Ear Cancer Average Cost

From 539 quotes ranging from $3,000 - 8,000

Average Cost

$6,000

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What is Ear Cancer?

Ear canal tumors are most often found in the external ear canal and the outer ear. In rare cases, tumors can occur in the inner or middle ear. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is critical for the cat’s survival.

Two primary forms of cancer that affect the ears of cats are squamous cell carcinoma and ear canal tumors. Squamous cell carcinoma most commonly presents as a red, crusty areas around the ears. The sores, or ulcers, may occur intermittently and are usually flat, irregularly shaped and scaly. If the sores are noticed early enough and proper treatment is administered the prognosis is generally good. Unfortunately, the carcinoma is likely to reoccur after removal and may metastasize to other areas of the body. 

Symptoms of Ear Cancer in Cats

The primary symptom of squamous cell carcinoma is the presence of bleeding ulcers on the ears. In advanced stages, the tips of the ears may disappear, leaving a noticeable deformity.

Ear canal tumors usually cause symptoms on one side of the head only. Owners should look or the presence of one or more of the following:

  • Ear discharge (may be waxy, pus-filled, or bloody) 
  • Foul odor
  • Head shaking
  • Ear scratching
  • Swelling
  • Draining abscess below affected ear
  • Deafness

When tumors are located in the inner ear, affected cats may present additional symptoms including:

  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty blinking
  • Other neurological problems or coordination 
  • Head tilt

Causes of Ear Cancer in Cats

Squamous cell carcinoma is most often caused by ultraviolet (UV) damage from excess sun exposure. It is most common in white cats with white ears. In rare cases, the condition can develop following severe burn damage. It is possible for squamous cell carcinoma to affect dark-colored cats or develop on areas that are covered by hair. This is the result of a disorder called Bowen’s disease that may be associated with the presence of a virus.

Tumors in the ear canal have not been definitively connected to a specific cause. Ongoing ear canal inflammation may cause the growth of abnormal cells that can develop into tumors. Cats with a history of ear infections tend to be more prone to this condition. Middle-aged or older cats are more likely to be affected than younger cats, and the tumors are more likely to be malignant than benign.

Diagnosis of Ear Cancer in Cats

The first step will be a full review of the cat’s medical history. Owners should make the vet aware of any sores that the cat has had in the recent past, even of other factors are thought to be to blame. The vet will perform a thorough physical exam to look for other sores on the body and will likely order common lab tests like a complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and electrolyte panel. Enlarged lymph nodes or a high white blood cell count may indicate the presence of an infection. Chest and skull x-rays may be performed to check for tumors or other abnormalities. A biopsy can be performed to determine whether the tumor is a carcinoma, benign mass, or other skin condition. This is often done as a last resort as it typically requires general anesthesia.

If an inner-ear tumor is suspected, the vet may sedate the cat and complete a deep otoscopic examination. Other diagnostic methods may include CT scan, MRI, and biopsy. 

Treatment of Ear Cancer in Cats

Treatment recommendations will depend on the type of cancer, the size of the ulcers or tumor, and whether it has spread.

Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma 

If only one small ulcer is present, the vet may freeze and remove it using cryosurgery. If the ulcer is large or multiple sores are present, traditional surgery will be required. The external area of the cat’s ear, called the pinna, is usually removed. In some cases, a portion of the ear canal may be removed as well. Cats are usually able to adapt to the change and heal fairly well following surgery. Chemotherapy is less effective than surgery, but may be recommended in cases where surgical removal is not an option. The vet may recommend a consultation with a veterinary cancer specialist for further treatment recommendations.

Treatment of Ear Canal Tumors 

When ear canal tumors are present, surgical removal is required. This is best performed by a board-certified surgical specialist, especially when the inner-ear is involved. The most common surgery is known as a total ear canal ablation (TECA). It involves the removal of the entire ear canal and a thorough cleaning of the inner ear. When surgery fails to remove the entire tumor, radiation may be used to slow tumor growth and minimize pain.

Recovery of Ear Cancer in Cats

Cats with squamous cell carcinoma should be kept indoors and out of the sun as much as possible. If the cat must be outside in the daytime, sunscreen should be applied to the ears and nose. For cats that enjoy sitting in windowsills, the addition of a reflector or shade will help to block UV rays. Owners should watch closely for the outbreak of new sores and follow up with a veterinarian if reoccurrence is suspected. If the treatment was administered quickly enough and the cancer has not spread, prognosis for cats with squamous cell carcinoma is generally positive.

