Are you avoiding your dog's kisses because of his foul breath? If it is an ongoing problem, it could be the symptom of a serious health issue. Learn more about some of the causes of bad breath in dogs. READ MORE
Does your pet suffer from arthritis? Dogs and cats are expert at hiding their pain, but there are some clues to look for to find out if your pet is silently bearing the pain of arthritis. Learn more. READ MORE
Don't let allergies stop you from adopting a cat. If you have relatively mild allergies, there are some breeds that have a much lower chance of causing a reaction. Learn more about them here. READ MORE
We often think packaged pet snacks are the best and healthiest treats in the world, but a lot of those snacks and treats are the equivalent of candy for pets. Learn why and what you can do to make snack time healthier. READ MORE
Veterinary pet care will progressively involve greater technology and become more expensive. Here are important questions you will need to ask during discussions about diagnostics and treatment. Read here. READ MORE
Importing homeless animals to the United States can put the health and lives of our own pets at risk. Dr. Coates reports on a case that appeared in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s December 2015 Morbidity and Mortality weekly report. READ MORE
Otitis media refers to an inflammation of the cat's middle ear, while otitis interna refers to an inflammation of the inner ear, both of which are commonly caused by bacterial infection.
The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects dogs please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
The symptoms apparent in cases of otitis media or interna are largely dependent on how severe and extensive the infection is. Signs may range from no visible symptoms whatsoever, to apparent nervous system involvement. If symptoms appear, they may include pain when opening the mouth, reluctance to chew, shaking the head, pawing at the affected ear, tilting the head, leaning to the side of the affected ear, and an altered sense of balance (known as vestibular deficits). If both ears are affected by inflammation, further symptoms may include wide swinging movements of the head, wobbly uncoordinated body movement, and deafness.
Additional symptoms may include vomiting and nausea, unequally sized pupils, redness of the ears, discharge from the ears, a grey bulging eardrum (known as tympanic membrane), and in severe cases, signs associated with nervous system damage such as facial nerve damage (i.e. inability to blink, or paralysis).
Bacteria are the primary disease-causing agents that lead to infection and consequent inflammation of the middle or inner ear. Other possible disease-causing agents include yeasts such as Malassezia, fungi such as Aspergillus, and mites which increase the likelihood of bacterial infection. Alternate causes include trauma to the body, such as from a car accident, the presence of tumors or polyps in the ear, and the presence of foreign objects in the ear.
One primary diagnostic procedure in cases of inner and middle ear inflammation is myringotomy, a technique in which a spinal needle is inserted into the air and the ear drum membrane to extract middle ear fluid for microscopal examination. This can help determine any infectious presences, such as bacteria or fungi. Other tests may include an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranium, in which the brain essentially floats, urine analysis, blood tests, and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.