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"Crinkle" - Cat with "Cauliflower Ear"

Photo: Crinkle


"Crinkle" was very aptly named. Rescued by her owner from a cat shelter it was clear that her ear had been very badly traumatised. So much so that it was barely recognisable as an ear.

When the ear flap (pinna) becomes damaged it will swell with blood and form a large blood blister or haematoma. It is at this point that our assistance is usually sought. Treated early enough all that is usually required is appropriate drainage of the fluid swelling the pinna. If left untreated then the blood within the pinna contracts or congeals causing the pinna to crinkle and form a "cauliflower ear" in a very similar process to what occurs to many rugby players playing in the scrum.

Further damage will allow this process to continue causing further distortion and eventually occlusion of the ear canal. Such was the problem with Crinkle where it was not possible to see down the ear canal because of the resultant thickening of inflamed soft tissue. Consequently, an infection had become established and the only way that Crinkle could be kept comfortable was to remain on constant antibiotics and pain killers.

It became apparent to her veterinary surgeon in Birmingham that if Crinkle were to lead a more enjoyable existence then the ear canal and pinna would need to be surgically removed. Recognising the difficulties involved in performing this kind of surgery Crinkle was referred to Hinckley.

Adopting a rescue cat can be a difficult exercise on its own but taking on board a patient where it is clear that they will require ongoing support and care always receives my admiration.

Being in a position with one surgical procedure to transform both the quality of life for patient and owner is always a great pleasure. "Crinkle" may no longer be aptly named but already his owner has noticed a transformation in his personality. Perhaps a name change to Vincent?

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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