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Rhonda
April 19th 06, 05:23 AM
Has anyone had a cat with a middle ear infection? How did you treat it?

We've been fighting Bear's ear infection for months, and today he was
put under to have an ear flush and x-rays. Turns out his ear drum is
GONE, it's been eaten by the infection. The problem is worse than we
thought, it's so deep that it would take major surgery to get to it with
no guarantees of getting rid of it.

Did anyone's cat have that type of surgery? Did it cure the infection?
Did the problem get worse eventually and go into other areas?

Thanks,

Rhonda

-L.
April 19th 06, 07:04 AM
Rhonda wrote:
> Has anyone had a cat with a middle ear infection? How did you treat it?
>
> We've been fighting Bear's ear infection for months, and today he was
> put under to have an ear flush and x-rays. Turns out his ear drum is
> GONE, it's been eaten by the infection. The problem is worse than we
> thought, it's so deep that it would take major surgery to get to it with
> no guarantees of getting rid of it.
>
> Did anyone's cat have that type of surgery? Did it cure the infection?
> Did the problem get worse eventually and go into other areas?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Rhonda

No experience but just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear this about
Bear! Have they cultured it to find out what pathogen it is?
-L.

Phil P.
April 19th 06, 09:42 AM
"-L." > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Rhonda wrote:
> > Has anyone had a cat with a middle ear infection? How did you treat it?
> >
> > We've been fighting Bear's ear infection for months, and today he was
> > put under to have an ear flush and x-rays. Turns out his ear drum is
> > GONE, it's been eaten by the infection. The problem is worse than we
> > thought, it's so deep that it would take major surgery to get to it with
> > no guarantees of getting rid of it.
> >
> > Did anyone's cat have that type of surgery? Did it cure the infection?
> > Did the problem get worse eventually and go into other areas?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Rhonda
>
> No experience but just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear this about
> Bear! Have they cultured it to find out what pathogen it is?
> -L.

She's probably talking about a lateral wall resection - a/k/a Zepp procedure
or the LaCroix which is a variation of the Zepp. The Zepp is only successful
in the early stages-- which has come and gone in this case.

Since the ear canal is probably destroyed, he'll probably need a total ear
canal ablation a/k/a TECA procedure. The TECA is a last resort procedure
because it involves the removal of the ear canal and is associated with some
serious complications (permanent facial paralysis or neurapraxia which could
affect the eye, hemorrhage- that could be life-threatening, to name a few).
Since the ear drum is gone, the infection probably invaded the middle ear so
a TECA will probably have to be combined with lateral bulla osteotomy.

I will never again trust either procedure to anyone but a seasoned surgeon -
we were just plain lucky. Very, very few GP vets have experience with TECA
in cats with end-stage otitis. Gotta remove *all* infected tissue.

Phil

Rhonda
April 19th 06, 05:25 PM
-L. wrote:

> Rhonda wrote:
>
>>Has anyone had a cat with a middle ear infection? How did you treat it?
>>
>
> No experience but just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear this about
> Bear! Have they cultured it to find out what pathogen it is?
> -L.


They did a culture previously and it was not one of those odd,
hard-to-treat bacterias. The baytril-type drops and the pills should
have worked.

When she went in yesterday to see what was going on, she also took a
deep culture. We should have that back in a few days.

This cat spent his first 10 years as a barn cat. He has deformed ears
(looks like a Scottish Fold) from the previous owner's neglect. The ear
canal was already scarred and very small, a good breeding ground for
bacteria. He's a sweet cat, I just hope this isn't uncomfortable.

Thanks,

Rhonda

Rhonda
April 19th 06, 05:30 PM
Our vet is very good about saying when she thinks someone else needs to
be called in. When Bear didn't respond enough to medicine, she started
talking about the ear flush and last resort of an operation. From the
beginning, she said she'd have someone else do it. I just am not sure
how uncomfortable he is, he doesn't act like he's in pain, and if it
would be worth a huge operation that may not correct the problem. I
would expect to see balance problems or other things happening, but he
acts normal, other than scratching at his ear every now and then.

