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My cat has a hematoma in her ear, giant, ugly, painful and…

My cat has a...

My cat has a hematoma in her ear, giant, ugly, painful and it breaks open, she shakes her head and then there's a bloodbath. I've taken her to the vet several times. No one will perform surgery bc she's 19. She's otherwise healthy, hyperthyroidism. She gets .2ml of gabapenton nightly. Help? Advice?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name?

Baby

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Answered in 15 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Heath Wilkerson
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 546
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified

Hi Dr. W here. I'm sorry to hear this. I know this is uncomfortable for her. I have not had to perform surgery on an aural hematoma for years. The reason is because there is a good alternative using a prescription steroid liquid.

My usual "protocol" for aural hematomas is as follows:
1. Evaluate and treat the otitis (ear infection). There is always an underlying cause for the hematoma and usually it is otitis. Ensure to check for a foreign body as well.
2. Oral prednisolone/prednisone 1mg/kg/dy for 1 wk then taper slowly over the next few weeks.
3. Occasionally I will drain the hematoma with a needle or catheter.

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You may want to talk to your vet about this protocol and see if he/she would like to try it considering Baby's past medical history. It is a great alternative to surgery (and much cheaper). I hope this helps you! It’s my pleasure to help you and your pet! Please remember to “ACCEPT AN ANSWER” in the top right hand corner of your screen, AND RATE OUR CONVERSATION 5-STARS (so I will receive credit for helping you). Bonuses are always welcome. (I am not compensated in any other way). If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! I’ll be online for another hour or so. Thanks and have a great night! (or day depending on what time zone you are in :)

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
These were taken tonight, mtn standard.

Thank you for the pics! Those help a lot. Based on what I'm seeing there, and knowing that the steroids didn't resolve it, I would probably opt for a pain injection and then drain that with a syringe until it resolves. Have you done that as well?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I had only 1 out of 4 vets try. She didn't get anything out with a needle. She said the mass was mostly tissue. When it breaks open, it drains clear liquid, sometimes a little blood. Her age seems to be the deciding factor. No one will touch her bc she's 19 but I'm not going to put her to sleep. She's healthy except the mass on her ear.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
She has been taking gabapenton. It make her a zombie. It drains without provocation. The pressure builds and the skin breaks.

If it's just tissue, surgery wouldn't help. Have you tried installing a small catheter drain for a couple of weeks?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We have not. Since she has to wear the ecoller anyway bc she'd scratch her ear open if she could, I could ask the vet to put in a tube to drain it more efficiently.

Yes that is worth a try at this point

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
As a vet, when you see a cat or dog or any animal that is geriatric, do you discount them because of their age? I've seen only 1 vet who didn't automatically say, 'oh, she's 19, she's lived a long time. You should let her go.' It's just her ear!!! She's eating, drinking, she's active and uses the litter bin.

.

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No I don't. Especially not for an ear :(

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It’s my pleasure to help you and your pet! Please remember to “ACCEPT AN ANSWER” in the top right hand corner of your screen, AND RATE OUR CONVERSATION 5-STARS (so I will receive credit for helping you). Bonuses are always welcome. (I am not compensated in any other way). If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! I’ll be online for another hour or so. Thanks and have a great night! (or day depending on what time zone you are in :)

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you. You've helped me make a big decision; going back to the vet. Is it possible for me to update you when she comes back from the vet?

Yes please do. I would like hearing how it goes! (and I don't always get to hear so it leaves me wondering)

Heath Wilkerson
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 546
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified
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