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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My boy has been treated since early October ear infection.

Customer Question

My boy has been treated since early October for anawful ear infection. Now he's experiencing horner's syndrome, vertigo, and sneezing. The vet told me to give him 12.5mg of non-drowsy dramamine and we could follow up in a week or so. Does this sound normal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess I should be more specific. What I'd like to know is if this seems like the normal trajectory for a really terrible ear infection a week after sedation and cleaning. He's always had ear problems, but these are new things.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm really sorry to hear that Chandler has been ill - I'll do my best to help. There will be a delay of 5-10 minutes while I type out some thoughts for you. You can reply with more questions or info at any time.

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your patience!

Ear infections in cats can definitely be frustrating to manage, especially when they are severe or recurrent. I'm glad to hear that your vet pursued a sedated ear cleaning - did they say if they found anything in there that was unusual? While dogs frequently get ear infections as a symptom of allergies, my experience with cats is that if there's a severe ear infection, there's likely something causing it. Allergies can happen, but for the really bad ear infections I'm considering things like masses (tumors) in the ear canal or infection behind the ear drum (otitis media and/or interna). While otitis interna or media can often be managed with appropriate antibiotics (both orally and topically applied into the ear), things like masses in the ears are a bit trickier, requiring surgery to really correct.

Cats are particularly prone to developing Horner's syndrome and/or vertigo after deep flushing. Horner's syndrome can also come about just from the inflammation caused by the infection itself. The fact that Chandler is having vertigo now makes me highly suspect at least inflammation (and likely infection) inside the ear drum affecting the area of the ear that senses balance. These things should improve gradually over time if they are as a result of the cleaning and the irritation of the infection - a week or two, maybe longer depending on if the source of the irritation is being dealt with properly. If they are caused by a tumor, then they likely will not resolve, but rather get worse.

The eustachian tube is a small connection between the ear canal and the nasal cavity, so it could be that the sneezing is related to the ear infection and the flushing procedure. Again, if this is infection related or just from the irritation of flushing, it will improve with antibiotic treatment and time. If, however, there is a tumor causing all of these symptoms, then they will likely continue to progress.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara


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