Middle and Inner Ear Infections
Sometimes the middle and inner parts of a cat’s ear become infected, either because an outer ear infection has moved deeper into the ear or because bacteria has spread through the bloodstream or Eustachian tube (a tube that connects the middle ear and the back of the nose).
Symptoms of middle and inner ear infections vary depending on exactly what part of the ear is involved and whether one or both ears are affected, but owners may notice head shaking, rubbing at the ears, a head tilt, decreased appetite, lethargy, a drooping on one side of the face, squinting, a raised third eyelid, unequal pupil sizes, abnormal eye movements, difficulty walking or poor hearing.
Veterinarians diagnose middle and inner ear infections using a combination of a cat’s symptoms, a physical exam (including an ear exam) and x-rays, CT scans or MRIs of the affected areas. Treatment may include long term treatment with systemic antibiotics, topical medications and surgery.