With Kavan's ear problems, Mom has been learning about our lovely ears. Here are thirteen facts about ears and infections.
1. The outer or external ear is the pinna (ear flap). It is a thin, fleshy funnel-shaped structure that captures sound waves.
2. The middle ear contains the eardrum.
3. The vibrations from the eardrum are transferred to the fluid-filled cochlea or inner ear, which does the actual hearing.
4. The inner ear also contains three semicircular fluid-filled canals and two chambers (utricle and saccule) that aid in the cat’s balance and coordination.
5. Ear problems can lead to hearing and coordination impairment if left untreated.
6. Head tilting, circling, rolling, or stumbling is one sign of ear problems. A head tilt is what gave it away for Kavan.
7. Otitis is the term used to describe an inflammation of the ear that can occur in the outer ear (externa), middle ear (media), or inner ear (interna).
8. Fifty to 84 percent of otitis externa in cats can be attributed to ear mites .
9. A higher percentage of ear mite infestations occur in young cats and kittens.
10. Middle ear infections are usually the result of untreated external ear infections. This is what happened to Kavan. He had bad earmites, and after he was treated for them, the eardrum problem was discovered.
11. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear cavity to the back of the throat. This connection equalizes air pressure on both sides of the eardrum.
12. Kavan has a bacterial infection and a perforated eardrum. Fluid is draining into his throat, causing him to cough and sneeze.
13. Kavan is getting the antibiotic Baytril (enrofloxacin) drops in his ear and well as Zithromax (azithromycin) taken orally, both twice a day.
So besides using those ears to hear the opening of a skinky goodness can, be sure to take care of them. They are very important, and ear problems are no fun. Ask Kavan!