An Owner's Guide to Ear Polyps in Cats

Ear polyps in cats are benign growths in the middle ear, close to the ear drum, or in the back of the throat. This condition is very rare. When it does, it can affect cats of any age or sex. However, cats no older than four years old are usually affected.

Cause

You may be wondering what causes these growths in your cat. Unfortunately, no one knows their exact cause, but there are a few possible reasons for their appearance. One possible cause is inflammation caused by bacteria or fungi. It is also thought that the calicivirus can also cause the polyps.

Symptoms

Ear polyps in cats causes some of the same symptoms bought on by an ear infection. Your cat will shake and scratch his head repeatedly. Sometimes, a thick discharge will emerge from the affected ear. Cats may also experience loss of coordination that will prevent them from walking in a straight line. Other common symptoms include difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Diagnosis

Although benign, these growths can cause sever damage to your cat's ear drum if not caught in time. If a polyp is expected, he will use an otoscope to exam your cat's ears and mouth. Sometimes, a head x-ray may be necessary to detect the growth. If one is found, a biopsy will be done to determine if its cancerous or benign.

Treatment

Surgery is the main method of treatment for ear polyps in cats. There are two forms of surgery. A non-invasive procedure cuts the stalk of the polyp then removes it. However, since the base of the growth is not cut, it will likely recur in a few months.

There is also an invasive procedure. With this method, the base of the polyps are removed also. The bone that surrounds the inner ear will have to be removed beforehand to allow access to the base. This method of treatment leaves the least chance for recurrence.