Cats with ear canal tumors usually survive for about a year following aggressive surgery. If more conservative treatment options are elected, prognosis worsens significantly. Throughout the remainder of the cat’s life, regular veterinary check-ups will be necessary.

Ear Cancer Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Pepsi
tabby
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Middle ear tumor, ear infections
Middle ear tumor,

Cat diagnosed with middle ear tumor. She is maybe 12-ish years old. I read somewhere that average cat lifespan is 14-16 years old. And, read somewhere else that middle ear tumors are more likely to be cancerous than not, with survival rate about 1 year after aggressive surgery. I am going to do a biopsy and talk to my vet more, but for the moment let's assume it's cancerous. If it is, it seems I should just do what I can to keep her comfortable, given her age (which is approximate). However, I don't want to be making decisions on info that's not correct, so... Questions: What is the average lifespan of an indoor-only cat? Are middle ear tumors cancerous more often than not? What is the likely lifespan after a cancerous ear tumor is removed? How does age affect that likely lifespan? If the tumor is not cancerous, it seems it may be more reasonable to do the surgery. Is it? What are the risks and likely outcomes of surgery on a non-cancerous middle ear tumor? Anything else I should consider to figure out what to do next?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Indoor cats can live to be 16-20; middle ear tumors can be either malignant or benign, there isn't any way of knowing without a biopsy; lifespan after surgery depends on many factors individual to the cat; Whether the surgery needs to be done depends again on the type of growth. Risks and benefits depend on the type of growth, but there are risks of nerve damage and infection. I think that you need to have a conversation with your veterinarian to ask all of these questions, and get all of your concerns addressed, as they know more about the specifics of Pepsi's situation, and can comment specifically rather than the vague answers that I have to give you, as I don't know very much about her status. It is very good that you are doing your homework to make the best decision!

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Dessibell
Black and white
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Cancer discharge in her ear

My cat had her ears off as one ear was very badley gunked up with sores, puss, blood etc... but it has started again an going into her head... I am not going to have any more surgery on it, for many reasons.. I now am giving her daily antibiotics & painkillers in her food from the vet.
Her ear is still really irretating her & it looks soooo sore & flicking stuff from it all the time. Having said that she is purring eatting & moving around fine& her eyes are bright & her furr is healthy... How long can she go on, on this medicine & with her pain from her ear?? I dont think its time to have her put down yet??

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Without examining Dessibell, I cannot say how bad her symptoms are but if she is in good spirits otherwise I would take each day as it comes; however, if she starts to show signs of pain, discomfort, presents additional symptoms or anything else concerning you should take her back to your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jokes
Domestic Shorthair Tabby
3 years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

scratching

My cat has been scratching below his cheek and below his ear in the same location for about a month. I have ruled out ear mites with optic solution and recent revolution treatment. I also checked out his gums and teeth (he does have gingivitis), brushed his teeth and gave him a cat gel solution for the mouth. He is still itching. He does have pigmentation (I think is lentigo) in his ear, which is flat, not raised and it just looks like freckles. He eats well, and doesn't seem ill. I will follow up with vet but worried sick that he might have ear cancer.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes for a cat to be scratching themselves in one particular spot which may include ear infections, ear mites, dental issues, other infections, other parasites, allergies among other causes. You should visit your Veterinarian for a general check up to make sure that there isn’t something more serious going on or something which would only be picked up by a physical examination by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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KITTY
DOMEST SHORT HAIR
14 APPROX
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

