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Aural Hematoma’s in Rats

Although Aural Hematoma’s are normally found to effect Dogs and Cats it has also been reported to occur in Rats occasionally.

Aural Hematoma is not a common condition found in Rats, however, we felt that it still needed to be mentioned since Aural Hematomas are known to be quite painful and do require prompt vet care to be treated successfully.

Aural Hematomas occur within the ear flap and is caused by a broken blood vessel within the flap. This vessel allows blood and serum to fill the ear, which in turn gives the ear flap the appearance of a “pillow”.

The actual cause is difficult to diagnose with any animal until a veterinarian has had a chance to have a good look in the ear canal. Even after the vet has examined the animal, actual cause may still be unknown.

The breaking of the blood vessel usually occurs for the animals flicking or shaking the ear. The flicking or shaking is normally caused by something within the ear aggravating the animal. Basically anything that causes the animal to shake or flick their ear constantly can cause an Aural Hematoma to form.

As far as we know, there is nothing you can do to prevent or cause an Aural Hematoma to occur apart from doing regular checks on your Rats ears for foreign objects or excessive dirt. If your Rat is shaking or flicking its ears frequently it would be strongly recommended that you take your rat to the vet for a general check of the ear.

Treatment for an Aural Hematoma consists of the rat having surgery, much the same as is performed on a Dog or Cat.

An incision is made to allow the ear to drain of fluid & left open. Then multiple stitches are placed all over the ear so that the ear cannot fill with fluid again. The original cut made in the ear is left open to allow the ear to continue to drain until it heals by itself. The stitches are generally removed at around 3 weeks at which point the ear should be completely healed.