauliflower Ears: Feline Auricular Hematoma

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Odin’s New Cauliflower Ears: Feline Auricular Hematoma by Layla Morgan Wilde-

No, my cat Odin’s didn’t suddenly want to become a Scottish Fold but he has new ears. His ears changed because of feline auricular hematoma or “cauliflower ear”.

feline auricular hematoma-cauliflower ear
I first encountered cauliflower ears many years ago on Odin’s feline friend Mystery Miss and wrote about it. Good timeless info. Vet 101 and Cauliflower Ear
mystery miss-before-after cauliflower ear
Despite numerous scrapes on Odin’s outdoor adventures, he’s avoided cauliflower ears until recently. Two years ago, dear OTRB Nou Nou developed an auricular hematoma from her chronic scratching from a neurological condition. The hematoma was small, the vet drained it and it healed well. Her vet said it might return and it did. The vet drained it again. Thankfully it didn’t require surgery and she recovered without further incident.
Odin’s experience was different. He might have had a run-in with Big Black Bart, a neighborhood cat. Odin is very conflict avoidant and won’t fight with anyone unless he has to. He has lost his GPS collar twice in thick, spiky underbrush and returned with scratches. I didn’t notice anything unusual until his ear felt warmer and looked thicker and more pink. When a small pocket of fluid formed, it was time to see the vet, a different one from Nou Nou.
feline auralicular hematoma
Every cat, every situation and every vet is different. Odin’s vet felt that the hematoma was so small, it didn’t need draining let alone surgery. Surgery is invasive, expensive and often avoidable. He said, draining often just fills up again. We opted to let nature take it’s course with antibiotic ointment and Vetericyn. The ear healed with a cute floppiness and then a couple months later, his other ear developed a similar hematoma. Another vet visit, the same treatment and same outcome. And now he has matching ears.
feline auricular hematoma

Cauliflower ear, or aural or auricular hematoma, is a condition that can occur in cats when blood accumulates in the ear flap. The ear flap, also known as the pinna, is composed of cartilage covered by skin. When a cat experiences trauma or irritation to the ear, it can cause the blood vessels in the ear flap to rupture and bleed into the space between the cartilage and the skin.

This accumulation of blood is known as an aural hematoma. Over time, the blood can become trapped and harden, causing the ear flap to become swollen and deformed, similar in appearance to a cauliflower.

Causes of Cauliflower Ear in Cats:

The most common cause of cauliflower ear in cats is injury to the ear, which can result from various factors such as fighting with other animals or scratching at their ears excessively. Additionally, ear mites or infections can cause cats to scratch and irritate their ears, leading to the development of an aural hematoma. Certain breeds of cats with floppy ears, such as the Scottish Fold, are also more prone to developing cauliflower ear due to their ear structure.

Symptoms of Cauliflower Ear in Cats:

The symptoms of cauliflower ear in cats are usually quite visible and can include swelling and thickening of the ear flap, as well as a lumpy, irregular appearance. The affected ear may feel warm to the touch and be painful for the cat, leading to a reluctance to be touched or handled. Additionally, the cat may shake its head or scratch at the affected ear in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.

feline auricular hematoma

Treatment of Cauliflower Ear in Cats:

If you suspect your cat has cauliflower ear, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Left untreated, the condition can cause permanent disfigurement and hearing loss, as well as infection and other complications.

The treatment of cauliflower ear in cats typically involves draining the accumulated blood from the ear flap, followed by the placement of sutures or staples to hold the skin and cartilage in place while the area heals. The cat may also be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection.

NSAIDs specially formulated for cats such as Onsior are often prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.

According to Dr. Daniel Aldridge, a veterinarian at Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Florida, “the success of treatment for cauliflower ear depends on the severity of the hematoma and the cat’s individual response to treatment. In some cases, the ear may never fully return to its original shape and may be slightly deformed.”

feline auricular hematoma

Alternative Treatments

There are some alternative treatments that may help reduce the severity of cauliflower ear in cats and aid in the healing process. These include:

  1. Applying warm compresses: You can use a warm compress to help increase blood flow to the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  2. Topical creams: There are some topical creams and ointments that may help reduce inflammation and promote healing. However, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before using any topical treatments on your cat.
  3. Homeopathy: Some pet owners believe that homeopathic remedies can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

It’s important to note that while these alternative treatments may provide some relief for your cat, they are not a substitute for professional veterinary care. If you suspect that your cat has cauliflower ear, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Note: If there is no treatment, the blood with eventually be reabsorbed within a few weeks, However, this is a slow and uncomfortable if not painful healing time. The ear will not recover to its original shape and form a crinkled, lopsided appearance.

Preventing Cauliflower Ear in Cats:

The best way to prevent cauliflower ear in cats is to avoid situations that can lead to ear trauma or irritation. This includes keeping cats indoors to prevent fighting with other animals and regularly cleaning and inspecting their ears for signs of infection or mites. If your cat is prone to ear infections, your veterinarian may recommend regular ear cleanings or the use of topical medications to prevent the buildup of wax and debris.

With Odin, it’s not tragic. His ears healed without much discomfort. His sweet large ears are now sweet tiny ears and they will remain as is.

Disclaimer. This is a sponsored post.

Tell me, do you have any experience with feline auricular hematoma?


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