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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30400
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a cat with an aural hematoma which has been drained

Customer Question

I have a cat with an aural hematoma which has been drained 3 times and now we have decided to "wait it out" -- it has been 16 days and no change. I realize it may be a month or so - but is there any possibility that it will simply not reabsorb or that leaving it alone will cause other possible damage?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
These always will reabsorb eventually leaving the pinna quite crinkled (boxer's ear). Draining these hematomas (only) is rarely effective. I would either lance the hematoma and leave the wound open to continue draining, place a teat tube (Dr. Larsen's teat tube used to keep teats on udders open), or lance and then suture the two sides of the ear together in order to eliminate the "dead space" in which fluid has been collecting. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will lancing and draining with a teat tube expedite the healing and possibly help with the boxer's ear? I have read that there are several approaches to suturing - have you treated a cat aural hematoma and have you found side suturing to be particularly effective vs other approaches? Is there an approach to suturing that might best help reduce boxer's ear?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
It may well be curative. It's my treatment of choice after trying every other method over the past 43 years. We've yet to find the one method that always works better than anything else. The teat tube obviates the need to sew the two sides of the ear together. Just one stitch holds the tube in place establishing continual drainage until the drainage eventually stops - usually within a week. The tube is then removed 2-4 weeks later. It's surprisingly not very messy and is well-tolerated by cats. The integrity of ear is usually nicely maintained because crinkling is kept to a minimum. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there a small teat tube that can be used in order to keep it on the cat ear for a week?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Yes, as mentioned above, I use a Dr. Larsen's teat tube designed for cow udders. It's inserted into a small opening I make into the hematoma and fixed in place by one stitch. Oscar's vet can look up this procedure. It's simple and requires only light and short-acting anesthesia.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Surgery today - now at home with 12 sutures and a very unhappy cat doing everything to get the E collar off....Four vets in the practice consulted on the procedure and could not do a teat tube in this situation .... hopefully the recovery will be quick and successful.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the good update. Those sutures should do the trick. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.