Ear Dermatitis Average Cost

From 422 quotes ranging from $200 - 500

Average Cost

$250

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What are Ear Dermatitis?

Ear dermatitis in cats describes the condition of highly pruritic, inflamed structures of the ear. Ear dermatitis is the condition specifically used to describe inflammation of the external portions of the ears known as the pinna. Felines can develop this condition for a variety of reasons including infection, trauma and allergens. Ear dermatitis is noted through clinical signs of scratching, head shaking and manipulation of the ear. Left untreated, ear dermatitis can cause secondary ear trauma including inner ear damage and a condition known as cauliflower ear. Felines that scratch their ears excessively can cause the small blood vessel inside the ear to rupture, resulting in cauliflower ear, which permanently deforms the ear. If the hearing structures become damaged, the feline could lose hearing completely or partially. 

Symptoms of Ear Dermatitis in Cats

Ear dermatitis in cats present itself through clinical signs of scratching of the ears, head shaking and manipulated pinnae (outer ear structure). The highly pruritic condition can cause the blood capillaries inside the ear to rupture, causing a secondary condition known as cauliflower ear. The outer ear will then appear very swollen, red and cause the feline to hold her head to the affected side. In other cases which the inner or middle ear is infected, and left untreated, the sensitive structure can be damaged. Fluid buildup and ruptured ear drums can be the end result of an unattended ear condition, causing the feline to be unbalanced. To catch ear dermatitis in its early stages, cat owners should take note of the following symptoms: 

  • Scratching of the ears
  • Dry, scaly ears 
  • Bleeding ears 
  • Swelling 
  • Malodorous ears
  • Hair loss 
  • Pain 
  • Head shaking 
  • Blistering of the ears 

Causes of Ear Dermatitis in Cats

Ear dermatitis in cats can be caused by various irritants including parasites, infection, traumas, allergens and sometimes even disease. Specific culprits for these categories of feline ear dermatitis causes include:

Trauma 

  • Bites or scratches from cat fights
  • Chemical injury 
  • Burns 
  • Lacerations 
  • Haematomas: blood-filled mass caused by a blood vessel rupture underneath the skin of the ear. 
  • Solar Dermatitis: ear inflammation caused by sun exposure. 
  • Trapped foreign bodies
  • Tumors of the ear canal 
  • Polyps 

Infection 

  • Bacteria
  • Fungal 
  • Yeast 

Parasites 

  • Ticks 
  • Fleas 
  • Mange 
  • Otodectic mange or ear mite
  • Sarcoptic mange 
  • Notoedric mange 

Allergens

  • Mosquitoes 
  • Food 
  • Pollen 

Systemic Disease 

  • Cancer 
  • Cushing’s Disease 
  • Hypothyroidism 

Diagnosis of Ear Dermatitis in Cats

The treatment of ear dermatitis in cats lies dependent on the underlying condition causing the pruritic pinna. In most ear dermatitis conditions, the veterinarian will attend to the feline’s symptoms with pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. The ear will be cleaned, with medicated drops following, if applicable. In the case of ruptured capillaries causing the secondary condition known as cauliflower ear, the ear may need to be surgically corrected. The accumulated fluid and/or blood will need to be drained, plus the disfigured pinna will need to be corrected. If your cat’s ear dermatitis has not resulted in secondary conditions, the veterinarian may choose to treat your feline with one or more of the following: 

  • Anti-parasitic medications 
  • Hormone replacement therapy drugs
  • Antihistamines 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Antifungal medication 

If the doctor believes your cat’s ear dermatitis is the result of an adverse reaction to an allergen, he may choose to conduct food trials or change the feline’s current medications. 

Treatment of Ear Dermatitis in Cats

The treatment of ear dermatitis in cats lies dependent on the underlying condition causing the pruritic pinna. In most ear dermatitis conditions, the veterinarian will attend to the feline’s symptoms with pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. The ear will be cleaned, with medicated drops following, if applicable. In the case of ruptured capillaries causing the secondary condition known as cauliflower ear, the ear may need to be surgically corrected. The accumulated fluid and/or blood will need to be drained, plus the disfigured pinna will need to be corrected. If your cat’s ear dermatitis has not resulted in secondary conditions, the veterinarian may choose to treat your feline with one or more of the following: 

  • Anti-parasitic medications 
  • Hormone replacement therapy drugs
  • Antihistamines 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Antifungal medication 

If the doctor believes your cat’s ear dermatitis is the result of an adverse reaction to an allergen, he may choose to conduct food trials or change the feline’s current medications. 

