white cats and deafness
Ear And Hearing Disorders In Cats:
Ear conditions are among the most common reasons cat owners visit their veterinarian.  An affected cat will scratch and shake its head in discomfort.  The shape of the ear canal encourages the accumulation of wax and debris that cannot easily be shaken out.  Left unattended, a simple-external ear condition in your cat can lead to a far more serious inner-ear infection.
Ear Mites And Ear Infections In Your Cat:

In young cats, otitis (or canker), an inflammation of the skin in the ear, is often caused by ear mites, which are the size of a pinhead, white, and move vigorously when light is shined on them.  Some mites live outside the ears and are the source of frequent reinfestations.

Some bacteria take advantage of mite infestations or other causes of ear-canal inflammation.  The yeast Malassezia Pachydermatis, often present in healthy ears but more often seen in inflamed ears, may also be such an opportunist.

Untreated external-ear infection in your cat may lead to a ruptured eardrum and middle or inner ear infection with associated head tilt or loss of balance.  Treatment: Ear mites should be treated with an effective product for at least three weeks. Always treat all of your cats (and dogs, rabbits, and ferrets, if you have any).  Mites spread easily and your cat can become reinfected.  Your vet will dispense medicine for other causes of ear infection.  Take care when using standard ear medicines if the eardrum is ruptured.  Certain drugs, such as the antibiotics gentamycin and neomycin, can cause ear-nerve damage.
Signs Of Ear Problems In Your Cat:

*Head and ear shaking,

*Scratching one or both ears,

*An unpleasant odor from the ears,

*Yellow, brown, or mahogany-colored ear discharge,

*Inflammation of the ear flap or ear-canal opening,

*Aggression when your cat is touched near the ears,

*Head tilted to one side,

*Apparent loss of hearing in your cat,

*Swelling to an ear flap.
Cat Ear Disorder Symptoms At A Glance:
Ear Tumors In Your Cat:

Mature cats often develop gray-blue, blister-like tumors, which are called ceruminomas, in the ear canal.  These may develop after chronic inflammation and often become infected. Treatment: A chronic ear problem may best be solved by surgically altering your cat's ear canal to allow better aeration.  If the eardrum has been ruptured and a chronic middle-ear infection exists, it may be beneficial to remove the entire ear canal and drain the middle ear.
Middle Or Inner Ear Infections In Cats:

Inflammation of your cat's middle or inner ear may lead to fever and loss of balance, along with poor coordination, loss of appetite, and vomiting.  It can also lead to vestibular syndrome, which shows similar symptoms but with no fever.  These signs - sometimes mistaken for a stroke - often diminish within a week and disappear within a month, but a residual head tilt is not uncommon.  Treatment:  Symptomatic treatment is given to control nausea and prevent accidental injuries.  Inner ear infection is treated with antibiotics or, sometimes, surgery.
Deafness In Cats:

About 20 percent of white cats, especially those cats with blue eyes, are born deaf.  Deafness may also develop in older cats.  For accurate diagnosis, a specialist can carry out a brain-stem auditory-evoked response (BAER) test.  Handling deafness in your cat: Do not let a deaf cat outdoors; the risks outweight the benefits.  Be patient.  Be careful when approaching or waking the cat so it is not startled.  Consider getting the cat a hearing companion, even a dog, as a buddy.  The deaf cat understands what is happening by watching what the dog does.
White Cats With Blue Eyes Are More Prone To Deafness.
You may also find this page useful: Cleaning And First Aid For Your Cat's Ears
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