Hello, my name is Catherine. I have long loved animals and have had several of my own over the years. Sadly, I saw two of my cats suffer with feline cancer, one of my dogs had arthritis, and, of course, we faced the usual calamities and injuries pets often face. However, I have had to navigate this on a relatively restricted budget, and through the years, I have gotten quite proficient at that. I work at a library and love doing research on pets and veterinary care as well as a range of other topics. I also love to write so decided to put my info in a blog. Please, explore and enjoy!
Just like humans, cats can develop a variety of cancerous tumours. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of tumour that can grow in the epithelium cells of the ear. It's an invasive type of cancer that can spread to other parts of your cat's body if it's not treated promptly, so it's important to be aware of the signs. The skin and tissue of the ears are delicate and ear cancer can develop from prolonged exposure to the sun. Any cat can develop ear cancer, but it does seem to be more prevalent in cats with white ears. Below is an overview of ear cancer in cats:
Common symptoms of ear cancer in cats include localised inflammation and red sores at the tip of the ear, which may develop crusts. Ulcers will form around the ear canal and may bleed, and when left untreated, ulceration may spread to your cat's face. These painful sores can cause your cat to become withdrawn, and some cats lose their appetite when in pain.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Your vet can diagnose ear cancer by examining your cat's symptoms and performing a thorough examination of their ears with an otoscope, which will allow them to determine if the ear canal and eardrum have been affected. Blood samples will be taken to check your cat's organ function and white blood cell count, which can be raised if their body is fighting a disease. A biopsy of ear tissue will also be taken and analysed for the presence of cancerous cells, and your cat may also undergo diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray, to allow the vet to determine whether the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues.
When diagnosed early, ear cancer can be treated using cryosurgery, which involves freezing off the ulcers. However, when several ulcers are present, the external part of your cat's ear may need to be surgically removed. If cancerous cells are found in the ear canal, it may also need to be removed, which can compromise your cat's hearing, but most cats can still hear from the affected ear to some degree. Your vet will arrange follow-up appointments after treatment to check for any signs of new cancerous cells developing around the ears, as ear cancer can sometimes recur.
If your cat is showing symptoms of ear cancer, schedule an appointment with your vet clinic as soon as possible to prevent them experiencing unnecessary suffering.