Rhonda


Phil P. wrote:

>
> I will never again trust either procedure to anyone but a seasoned surgeon -
> we were just plain lucky. Very, very few GP vets have experience with TECA
> in cats with end-stage otitis. Gotta remove *all* infected tissue.
>
> Phil

Toni
April 19th 06, 06:57 PM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...
> I just am not sure how uncomfortable he is, he doesn't act like he's in
> pain, and if it would be worth a huge operation that may not correct the
> problem. I would expect to see balance problems or other things happening,
> but he acts normal, other than scratching at his ear every now and then.


If the problem is that long standing he may just have gotten used to the
pain- which is sadder IMO than pain in the first place. I have seen animals
with chronic infections that just become inured to it all- the way they
carry their head might change but their pain response seems to have withered
over the years. They lose the will to care.

I have also seen animals whose personalities have become dull experience a
100% turn around after a Zepp or total ablation. What used to be a sad old
cat can turn into a happy, fun cat when the pain is stopped.

*Any* sort of ear problem is incredibly annoying and something of this
degree and duration has to be incredibly painful unless his nerves have
plumb burned away. I would either remedy the problem or call it a day and
send him on. I don't mean to be harsh but chronic pain can negate any joy at
all in life, and personally I think he deserves a little joy..


--
Toni
http://www.irish-wolfhounds.com

Buddy
April 19th 06, 07:41 PM
Rhonda

What sort of symptoms did Bear have? I've been having trouble with an
ongoing problem in my cat's ears that the vet hasn't seemed to fix.

Phil P.
April 19th 06, 08:35 PM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...
> -L. wrote:
>
> > Rhonda wrote:
> >
> >>Has anyone had a cat with a middle ear infection? How did you treat it?
> >>
> >
> > No experience but just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear this about
> > Bear! Have they cultured it to find out what pathogen it is?
> > -L.
>
>
> They did a culture previously and it was not one of those odd,
> hard-to-treat bacterias. The baytril-type drops and the pills should
> have worked.


Not necessarily. Culture ain't enough- gotta follow up with sensitivity
testing. A lot of middle and inner infections in cats are caused by
Baytril-resistant strains of Pseudomonas.


>
> When she went in yesterday to see what was going on, she also took a
> deep culture. We should have that back in a few days.


Make absolutely sure she orders antibiotic sensitivity testing. Identifying
the species ain't enough.

>
> This cat spent his first 10 years as a barn cat. He has deformed ears
> (looks like a Scottish Fold) from the previous owner's neglect. The ear
> canal was already scarred and very small, a good breeding ground for
> bacteria.


Ask your vet to take an x-ray of your cat's tympanic bulla- its a sac-like
bone that acts like sort of a resonance chamber for the ear. Pus and other
infectious crap from untreated external/middle ear infections can accumulate
and plug the bulla which in turn can cause resistant, recurrent infections.
You might luck out with just a good draining and cleaning.


http://maxshouse.com/Illustrations/Tympanic_Bulla.jpg




>He's a sweet cat, I just hope this isn't uncomfortable.

Of course he's uncomfortable. If he starts shaking his head or pawing his
ear he could develop a aural hematoma.

Rhonda
April 20th 06, 04:44 AM
Toni wrote:

> *Any* sort of ear problem is incredibly annoying and something of this
> degree and duration has to be incredibly painful unless his nerves have
> plumb burned away. I would either remedy the problem or call it a day and
> send him on. I don't mean to be harsh but chronic pain can negate any joy at
> all in life, and personally I think he deserves a little joy..


Toni,

I don't think I've met you -- are you a vet?

Bear still eats, wants attention and meets us at the door to beg us to
follow him to the food bowl. Lately, he's been playing more. Each
morning, he wakes us up by walking across both of us and purring loudly.
Tonight I heard a strange scupping sound and caught him rolling on the
floor with a catnip toy, licking it like crazy.

Either he's an extremely tough cat or he's not in that much pain. I do
know cats can hide their discomfort which is what concerns me, but I
can't believe he'd be playing and eating so well if he needed to be put
to sleep.

Rhonda

Rhonda
April 20th 06, 04:46 AM
Hi Buddy,

His symptom was scratching and digging at that ear. The scratching got
better with the antibiotic drops but the infection did not go away.

