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

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
1679 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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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
1679 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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