February 2011 Issue

Diagnosis: Otitis Externa

The cause of this infection could be a rampant overgrowth of yeast in the ear canals. Here are the signs you should look for.

Among all acquired feline ear disorders, the most common by far is otitis externa, an infection of the outer ear canal that, if untreated, can progress to the inner ear, damage the ear drum and seriously compromise an animalís hearing as well as its sense of balance. The most common cause of this unpleasant condition and its potentially deafening consequences is an assault on the ear by an outside invader, the ear mite. In some cases, however, the culprit is an organism that normally resides harmlessly within a catís ear ó a one-celled fungus, or yeast, known as Malessezia.

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