Figure 1: Auricular hematoma in male rat (Tom).
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 separate cage.
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 any discomfort.
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 after appearing.
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.