Fletcher's ear troubles
Fletcher began his life the hard way, like many kittens, but ended up in the safe hands of the local animal shelter. At the shelter Fletcher was desexed and was put up for adoption. He was lucky enough to find a lovely owner by the name of Ashlie who fell in love with him and was able to offer him the perfect home. Ashlie brought Fletcher in to see us to have his kitten check and receive his second kitten vaccination. She also had some concerns about his ears, which she mentioned to Dr Stella.
As well as some potential clinical signs from Fletcher of an ear infection (eg. scratching his ears), there was clinical evidence of disease in the external ear canal of Fletcher's ears, which made us concerned that he may have some ear pathology, such as Otitis Externa. Fletcher went home with a medicated ear suspension ('Dermotic') and a recommendation to come back in a week's time to re-evaluate the ears.
At his revisit, Fletcher's ear canals had improved and were less inflamed but not 100% resolved. Parasites such as mites can live in the ear canal and cause ear infections, and Fletcher was free of these nasty little critters, which was welcomed good news. Ear infections can be complicated, thus it was important for Fletcher to be re-examined to check that his ear infection had resolved completely and to check that his ears responded appropriately to the medication.
Fletcher was seen by Dr Stella a few weeks later and it was noted that he still had some bacteria in his ears and some discharge, indicating his ear infection was persisting. Another medication was given to Fletcher to further and more specifically target the specific bacteria he had.
Two weeks later and Fletcher was back at the clinic for another recheck of his ear. Unfortunately, his ear problem was still present but causing him less pain and discomfort than before. A change in his ear medications was made and Fletcher came back in another two weeks time with… two beautiful healthy ears! But it was not just the medication we had to thank. With a combination of veterinary rechecks (including inspection of the ear for smell, colour of discharge etc, ear swabs, otoscopic examination and microscopic evaluation of swabs), Ashlie's strong compliance with medications and home care, and Fletcher's patience and compliant nature, Fletcher's ear infection was able to be resolved. This multi-factorial approach is an essential aspect of treating any condition, but is particularly critical for ear related problems.
Because of their complex nature, ear infections can be difficult to treat, making ear infections a significant welfare issue. Click here for more information on ear infections.