HEAD SHAKING, SCRATCHING, RUB BROWS, SCRACT MUZZLE

MY 14 YR OLD FEMALE DIABETIC (CONTROLLED WITH DIET) TUXEDO CAT HAS HAD CHRONIC 10 YEAR HISTORY OF EAR ISSUES. DIET AM. IS 1/2 CAN FANCY FEAST LOWEST CARB WET AND AT NIGHT ZERO CARB CAT KIBBLE. MANY MANY VET TRIPS AND STILL CAT HAS HEAD SHAKING, TILTING HEAD, MUCH SCRATCHING SCRUFF NECK AND MUZZLE AREA AND BEHIND EAR. SHE RUBBED BROW SO MUCH AND HAS OUTER SORE LITTLE BLOOD ON IT. NOTHING HAS HELPED. VET MOST RECENT OV SAID ONLY THING HE SEES A TINY BIT OF SWELLING AT BASE OF EAR DRUM. NO INFECTION. SHE SEEMS TO LOVE WHEN I USE A SOFT BRUSH AND RUB HER EARS AND SNOUT WITH IT, ANY SUGGESTIONS - SHE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE IN PAIN. JUST THIS CONSTANT SHAKING AND SCRATCHING.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

There are many possible causes including allergies, environmental irritants, irritation to cleaning detergents, infections, food intolerances, small foreign body in the ear canal, hormonal conditions (apart from diabetes) and other conditions. Intradermal allergy testing may indicate some possible causes, but administration of an antihistamine would alleviate symptoms if allergies were the cause. Otherwise, stopping her from scratching and treating any irritation or wounds to prevent further scratching. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kenzie
domestic short hair
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Tips of ears point back and dry

Hi,

I've recently taken over care of a friends cat. The cats ear kind of flick backwards, the owner said they had done that for as long as they could remember. The cat was given to them about two years ago, any of it's history is unknown. The tips of the ears are dry and sometimes peel, the owner said they think it could be sunburn. I haven't noticed any ulcers or anything major like that. She's a white cat. Is this sunburn or could it be early signs of cancer?

Thanks

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Without looking at Kenzie’s ears I cannot say whether it is sunburn, cancer, vasculitis or irritation; you should have a Veterinarian take a look as well as giving Kenzie a thorough examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bitty
Bengal
4 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pink looking bubble, running discharge, itching,sh

What do tumors in a cats ear look like.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

Is the problem on the ear itself (pinna) or in the ear canal? Inside the ear, a tumour of the ceruminous glands (produces ear wax) can look pink with strange looking discharge. On the outer ear, squamous cell carcinoma s more common and can be pink with black crusts. Either way, it would be best to get Bitty to her Veterinarian so that a visual examination and possibly a biopsy taken to determine the cause and to either treat or remove depending on the primary cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kitty
Ferral
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bloody blubus blister which crusts
Bloody

My cat has a problem with the outer edge of her ear. It started with a black patch and quickly transformed into a bloody lump with a crust on. When the crust comes off which seems to be part of a cycle there is a lot of bleeding, it reduces in size and then builds up once more over the next few days. The vet diagnosed ringworm and I have to give Zodon by mouth daily and spray the ears with a disinfectant spray. It does not seem to be helping. It grows an reduces as if it has a cycle. I have had 3 visits to the vet

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Ear crusts may be caused by infections, skin gland disorders, squamous cell carcinoma among other causes; without examining Kitty it is difficult to say what the specific cause is but if your Veterinarian is suspecting ringworm, a sample should be taken for confirmation if there has been no improvement since the start of treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Clyde
Dlh
15 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

scratching ear head tilt

Hello, my 15 yr old diabetic (Insulin 2 x daily 2 units of Lantus) has a small ear polyp, we have been using drops for inflammation and he has had one infection, but gone now...after 2 flushings and drops. Now he has scratched ALL the hair off the ear, what can we use to help him stop scratching. We had a cone on for 2 weeks and he had hard time eating/sleeping so we took it off. Any advise? Also do you think we should do surgery at this age and being diabetic. What about just extracting it with the tweezer/tongs? Just for some temporary relief. We just want to make him comfortable?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
If Clyde is scratching to the point where you need an E-Collar, he is obviously uncomfortable and I think the polyp needs to be taken care of somehow to stop that problem for him. Polyps are quite firmly attached, so extracting it with tweezers would be quite painful and not a good idea. Depending on the size and location of the polyp, your veterinarian may be able to at least remove some of it under an anesthetic to provide relief, as often the polyp is not the problem as much as the fact that it blocks the ear canal and leads to ear infections and problems. Without seeing Clyde, I'm not sure what the best option might be, but it would be a good idea to discuss those options with your veterinarian so that he can be comfortable.

