Q: My cat Bella gets wax frequently and keeps scratching her ears with her paws. There seem to be some small lumps inside her ears. Please help.
– Bhavya Mohan, Mumbai
Dr KG Umesh: Otitis externa (inflammation of ear canal) is a complex disease process involving primary, predisposing and perpetuating causes. The first goal of treating otitis externa is to discover and treat the primary cause. Identifying and treating/eliminating these causes is the key to resolving the condition. Foreign bodies and larger parasites, such as ticks, can often simply be removed under tranquilization or general anaesthesia. Ear mites can be treated with one of many commercially available products and appropriate treatment of endocrine and immune-mediated disorders help to resolve associated otitis. Management of allergic diseases, although sometimes difficult, also helps resolve associated otitis. Tumours and growths can be surgically removed. Perpetuating causes of otitis are the next concern for treatment. Infection, excessive exudates and inflammation of the canal are addressed through various ear cleaning protocols, topical therapies, and systemic therapies-often in combination. Finally, it is important to evaluate and manage or eliminate potential predisposing factors.