What causes otitis media in cats?


Otitis media in cats is a disease of the ear that leads to hearing loss, meningitis, or another condition that affects brain tissue. Most often, the animal has otitis externa, which involves only the visible parts of the ear. If otitis affects the middle ear, it is more complicated, but with good care and proper treatment, the prognosis will be favorable. The most dangerous form is considered to be inflammation of the inner ear, which is fraught with the development of various complications.

Causes of otitis media in cats

As for the causes of otitis, in cats it is usually caused by parasites. By gnawing sinuous passages in the skin layers, fleas and ticks damage the skin and create an environment for bacteria to multiply. Parasite infestation first leads to external otitis media, but over time the pathology spreads to the middle and inner ear.

Other causes of otitis media may include:

  • Allergic reactions, which are recognized by the way the cat scratches its ears;
  • Fungus that affects the middle ear and leads to a purulent form of the disease;
  • Overcooling after bathing, lounging on a windowsill or walking in rainy weather;
  • Injuries from climbing trees or fighting with other animals;
  • Poor care. Normally, a cat’s ear contains large amounts of wax, but it must be removed regularly. Neglecting to clean the ears threatens to fill the ear canal and develop local inflammation, inevitably leading to otitis. But too much care with complete cleansing of the ear is not welcome either, because it loses its natural defenses and becomes an excellent breeding ground for harmful microorganisms.

How to recognize otitis media in cats

The symptoms and signs of otitis in a cat are immediately visible to the caring owner. The animal rubs the sore ear with eagerness, holds it folded, pressing it against the head, and the skin becomes red and irritated because of the constant rubbing. After a while, the ear begins to “shoot”. You can notice this phenomenon by the cat’s behavior - it jumps up sharply, meows loudly and as if frightened, looking around.

With nagging pain the cat presses its ear to the bedding and does not allow the owner to touch the bothersome area, avoids scratching its head. If treatment is not begun in time, then the first signs of the disease are complemented by such abnormalities:

  1. the appearance of ulcers, scabs, pimples on the skin;
  2. no reaction of the animal to rustling;
  3. the ear bleeding due to scratching
  4. drooping of the ear, eyelid or lip;
  5. increase in temperature by a couple of degrees;
  6. refusal to eat;
  7. lack of activity;
  8. irritability;
  9. discharge of pus from the ear and the unpleasant odor associated with this phenomenon.

Ways to treat otitis media in cats

Special drops and ointments are used to treat external otitis media in cats. The other forms of the disease require the appointment of antiseptic drugs. Usually a specialist offers sulfonamides, antibiotics and other means to help relieve inflammation:

  • Protargol;
  • Cyprinol;
  • Sofradex;
  • Dexamethasone, etc.

A procedure is also performed to remove the exudate leaking into the tissues. Solutions of boric and salicylic acids and iodoform ether are used for this purpose.