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My daughter's tortie has a hematoma on her ear that makes it look like cauliflower. The first vet thought she had earmites, but the meds didn't stop her cat from kicking and scratching. The vet said there was no use in draining the hematoma or performing surgery while the itch was that intense. So she put an Elizabethan collar on Tortie. Unfortunately, when the treatment was over and the collar removed, Tortie started scratching and kicking away.

Tortie had to go to the emergency vet one night because it was late when my daughter got home from work, and the doctor there said she thought it was not ear mites, but a fungus, and agreed that the hematoma would just keep returning until the root cause was taken care of. Back on with the collar, and more meds. Everything looked fine until the collar came off. The cycle keeps repeating! Over and over, my daughter is running to the vet. The collar can't stay on throughout Tortie's life, so my daughter is very upset. Of course running back and forth (and Tortie spent several days in the hospital) is costing a fortune, and nothing is helping.

My Checkers had a lump on her ear. The hematoma was removed, the ear mite meds continued and that was the end of it. My daughter had seen Checkers and said this is much worse. I have no answer for her. Dr. Jean, are you around? We need your advice.
 

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Hi Jeanie,

There are a couple of routes possible here. One would be to consult a specialist, probably a veterinary dermatologist. Don't know if they're anywhere within shouting distance of a referral center or vet teaching hospital, but obviously the conventional treatments are not working. Possibly no one has ever bothered to culture the ear to see what is going on. Knowing exactly what you're treating can occasionally be useful! :?

In cats, according to *my* dermatologist pals, ear infections are due to food allergies in about 50% of cases (much higher than dogs). Yeast (fungal) infections are always secondary, so the primary cause must be treated to prevent recurrence. A hypoallergenic diet trial (minimum 12 weeks, ABSOLUTELY strict) would be appropriate.

Another route would be holistic treatment. Acupuncture, if you can find someone local, along with Chinese herbs, is a powerful combo. Homeopathy can be done long distance and is also a powerful healing modality; if you want the names of the vet homeopaths I refer clients to, please PM me. I also have a holistic vet in California (who also works long distance) that specializes in, for want of a better term, "allergy relief." I've worked with him on several cases and he does amazing work. Again, PM me for contact info.

Still and all, surgery may ultimately be necessary to relieve the hematoma, but let's make sure we can't address it in a simpler way first!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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