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Retrospective study of the presentation, diagnosis and management of 16 cats with otitis media not due to nasopharyngeal polyp

Swales, Nicola, Foster, Aiden, Barnard, Natalie
anti-infective agents, cats, ears, image analysis, osteotomy, otitis externa, otitis media, patients, retrospective studies, signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
The aim of this study was to analyse retrospectively cats diagnosed with otitis media (OM) not due to nasopharyngeal polyp, and to review the clinical outcome with surgical and medical management. Patient records were searched for cats diagnosed with OM. The diagnosis of OM was based on the presence of clinical signs, including neurological signs, respiratory signs and signs of otitis externa, and on the basis of evidence of thickened or irregular bullae walls, or the presence of fluid within the tympanic cavity in those that had diagnostic imaging. In those that did not have imaging, the diagnosis was made on the basis of the presence of fluid in the bulla or organisms cultured using myringotomy. These records were analysed retrospectively. Of 16 cats, one had a total ear canal ablation, five had ventral bulla osteotomy surgery and 11 were medically managed. Of the cats that were medically managed, using either topical products, systemic antimicrobials or a combination of both, eight had complete resolution of clinical signs. This small cohort shows that some cats with OM can be successfully managed medically. Surgery is invasive and may not necessarily be required if appropriate medical management is undertaken. This is the first study of OM treatment in cats and provides the basis for further studies, which should aim to establish specific infectious causes of OM and how they can potentially be managed with medical therapies.