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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16685
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Swollen ear JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's

Customer Question

Swollen ear
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Emily age 5
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Emily?
Customer: She goes outside so maybe another cat bit her ear
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear about Emily's swollen, uncomfortable ear.Does this swelling feel like a water balloon?Is it part of the ear flap?Has she been shaking her head? 
Does she now or has she ever had an ear infection?Does it look like the cat in the link below? (can be smaller but this will give you a general idea) This sounds like an ear hematoma. This happens when a blood vessel in the ear breaks and the area inside the ear flap fills with blood. 
It is usually from them shaking their head/ears repeatedly from an ear infection or scratching their ear.
But sometimes they just shake their head a few times and hit the ear on something.Although these are uncomfortable they don't require emergency treatment. A visit to her regular veterinarian sometime in the next couple days is fine.If the swelling is very small (nickel size) it may heal on its own just fine as the blood is reabsorbed.
 But if it's larger then it may need to be drained and medication injected into the ear to reduce inflammation and/or have her ear sutured so it doesn't refill.To make her more comfortable today you can apply a cool compress, then pat dry, and apply cortisone cream (like Cortaid) twice daily to help reduce inflammation.If you notice any odor or increased waxy debris then he may have an early infection which started all this, and then she should definitely see her veterinarian for proper treatment no matter that size of the swelling is.If she is scratching at her ear quite a bit you can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at a dose of 1mg to 2mg per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours (one half of a 25mg tablet for a cat 8-15 pounds every 8 hours). This will reduce allergic itchiness and can make her sleepy which should help her leave the ear alone. Benadryl is very bitter and some cats will drool excessively or may even vomit because of that. That doesn't mean it is making her ill, she just hates the taste. If that's the case with her you can try a different antihistamine, Chlorpheniramine at 4mg twice daily. If she continues scratching then place an elizabethan collar (lampshade collar) so she cannot reach her ear.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara