Questions & Answers

My cat has ongoing ear problems. He now has clusters of black bumps in his ears. He shakes his head like a horse and scratches at his ears, so I know they hurt him. He is lethargic and has bad breath. He is fixed and 5 years old.


Although an exam is definitely recommended to fully evaluate your cat, a chronic ear infection will lead to small black bumps/cysts that develop in and around the ear.  Once these cysts develop it is difficult to remove them (laser therapy is recommended). In addition, the presence of these cysts prevent appropriate access to the ear canal and can exacerbate the infection.  He will need the infection evaluated, he may need his ears flushed, and pain medication provided. Otherwise, his exam would include an oral exam for the bad breath…

Good luck,

Christine Simon D.V.M.

The Cat Doctors

Shaking the head and scratching at the ears are signs of ear discomfort or itching, common causes of ear discomfort in cats include bacterial or yeast infections, or in some cases may be parasites (ear mites).  Often cats with recurrent ear discomfort may have underlying conditions predisposing them to infection such as environmental allergies, food allergies, nasopharyngeal polyps, or growths within the ear canal.


Most cases of bad breath in dogs and cats are caused by periodontal disease (a bacterial infection of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth) however in some cases other systemic diseases such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease can also causes changes to the breath odor and are diagnosed by simple blood and urine tests.


Please schedule your cat for a complete physical examination with one of our veterinarians to evaluate his ear disease and determine the source and appropriate treatment for the bad breath.

813 877 6369

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