October 2011 Issue

Maladies of the Feline Ear

A wide range of afflictions can cause discomfort, and some may even lead to deafness. Here’s why.

While most cats will go through life without experiencing a serious problem with their ears, owners should know that a variety of conditions — including congenital defects, infections, trauma, and age-related changes — can be extremely painful and may compromise an animal’s hearing. Most feline ear disorders are readily treatable and will not result in permanent hearing loss, notes James Flanders, DVM, an associate professor of surgery at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. However, some conditions may render a cat partially or totally deaf, especially if they remain unrecognized and untreated.

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