Rhonda

Buddy wrote:

> Rhonda
>
> What sort of symptoms did Bear have? I've been having trouble with an
> ongoing problem in my cat's ears that the vet hasn't seemed to fix.
>
>

Rhonda
April 20th 06, 04:54 AM
Phil P. wrote:

>
> Ask your vet to take an x-ray of your cat's tympanic bulla- its a sac-like
> bone that acts like sort of a resonance chamber for the ear. Pus and other
> infectious crap from untreated external/middle ear infections can accumulate
> and plug the bulla which in turn can cause resistant, recurrent infections.
> You might luck out with just a good draining and cleaning.


She did x-ray his ear (actually his whole head) and found material on
both sides -- in both ear canals. She did a saline flush on the side
that is infected and washed it out as best she could without the surgery.

I need to talk to her again when the culture comes back and get her take
on where to go from here. I wasn't here to get the report after surgery.
She knows his situation and is a good vet, I trust her.

I mainly posted here because I wanted to see if other people had cats
that went through this and what they chose to do -- and the outcome.

Rhonda

Buddy
April 20th 06, 11:04 AM
Hi Rhonda

Did he have a lot of dark waxy stuff in his ear, too?



His symptom was scratching and digging at that ear. The scratching got
better with the antibiotic drops but the infection did not go away.


Rhonda

Toni
April 20th 06, 02:23 PM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...
>
> Toni,
>
> I don't think I've met you -- are you a vet?
>


Not at all.

But I have groomed 15 dogs/cats a day five days a week for 34 years so have
looked inside well over 100,000 sets of ears, plus have followed each of
these animals over the course of their lives.

I understand that the lack of a medical degree renders my opinions useless,
but I have seen hundreds of animals that seemingly do not feel pain despite
raging chronic problems.

It is my opinion that they are just amazingly able to compartmentalize pain-
in other words learn to ignore it.
It's the only option they have if the problem remains unresolved.

I did not mean to imply that the animal should be catagorically euthanized-
I feel that he should be cured. I did mean that euthanasia is preferable IMO
to lifelong chronic pain the magnitude of deep ear infections and that the
surgeries work so please go for it.
It is worth a try, no?

Maybe that's all I should have said.
The surgeries work..


--
Toni
http://www.irish-wolfhounds.com

Rhonda
April 21st 06, 04:14 AM
Buddy,

You can't really see in Bear's ears, they are almost crumpled flat.

The vet looked down in with equipment when this first started and said
they were "very dirty." She said it was a lot of pus and other debris,
and I did see very dark stuff come out on the equipment.

He did also have a yeast infection in the beginning but that seems to be
gone.

Rhonda

Buddy wrote:

> Hi Rhonda
>
> Did he have a lot of dark waxy stuff in his ear, too?

Rhonda
April 21st 06, 04:22 AM
Maybe what you were doing to make your point is to play on emotions and
were not really making a snap internet decision to break the choices
down to surgery or euthanasia. Believe me, you don't need to play on my
emotions.

What I'm trying to do for Bear is make the best decision for his
particular case. He's 14 years old and a surgery like that is a major
decision. It has to be worth it for him -- there has to be a good chance
to get rid of this. I don't want to put him through hell and have the
infection still be there.

So my questions remain the same -- do you know any cats that have gone
through this particular surgery? Did it cure the infection?

Rhonda

Toni wrote:

>
> Not at all.
>
> But I have groomed 15 dogs/cats a day five days a week for 34 years so have
> looked inside well over 100,000 sets of ears, plus have followed each of
> these animals over the course of their lives.
>
> I understand that the lack of a medical degree renders my opinions useless,
> but I have seen hundreds of animals that seemingly do not feel pain despite
> raging chronic problems.
>
> It is my opinion that they are just amazingly able to compartmentalize pain-
> in other words learn to ignore it.
> It's the only option they have if the problem remains unresolved.
>
> I did not mean to imply that the animal should be catagorically euthanized-
> I feel that he should be cured. I did mean that euthanasia is preferable IMO
> to lifelong chronic pain the magnitude of deep ear infections and that the
> surgeries work so please go for it.
> It is worth a try, no?
>
> Maybe that's all I should have said.
> The surgeries work..
>
>
>

Phil P.
April 21st 06, 06:33 AM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...

