"Jack" - Cat with Polyp in his Ear
|Jack's owners had never fully realised that gradually he was becoming progressively deaf in his left ear. It was only when he developed a rather nasty purulent discharge from the affected ear that his problem became apparent.|
After a short course of antibiotics to clear the secondary infection close examination with an auriscope revealed a large pink mass protruding from his ear hole! These inflammatory growths or polyps are relatively uncommon and their cause remains unknown. It is thought that they are likely to start growing from birth since it always young cats that are affected possibly as a result of a viral infection.
The treatment involves surgical removal of the polyp but in order to completely remove all of the diseased tissue it is important to access the middle ear or bulla. This approach involves cracking open the boney cavity at the base of the skull with a mallet and osteotome. This "delicate" procedure usually has the work experience students fainting in their droves! Great care has to be taken to avoid the very sensitive structures within the middle ear that control balance.
Fortunately for "Jack" his recovery has been without any complications whatsoever other than the fact that he can't understand why everyone has suddenly started shouting!
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS