Figure 1: Auricular hematoma
Case history and photos
Tom is a 2 year, one month old male rat. He shares a powder-coated, two
level cage with one other male rat of the same age. He and his
cagemate share a room with another younger rat who is housed in a
It was first noticed that his ear was laying a bit flat to his head when the
other ear was pert. One day later, a bulge in the
center of his outer ear was observed. It was not red or irritated, but it was
blocking his inner ear. There were creases in the bulge that matched
where his ear was naturally folded in its normal state. At it’s largest,
the bulging was a little over a quarter inch in diameter.
With the exception of shaking his head a bit while grooming, he had no
change in behavior. When the ear was touched, he did not appear to have
No treatment recommended. The vet did not want to risk infection by
removing the buildup of blood. Instruction was to monitor him closely and
call if any changes observed such as: discomfort, or signs of infection. The vet
said that I could continue his favorite petting ritual — the squishing
of the ears.
The buildup of blood diminished without treatment approximately one week after it was first noticed. At the
time of this writing, there is still a small bulge. The ear appears to be
slightly disfigured where the blood receded. Tom no longer shakes his
head while grooming.
A second hematoma appeared in Tom’s other ear, but it was much
smaller and obviously caused by a small scrape, possibly from
grooming. That, too, has begun to recede approximately one week
Photo 1:Hematoma visible in ear.
Photo 2: Increasing size of hematoma
Photo 3: Hematoma seen here after 2 weeks.
Photo 4: Full side view of rat with auricular hematoma.
Posted on February 10, 2004, 17:37,
Last updated on April 8, 2010, 17:04