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Inflammation of the Middle Ear and External Ear Canal in Cats



Treatment for otitis externa and otitis media usually involves outpatient care, unless the inflammation or infection has moved into the inner ear. In most cases of otitis externa, a topical therapy following a complete cleansing of the external ear is an effective resolution to the problem.


The topical therapy may consist of antibacterial, corticosteroid, anti-yeast, and antiseptic drops. In severe cases of otitis externa and otitis media -- where the presence of infectious organisms has been confirmed -- oral antibiotics and antifungals may be prescribed. Corticosteroids may also be used to reduce the cat's pain and swelling.


Living and Management


Follow-up treatments for otitis externa and otitis media involve repeat examinations of the ear discharge and control of any underlying diseases. You may be asked to routinely cleanse the cat’s ear to prevent a recurrence. With the proper therapy, most cases of otitis externa will resolve within three to four weeks, whereas otitis media takes a considerably longer amount of time to treat it, and up up to six weeks to be resolved.


If these conditions persist over long periods of time, and are not treated, they may lead to deafness, facial nerve paralysis, otitis interna, and (rarely) meningoencephalitis.



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