Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

Inflammation of The Ear in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Inflammation of The Ear in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Inflammation of the Ear?

Your cat's ears not only help him hear, but aid in his balance and coordination. However, there are a variety of medical conditions that can affect the health of his ears. If your cat suddenly has trouble standing or walking he may suffer from a condition that causes inflammation in his ear canal. Certain conditions can also cause his outer ear to become swollen and inflamed, as well. If your cat has symptoms associated with ear inflammation, have him evaluated by his veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Inflammation of the Ear Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $200 - $350

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

Some of the most common symptoms seen in cats with ear inflammation include:

  • Pain in the ears
  • Shaking the head
  • Ear scratching
  • Swelling of the outer rim of the ear
  • Scaly skin in the ear
  • Tilting the head
  • Foul odor
  • Vomiting
  • Lack Of Coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Circling
  • Falling over to one side
  • Drooping of the face
  • Large amounts of foul smelling wax in the ear
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Causes of Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

While there are many things that can cause pain, irritation, and swelling of your cat's ears some are more common than others. The following is a list of the most common causes of ear problems diagnosed by veterinarians:

Ear Mites

Ear mites located in the external ear can cause swelling of the ear canal in cats. If mites are present, cats will scratch at their ears and shake their head, leading to or worsening inflammation.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections of the ears can be caused by a foreign body in your cat's ear or mites. Certain types of trauma can also lead to the development of infection. 

Yeast Infections

Fungal yeast infections are also common in domestic cats. These infections may cause the ear canal to be swollen and pus may also be present. Fungal yeast infections can also cause a foul odor in your cat's ear. 

Vestibular Syndrome

This condition affects the inner ear, where balance and coordination are controlled. Vestibular syndrome can cause ear inflammation, but it can usually be resolved in just a few weeks with medication. Vestibular syndromes can be alarming when the symptoms suddenly appear. If your cat develops this condition, he may have trouble walking or even standing up without falling over. 

Polyps, Cysts, or Tumors

Tumors, cysts, or polyps in your cat's ear may cause inflammation and a feeling of fullness or uncomfortable swelling. These growths are more common in older cats and can be benign or malignant, so should be investigated by your veterinarian for an evaluation and diagnosis. 

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Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

Your veterinarian will begin to diagnose your cat's ear problem by asking you some questions regarding his health. It is important to include any information that may help your doctor such as how long symptoms have been present and if your cat has been diagnosed with any medical conditions by another doctor. After taking a medical history, your doctor will take your cat's vital signs and record them. He will examine your cat, checking his ears and reflexes. Most doctors draw blood and collect a urine sample to look for signs of infection in your cat. Diagnostic tests such as X-rays or an MRI may be performed to confirm a diagnosis. If your cat has a tumor or polyps in his ear, your doctor may do a biopsy for analysis.

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Treatment of Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

Treatment for ear inflammation depends on the cause of the condition. Many ear infections can be treated with antibiotics. Ear washes may also be prescribed to keep the ears clean. Topical treatments may be ordered for cats with fungal yeast infections. 

Ear mites can be treated with cleansing products for the ear and medications such as ivermectin. Cats diagnosed with tumors in the ear may need surgery to remove them. If your cat has a vestibular syndrome causing his symptoms, he may receive medication and IV fluids to stabilize him if necessary. This condition is often very difficult to treat.

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Recovery of Inflammation of the Ear in Cats

Infections and ear mites are fairly easy conditions to treat in cats. Your cat should be feeling better just a few days after starting antibiotics. It is important to continue using a prescribed ear wash to keep the ears clean. Cats that have surgery to remove tumors will stay in the hospital for a few days. If your cat has a vestibular syndrome, your doctor may advise you to keep him on cage rest until his symptoms subside.

Your doctor will want to recheck your cat in a few weeks to be sure he is improving. Be sure to tell him if your cat has a change in his condition or his symptoms worsen.

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Inflammation of the Ear Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $200 - $350

Average Cost

$250

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Inflammation of the Ear Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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domestic shorthair

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Eight Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Inflamed Ear

I gave her only two doses of the ear miticide and came home from work and her ear was very inflamed. On the bottle it said that I could bathe her to get the medicine out, but I don't know how that would help her ear, unless I put something else in her ear. Can I do anything for her?

March 3, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Ear mites are unlikely at this age. This is more likely to be a bacterial or fungal infection. Other potential causes include allergies and solar dermatitis. She needs to see a vet so we can examine the ear and ensure the ear drum is intact. We also need to check for any underlying issues such as a polyp or foreign body. She will likely need some prescription antibiotic drops and anti inflammatories.

March 3, 2021

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Kathmandu

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Domestic shorthair

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13 Years

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Ear Crust
Itching
Pain

My cat is 13 years old and has suffered from ear infections on and off for most of his life. For the past year or so, he has had dark black, crusty ear wax building up in his right ear. I have to clean it daily and I actually thought it was evidence of mites for awhile, so I incorrectly gave him over the counter mite meds. That didn't seem to work. Can you recommend an ear wash that will reduce the inflammation, soothe the itchiness/pain, and prevent or reduce the excessive black ear wax?

June 20, 2018

Kathmandu's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Most ear infections, whether they are bacterial or fungall in nature, need antibiotic topical medications to resolve. Some chronic ear infections can become resistant to common antibiotics, and a culture is sometimes needed to identify the bacteria. It would be best to have Kathmandu seen by a veterinarian so that they can treat the infection.

June 21, 2018

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Inflammation of the Ear Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $200 - $350

Average Cost

$250

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