Monday, September 30, 2013

Hairy Has an Ear Polyp

With the wind howling yesterday, I went out to close the cats from access to the cat yard, fearful one of the trees would come down in the night and take out the cat yard.  Not long after I did that, a branch came crashing down off the maple and crunched the top of one side of the cat yard when it did.

The branch is about seven inches across at its thickest and brought down with it all its off branches, most three to four inches in diameter.  Maple is heavy wood.  I am so lucky I did not have my car parked out in my driveway when this happened.  My beloved car would have been terribly damaged.

It left a badly damaged branch standing, that will come down in some other windstorm if I don't get it down myself.
That big branch needs cut off below the scar where the other branch split and peeled off.  There are two branches above the scar, one thin, one big.
Here's what is left, after the one branch was torn off by wind.  That will have to come down too.

So when I was out in the garage cat room, Hairy began crying.  He never does this.  But his ears have been bothering him again.  I've treated them for mites and yeast but the problem recurs.  This time I took him into the bathroom and clipped his hair and irrigated his ears with some otic solution that is supposed to help with yeast, keep it from growing back.

I had my headlamp this time and my reading glasses.  Deep inside his left ear, I could see a white soft looking blob.  I thought "What is that?"  Infection maybe?  But back at my computer, a friend back east, suggested it might be an ear polyp.  I looked up photos of ear polyps and sure enough, looks just like one of the photos.

This is not a photo of Hairy's ear, but this is exactly what the thing in his ear looks like. It bleeds into his ear.  I thought he was deaf when he came here, so I believe he's had it a long time and I just didn't see it.  I read ear polyps generally affect cats from one to four years of age.  It is not known what causes them but they are thought to arise from inflammation or may be genetic. They often grow back if just pulled off or sliced off at the thin stump.  The most effective "cure" is surgical removal that includes removal of some of the bone beneath the polyp.  

Hairy is old.  I don't know how old.  He's been here three years.  Heartland had called and said they had an already ear tipped (fixed feral) cat brought in by someone who lives on Country Club Dr. in Corvallis, in a live trap, that he'd been coming through their cat door for food.  Heartland didn't want to kill him.  I agreed to take him.  I had someone who would place him as a feral.  I took him immediately to that woman but had to retrieve him a few weeks later.  Hairy is a chow hound.

He was tested, in the process, and the vet then estimated his age at somewhere around or over 10.  That was three years ago.  Hairy is very very hairy, including around and in his ears.  This isn't a good thing to have hairy ears as they trap moisture and yeast infections are common with hairy eared cats.  His hair is so fine and mats so easily I have to clip him frequently.  I hold him at first in a net, but then just let him hide his head under a blanket.  He likes being rid of that fine easily matting hair.

He's in my bathroom now and I have a call in to my vet to see what should be done.  
Took this a year ago.
Hairy, after partial haircut last spring.

 In the meantime, I am slowly cleaning up the mess from that huge limb falling.  My sawzall battery only lasts for about three cuts.  Then it must be charged for a few hours.  So clean up will be a slow process. 

While the cat yard fence did not fall, the 2x4 at the top across which it fell is cracked and broken, although still in place, held by the cat wire.  Darn storm anyhow.

I've cut up some of the fallen branches.  Maple, once seasoned, makes great burning wood, for stoves, and also for campfires.  It also can be turned into nice cat trees!

More mess, but nice useful wood.

Hairy has an appointment for Thursday now.  I drop him off in the morning.  They'll put him out and check him out, including his ears, that thing in one ear, and his teeth and he will get a rabies shot update.  The cats don't free roam, but bats can get through the cat yard fencing and netting.  I like to be safe about that and he's probably had only one vaccination in his life, when he was fixed.

I feel pretty safe about rabies once a cat has had three vaccines in their life.  Rabies is nothing to mess around with and vaccination is the why rabies is rare in the US.  It's a public health duty I feel.  There are some duties to the greater good, that supersede personal opinion or convenience.

I've gotten most of the mess cleaned up now and cut up, except for the biggest trunk, about 20 feet or 22 feet long.  The cats would love it if I just moved that into the cat yard, for them to walk on or I may make a cat log house from it later.  The three to four inch branches I cut into lengths to season and use as cat shelf supports in the cat yard.  The one to two inch branches I cut to be used for fire or stove wood.  The smaller branches I broke up by hand and foot, and piled and hope to talk neighbors with space in their yard debris cans to allow me that space use.

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