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Max
Orange tabby
16 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itching

My cat is an outdoor 16 year old orange tabby who has skin cancer, most likely squamous cell carcinoma. He seems comfortable and happy other than being itchy. He is an older cat and we are just letting him live out his days as comfortably As possible. Is there any ointment or type of bath we could do that would at least relieve the itching? He keeps opening the scabs from itching so he’s in a cone but still tries to itch his head so we’re hoping to give him some relief

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that that has happened to Max, but appreciate that you are trying to keep him comfortable. Sometimes a secondary problem with these tumors can be bacterial infection, which can itch quite intensely and make things worse. It might be helpful for him to have a check up with a veterinarian, let them know that you want to keep him comfortable, and see if he needs antibiotics - they'll also be able to prescribe a topical anti-inflammatory ointment or topical anesthetic that you may be able to use to keep him from being in pain. I hope that everything goes well for him.

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Muffin
11 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Ear Lesion

hi my white cat has some dark marks on his ears , the vet suggested that we have the tips removed to prevent cancer in future. He says he doesn't have it currently. Is this necessary ? Also what cost would this normally be for the operation

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

It sounds like Muffin has the start of Squamous Cell Carcinoma which is common in white cats; it is a malignant and invasive tumour and early surgical removal is the treatment of choice, it is caused by excessive sun exposure. The cost of the surgery varies depending on your Veterinarian, location and severity; generally the surgery isn’t long and is quite simple so wouldn’t cost more than other surgeries that require opening a body cavity. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harry
Unknown
23 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Crusted/bleeding

My cat is anywhere from 22-25 years old. He is primarily an outdoor cat and is completely white. He has had crusted ears for a while now. It is constantly bleeding and never heals. It is even causing deformity in the edges of his ears. He still seems incredibly happy and appears to be in no pain. From my research, I have started to believe it is squamous cell carcinoma. Do I sound correct in this assumption? Furthermore, will it be treatable, given his age? We don't have the funds for any crazy expensive operations.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It does sound stereotypical of squamous cell carcinoma given the location and your description; treatment options would be limited and may not be worthwhile given Harry’s age. I would take Harry into your Veterinarian for an examination to confirm and to explore available options which may just be a wait and see approach given the circumstances. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/SquamousCellCancer.cfm

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Pi
American Shorthair
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Head scratching
Ear Lesion
Head Shaking
cancer
Rapid growing squamous cell carcinoma in ear canal

Medication Used

Peroxide
Derma-vet Ointment

My 12 yr. old
Tuxedo boy Pi, has confirmed Squamous Cell Carcinoma in his ear canal. There is not a vet/oncologist within a 300 mi radius & I have taken him to 3 vets for diagnosis. The last did a biopsy and confirmed. Since surgery/radiation/chemo are not available, I am doing the bare minimum, boiling it out with peroxide, and a topical ointment twice a day. It seems to be growing at an alarming rate. At first, you could not see it without a scope, now I can see it and it's spreading. This is breaking my heart.

My question: My other tom, licks Pi's ears. Could he become ill because of the cancer or the OT ointment? Is there anything else I can do to treat this myself. I'm on a fixed income and can't travel well.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

Whilst licking of the tumour shouldn’t affect your other cat, it would irritate the affected cat and topical ointments are not intended for internal consumption. One option is cryotherapy, but it can be awkward to get to and caution must be taken when attempting in the ear canal. Surgery is the method of choice unfortunately at this stage. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Or therapeutic radiation if inoperable...?

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Kittygoose
Cat
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Ear Discharge
Ear Itching

Medication Used

Ear drops

My cat has had an ongoing ear infection for about two years. I've been given pills that she refuses to take along with ear drops. About a month ago, a giant lump appeared on the side of her face, under the ear. I took her to the vet, and they were able to drain it and it was gone completely. A week later, they sedated her.. did a biopsy.. pulled a tooth (they didn't know if the lump was from an infected tooth or the ear).. and did a thorough cleaning of the ear while she was still sedated. They cut 3 polyps out. After all that, she was doing amazing. Her behavior is what it's always been and her ear was much better. I finally heard from the vet yesterday and they said she does have cancer. They never even told me what kind, I was rushed off the phone. All she said was cancer, she has 11 months to live, call us if you need anything, make her as comfortable as possible. Now I see that the lump they drained is coming back. It's not nearly as large as it was the first time, but it's enough for me to have noticed it when I touch her. Should I have the vet drain it and clean her ear again? Or is there really nothing I can do at this point, which is basically what the vet implied. Do I have a right to know exactly what the results of the biopsy said?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
You have every right to know what the results of the biopsy are; I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian and having a conversation with them about Kittygoose’s biopsy results, prognosis and the management options which you may have in front of you. There are different types of cancer and it is important to know which is present so that options can be explored in helping with what seems to be end of life care. This is a distressing time for you, so it is important to know what you want to ask your Veterinarian before you visit and even ask for a copy of the histopathology report (technically if you paid for it you own it). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ash
Domestic shorthair
11 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lump on ear
Lump on ear, fur missing