Recovery of Ear Dermatitis in Cats

The overall prognosis for ear dermatitis in cats is generally excellent if treatment is sought out early. Secondary manipulation causing damage to the outer, middle or inner ear can admit a less positive outcome for the cat. Cauliflower ear, caused by continuous and vigorous scratching, often causes permanent disfiguration of the external ear. The delicate hearing structures inside the ear can also become damaged, resulting in partial or complete loss of hearing, which requires lifelong care from the cat owner. Ask your veterinarian about proper recovery and management needs for your cat after ear dermatitis.

Ear Dermatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Bars
Sybarian
8 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Clear Liuid in the ear

Hello. My cat had ear mites. I took care of him and I thought that successfully removed them, but. My cat has a clear liquid coming out from the lower part of hs right ear. I do rings his ear every day with the warm spirit solution. It seems that the ear is much better, but the liquid still there. What could I do on my own to help my cat? I am very unhappy with vets in our area. I have spent lots of money, but two of my pets are dead because of their mistakes. Please advise.
Gail

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1520 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, there aren't any cures for ear mites that don't require medication, and the mites can cause infection while they are there that requires a medication to treat that. If you can find a veterinarian that you trust, or that your friends or neighbors have had good experiences with, having his ears taken care of should be a simple problem, unless he has any underlying problems. They will be able to look at the discharge from his ears under the microscope, diagnose what is happening, and get him appropriate medications.

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Minou
Tabby Cat
7 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Buildup
Hairloss
scratching

Hello,
My cat is scratching his ears like crazy! At first we thought the problem was external as he fights a lot and had big scabs on both ears (behind). We put him in the cone of shame to stop him scratching so the scabs could heal, which they have...but he continues to scratch. I checked for earmites (with a good magnifying glass) and i'm pretty confident he doesn't have them. There is however some brown waxy stuff that builds up regularly in his ears. My sister-in-law is a Dr. She had a look and thinks it could be eczema. I can't take him to the vet because he is wild around other people. Any advice would be much appreciated! Do you think if i got a swab of the brown stuff and took it to the vet they might be able to identify the problem? Thanks in advance!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1520 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. There are many reasons for itchy ears in cats, and ear mites are not always visible to the naked eye - they are often deep down in the ear canal where you can't see them. If he goes outside, it is possible that he does have mites. He may also have a bacterial infection, a yeast infection, or other types of parasites. As difficult as it might be to get him to your veterinarian, it would be best, as they will need to see his ears to determine what might be going on, they probably can't just look at a swab and determine what medication might be necessary. Veterinary staff can be quite skilled at examining wild cats, and you might be surprised what they'll be able to do. It would be a good idea to have them treated, as having an itch that you aren't allowed to scratch would be just maddening, and it may be something that is easily treated with the right medications. I hope that all goes well for Minou.

Thank you, i will talk to the vet and see if i can get their advice on how to get him there! When i find out what the problem is i'll let you know.

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Pansy
Domestic long hair
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

scratching

Hello, my cat has this weird skin condition that even vets don't know what it is. It comes and goes and it's coming back now. Her stomach gets this big black patch of scabs on it and then her ears start to lose fur and she constantly scratches until they bleed. What does she have?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3192 Recommendations
If your Veterinarian don’t know what is happening, then they have likely ruled out the usual suspects; autoimmune disease, skin infections, parasites and toxins would be my immediate jump to causes but it is difficult to determine what is happening without an examination. This may also be caused by a contact allergen or irritant which is causing the lesions on the abdomen and the irritation to the ears. I would suggest visiting a Dermatologist to see what the underlying cause is; try your nearest Veterinary School. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Anni
Domestic shorthair
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

Medication Used

Amitriptyline

My cat had an ear infection in both ears about a month ago. The infection is gone, but she has a couple red spots on the inside of her ear that haven’t seemed to go away. Not only that, but underneath her ear at the base she has started losing hair. I had a vet check her and he said the red dots are dermatitis (similar to what happens in bulldog folds), and he didn’t seem concerned with her hair loss because there were no lesions present there. The hair loss patch is getting bigger though, so I’m wondering if she has something else going on. She also is on Amitryptilline (10mg daily).