> She knows his situation and is a good vet,

If she was a "good vet" she never would have allowed the condition to
progress so far- to the point where the infection destroyed the entire
eardrum and probably the vertical and horizontal ear canal as well and will
now probably require risky major surgery. If she was a "good vet" she would
have known that otitis media is a perpetuating factor for chronic or
recurrent otitis externa and would not have delayed referring you to a
specialist for so long. Your vet is mediocre bordering on incompetent- but
you can't see that because you don't know any better.

And you- you dole out advice and advise to people to seek a second opinion
when their vet isn't making progress yet you allowed your own cat to suffer
for months and allowed a reversible disease to destroy his ear. You should
have been gone after no more than a month.


> I trust her.


That's because you don't know any better.


>
> I mainly posted here because I wanted to see if other people had cats
> that went through this and what they chose to do -- and the outcome.


Yeah, I had the lateral wall resection done on a few of out shelter cats and
a TECA preformed on a feral- and they pulled through ok. If I had to do it
all over, I would have looked into a vertical ear canal ablation instead of
a TECA. But it sounds like your cat's condition is well beyond the Zepp
procedure- especially if there's irreversible changes to the vertical and/or
horizontal ear canals. If his eardrum is "gone"- the middle is ear probably
diseased as well. The eardrum is also a protective barrier for the middle
ear. In that case your only option might be a TECA.

Btw, did your "good vet" happen to mention that lateral wall resection *does
not* cure the underlying cause of the infections? -- it only helps the ear
canal to drain and ventilates the ear canal which helps to reduce moisture
and humidity- and makes cleaning a little easier. Its *not* a cure.

If only the vertical ear canal is damaged, your cat might be a candidate for
vertical ear canal ablation- which combines the benefits of both procedures
(Zepp/TECA) with fewer potential complications of the TECA. I'm sure your
"good vet" explained that to you...

I hope your sad devotion to an incompetent vet won't prolong your cat's
suffering any longer.

Rhonda
April 21st 06, 05:12 PM
Phil, you live in such a strange, fantasy world where you are god of all
cat knowledge. You do everything right and everyone else, including all
vets, do it wrong.

Thanks for playing, but I don't want to.

Rhonda

Toni
April 21st 06, 06:27 PM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...
>
> So my questions remain the same -- do you know any cats that have gone
> through this particular surgery? Did it cure the infection?
>


I can (off the top of my head) think of three cats I have seen in the past
couple of decades that had the complete ablation procedure, and yes it did
clear up the infection- cleared everything the hell out, in fact. It is a
complete last resort procedure, but is effective.

I can think of perhaps five or so that had the Zepp procedure done and the
results there were more mixed, although I believe it depends a great deal on
aftercare. Some kept their chronic infections but the ears drained better
and were easier to clean.

*If it were me* I would have the total removal of everything done and call
it over.


--
Toni
http://www.irish-wolfhounds.com

Phil P.
April 21st 06, 06:37 PM
"Rhonda" > wrote in message
...
> Phil, you live in such a strange, fantasy world where you are god of all
> cat knowledge.

It just seems that way to you- its a relativity thing.


> You do everything right


I wouldn't say I "do everything right". But I sure know when to seek a
second opinion. What would you have done if he was bleeding? Wait to see if
it stopped?


and everyone else, including all
> vets, do it wrong.


Not "everyone" or "all" vets do everything wrong- but you and your bungling
vet certainly did. I damned sure wouldn't have waited *months* until an ear
infection totally destroyed a cat's eardrum and closed up the ear canal
before getting a referral to a specialist or at least seeking a second
opinion-- especially when it involves older cats whose diseases need to be
resolved quickly due to their overall diminished resistance.

>
> Thanks for playing, but I don't want to.

Wise choice.

Phil P.
April 21st 06, 06:43 PM
"Toni" > wrote in message
. ..
>
> "Rhonda" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > Toni,
> >
> > I don't think I've met you -- are you a vet?
> >
>
>
> Not at all.
>
> But I have groomed 15 dogs/cats a day five days a week for 34 years so
have
> looked inside well over 100,000 sets of ears, plus have followed each of
> these animals over the course of their lives.
>
> I understand that the lack of a medical degree renders my opinions
useless,


That's not true. Credentials don't necessarily guarantee credibility- one
can exist without the other. I'm sure you understand cat psychology better
than many vets.

Phil