My cat (who is about 11 years) has had a lump on the outside of one of her ears for a few weeks now and I don't know if it is cancerous. It's pink and seems to have stayed the same size as when I first saw it. We haven't gone to the Vet yet because of financial problems and I'm quite desperate. She's also got tufts of fur missing directly underneath both ears. Not sure if unrelated or not but she recently left home for two days but the lump was there before that. She's had all necessary vaccinations and is desexed.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes for a pink mass on the ear of a cat but I would be suspecting more a mast cell tumour which in cats are usually benign, however there are other types of masses which may occur which is why Ash should be checked by a Veterinarian; but this isn’t something you should sit on since they may grow in size, ulcerate and get infected. You should try to reach out to a charity clinic or nonprofit for help if money is tight, check the links below for more information. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.aaha.org/pet_owner/lifestyle/cant-afford-critical-veterinary-care-many-nonprofits-can-help!.aspx www.felineoutreach.org/organizations.html

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Flossy
British Longhair
12 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Appetite

I have a 12 year old British Longhair pure white cat, her left ear is turning a dark browny / black colour and has lost the hair on it, I have been rubbing a skin cream (skin eze) onto her ear and at first it cleared up within a few days but now the darkness seems to me getting lower down the ear and when I just rubbed cream onto her ear it felt very hot.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
You should have your Veterinarian take a look at Flossy’s ear to be on the safe side as it isn’t clear if the discolouration is of the skin, something on the skin or under the skin; infections, ear mites, autoimmune diseases, cancer among other causes may cause a variety of different issues. Your Veterinarian will give an examination and prescribe the correct course of treatment; I cannot recommend you use Skin-Eze inside the ear canal, but you may use an over the counter ear cleaner. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Teddy
Maine Coon
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

White gums

I have a cat and the lips are very pale and he has cancer in his ear and it is bleeding all the time or its draining i dont know if its blood 100% but what can i do to make it be easier on him without spending an arm and a leg because me and my husband are struggling with money right now i just want to make it easier for him.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There is little that can be done on a budget, I suspect you’re speaking about a squamous cell carcinoma on the ear; surgery is the treatment of choice however other treatments may include photodynamic therapy, radiation or chemotherapy. If you are having financial difficulties, reach out to a charity organisation in your area to see if they can offer assistance or point you in the right direction. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Merry
Long hair grey white
16 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Red raw pussy oozy

merry has always had ear infections and has what now looks like a tumor in her ear. She keeps breaking open the front of the pussy looking nasty part. When that happens full out blood fiasco everywhere. The dogs keep her ears clean as do we with ear rinse. One vet told us at one point would just need to be cauterized?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

Tumours of the ear are common in cats especially as they age, squamous cell carcinomas are caused by excessive UV radiation overtime; the tumours lead to ulceration which can get infected which would explain the pus under the crust. Treatment options are removal of the ear lesions either by amputation or cryotherapy; the electrocautery (cauterisation) maybe part of partial amputation. Cryotherapy or removal would be treatment of choice but would need to be seriously considered given Merry’s age. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

What about therapeutic radiation? There are more studies regarding this treatment than cryotherapy, which has largely fallen out of use due to the inability to assess surgical margins.