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3192 Recommendations
It is possible that Anni may have something else going on, but without examining her I cannot say for sure; irritation, parasites, infections, sunlight, immune mediated conditions among other can cause inflammation of the pinna. You should return to your Veterinarian for another examination if the patch is getting larger and possibly a skin scraping done to check for parasites. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Olaf
tabby
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

none

My cat had large, yellow scabs on the inside, tips of each ear. They are each roughly he size of a dime. There is no head shaking, no scratching, no apparent pain or discomfort. Just dry, scabby areas. His food isn’t different and none of our other three cats have this.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3192 Recommendations
There are a few different causes for the lesions your describing which may include ringworm, other infections, parasites among other causes; normally with these conditions we would see signs of pruritus so it is difficult to say what the specific cause is. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and possibly a skin scrape to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tess
moggy
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat recently had an ear infection. She was treated with cleanaural and antibiotic drops. The infection has cleared however theoutside tip of the ear and also down the edge of the ear seems very dry and cracked. Is this a new condition? Or a reaction to the antibiotics?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3192 Recommendations
There are various causes for dry cracked ears which may include repetitive scratching (due to the infection), ear infection, parasites, allergies among other causes; you can try applying a little Neosporin to the ear tips to see if that helps, if the cracking continues you should have your Veterinarian take a look as it may be something more serious. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Amigo
Tux
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Scabs on ear

Hi my cat had wounds a while ago we thought he got into a fight but now his wounds are ok after getting an injection from the vet. Now we have noticed some scabs/spots on his ears and it could be ear dermatitis this could u recommend some Medication and treatment for cats ear dermatitis?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1520 Recommendations
There are many causes for scabs and spots on the ears of cats, including bacterial, fungal, parasitic or allergic causes. It would be irresponsible of me to recommend any treatment, since all of those are treated very differently, and I cannot examine Amigo. It would be best to have a recheck with your veterinarian to see what is going on with him and get appropriate therapy.

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Minou
Tabbycat
7 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Brown wax
scratching

When you treat a cat for earmites how thoroughly do you have to clean it's environment? Do you suggest throwing away bedding, brushes, food bowls etc.? Also how would you suggest cleaning the anti-scratch cone? It must have earmites all over it (he is wearing it to stop him from scratching). Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3192 Recommendations
You should ensure that all bedding is washed on a high temperature followed by a spin in the dryer, this should kill the ear mites; also the cone should be washed with hot soapy water, it is plastic and should be easy to clean. You should also apply Revolution (selamectin) to Minou as part of treatment. Any surface you cannot place in the washing machine should be steam cleaned (if possible) and use a fipronil spray on the area. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you, i will do that!

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Kitkat
tabby
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat has a small tear in the tip of his ear. I thought he got in a fight and that it would heal but although it is scabbed over the rear seem to be getting longer. Could it maybe be a mite issue?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1520 Recommendations
If the wound in Kitkat's ear seems to be getting worse, and not better, it would be a good idea to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him, do any testing that needs to be done, and get him treatment to resolve this problem. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Mila
domestic short hair
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Head Shaking

Hello, I have had my kitty for about a year now. I rescued her when she was 10 weeks and she had ear mites in both ears which were treated. Ever since then, she has had chronic ear problems with the left ear. I have taken her to the vet 6 separate times and she was diagnosed with a yeast and bacterial infection in the left ear. I have been given 4 different kind of antibiotics and NOTHING HAS WORKED. At this rate I am losing hope and scared of permanent damage. She is now losing hair on the ears and has scratched below her ear so much that she has hair loss and is bleeding. I am taking her to a different vet to get another opinion and I am hoping for a answer soon...

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1520 Recommendations
I'm sorry that Mila is having this problem. If she has had chronic infections, she may need to have her ears cultured to see what is growing in there and what antibiotic it needs, She may also need a deeper ear exam to see if there is a growth or other problem that is contributing to her chronic ear problems.

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