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Cats are subject to a number of ear problems. Some of them may be acquired through genetics, but others develop because of lifestyle or habits of the animal. The most common ear problem is otitis externa or inflammation of the outer ear. This condition can be acquired by ear mites that produce an allergic reaction, leading to intense itching. A secondary bacterial infection can often result. Wounds from fights with other animals or from contact with sharp objects in the environment are another common problem. An infection can result from these problems that require treatment with an antibiotic compound. A hematoma, or blood-filled swelling, can result from trauma and can be very painful. Surgery may be necessary to relieve the problem.
Yes, some ear diseases in cats are congenital, that is, they are a result of genetics and are present at birth. These diseases can include deformities in the ear canal or in the structure of the ears on the head. These problems may require surgical correction.
The ear canal thickens as cats get older, which can have an impact on their ability to hear. Tumors or polyps can develop that cause rupture of the eardrum. These problems may require surgery.
Your vet will first do a visual examination with a special device that helps to see what’s going on inside the cat’s ear. If necessary, additional examination and testing will be done to diagnose the problem. X-rays, CT scans or MRI may be used to accurately define the source of the problem. Tissue may also be taken from the cat’s ear for analysis.
To help prevent ear diseases in cats, you should regularly inspect the animal’s ears for signs of discharge, wounds or ear mites. Talk to your veterinarian about preventative measures for ear mites. Keep a clean environment to reduce the risk for mite infestation and infectious agents. Finally, take your cat to the vet regularly for physical exams to maintain its general health.
A veterinarian with experience in treating ear diseases in cats can diagnose and treat these problems quickly and effectively. The vet can provide appropriate ear mite treatments, antibiotics or surgical procedures that will eliminate the problem so your cat can be more comfortable and can hear more clearly.
Animal Hospital of Onslow County offers veterinary care for animals in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. We provide examinations, wellness care, vaccinations, dental care, flea and tick prevention, spay and neuter surgery and treatment for gastrointestinal problems, skin problems and ear diseases in cats. We also provide emergency and urgent care for injured animals. Call the Animal Hospital of Onslow County at (910) 353-1722 for an appointment to discuss the best ways to keep your cat’s ears healthy and functioning well.
Dr. Corry has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets.
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