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pickles
moggy
15 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

crusty scaly raised "scabs (skin flakes are white

our white cat has had a bleeding crust on the back of her ear. i didn't realise what it was and have left it for a year. the vet today has said it is probably cancer and recommended surgery. Given that it has been on her ear so long and we do not have a large family income, how long would surgery likely give her, and what quality of life would she expect post surgery?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

The overall prognosis would be dependent on the type of cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common cancer on the ear of cats; they are locally invasive but slow to metastasise. Surgery would be the best option, if Pickles is suitable for surgery (after preoperative blood tests due to her age), quality of life post surgery should be good depending on spread etc...; otherwise other management options may be available depending on the type. Your Veterinarian will be able to advise you better. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Missy
American Shorthair
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Ear Odor
Sneezing
Head Tilt

I found my cat, Missy, on my deck, about 3-1/2 years ago. She is a black and white cat, who may have been part of a feral colony of cats down the street. She was very friendly and I was able to pick her up. I took her inside and kept her in the bathroom, to keep her away from my other cat, until I could have her checked out.

At the time, they diagnosed her with ear mites and an upper respiratory infection. She was given a shot, prescribed an antibiotic for 2 weeks, as well as ear drops. She got better, but several months later, she got another upper respiratory infection and was sneezing all the time.

I saw a different doctor, in the same practice, who gave her another round of medicine, which I believe was Clavamox. Her ears were still bothering her. I was told she had a lot of ear wax build-up, and I purchased an ear cleaner from them and cleaned her ears every couple of days.

She's continued to have these problems over the last 3 years, and I've had to take her to the vet multiple times, and always see a different doctor.

About 2 months ago, I took her back to the vet because she started walking in circles and seemed to be losing her balance. Of course, I saw a different doctor again. He examined her ears and said that her left ear looked fine. He was having difficulty seeing deeply enough into her right ear, and said that she most likely had a tumor. He told me the only way we could find out for sure would be through a CT-scan, which they could do, but it would cost $600. If the CT-scan showed a tumor, she would have to be referred to a surgeon. He said that getting the CT-scan was pointless, unless I would go forward with surgery, if it was necessary. He said that ear tumors are common in cats and, as long as she wasn't in any pain, we could just continue to monitor it. You told me I did not have to keep cleaning her ears.

For the last couple of days, I have noticed an odor, which was not there before. I think it's from her ear, but I'm not really sure. She also has been sneezing a lot! The mucus dries up on her nose, so I have to keep cleaning it off.

In addition, something appears to be wrong with her right eye (it's her right ear that may have the tumor). She has a crusty accumulation in the inside corner of her right eye. Her left eye looks normal; however, her right eye is not open nearly as much and I can see the layers of tissue on the inside corner of her eye. There appears to be some drainage on the outside corner, but I'm not sure if it's from her eye, or from her ear.

I really wish I had noticed this sooner, but her black fur goes down past her eyes, so it was very difficult to notice this!!!

I called the vet 3 days ago, and he finally called me back yesterday, but we missed each other. He doesn't start work until noon today, but I really want to see the same doctor.

Is it possible for Missy's ear problem to be affecting her right eye? I am concerned about her vision. I tried cleaning her right eye tonight and she didn't even seem to see the cotton ball coming towards her eye.

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to pay for an expensive surgery for my cat. I really wish I had purchased pet insurance.

I would appreciate any advice that you can provide. Thank you!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is always frustrating for pet owners when you get a different Veterinarian each time you visit a practice, especially for a chronic ongoing problem like this; also without examining Missy it is difficult to give a fully informed opinion. However, ear and eye problems may be related especially if there is inflammation in the middle and inner ear; infections, tumours, trauma, toxins and other causes may cause these symptoms. For the time being I would recommend that you ensure that the eye and ear are kept clean (if there is drainage or discharge) as well as assisting Missy with eating, drinking, defecation and urination if required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Toru
Not Sure
4 Years
Critical
Has Symptoms
Odor
Itching
Swelling
Head Tilt
My recently adopted cat Toru underwent an ear cancer surgery 1 year ago and at the time I knew nothing about him. He started wailing really loud a week ago and today I found out that there is smelly brown discharge coming from the ear that was operated on and took him to the vet. I got bad news - he has both bacterial and fungal outer ear infection in that ear. They gave me some eardrops to give him but my question is - is the infection somehow connected to the past surgery? If yes, will it be persistent? Could the wailing be caused by pain from the infection? He is also completely deaf. I know there is no hope but is there any way at all to make him hear again? The described symptoms are pre-surgery according to the previous owner. She also said that his cancer was spreading critically fast and two out of tree vets refused to perform the surgery on him because he was in a very poor state.