Our girl has suddenly lost her hearing. Her 11th birthday was this weekend. We noticed some signs last Wednesday, and were certain of it by Saturday. She had been more demanding with her meows at first, a lot louder than normal, but started to get spooked when she caught our other kitty or one of us out of the corner of her eye, as if she didn't hear us coming. On Saturday I stood 2 feet from her and called her name, she didn't hear me, only to jump when she saw me move. We took her in to see her Dr. this afternoon and we are all stumped. He checked her ears, they are clear (but for a little wax) and he said her ear drums are opaque (more like wax paper than saran wrap). He doesn't think it is an infection, her gag reflex is fine, her eyes respond normally, her nose twitches -- Everything else with her is fine, appetite, etc. but he does feel she cannot hear. Only two things have happened lately; 1.) She had her teeth cleaned on 3/15 and 2.) The week of the 12th we were out of town and our pet-sitter had the flu while she was checking on them. Any ideas? The Dr. said the anesthesia was uneventful. I have noticed ever since then she has had more vivid dreams than usual (face and paws will move, she'll jump, wake up and hiss at whatever she was dreaming of). However, I know for a fact she could hear after the dental cleaning. Can this be a toxicity? She is not on medication and we are diligent to keep chemicals away from their reach. Can this be an infection in the ear anyway even though she is walking fine and her head is not tilted? Her bloodwork was perfect a month ago-What could have happened to her?
Oh that is a mystery isn't it??? to happen so suddenly makes me wonder about the anesthesia too....could some damage have been done to her brain with the administration?...not so much a toxic reaction but would be more to do with prolonged exposure or over administered? I'm just fishing here, nothing to base this on....if I were you I would ask just what anesthesia was used and was the Vet an anesthesiologist or not, I know here in a smaller city we don't have access to one and its administered by a general Vet who I'm sure has had at least some training in this specialty.
Do some research after you find out more answers. I do hope its something temporary.
Also can I ask if kitty is WHITE with BLUE EYES by any chance??? they genetically have a high rate of deafness.
good luck, maybe others can help you more..
Thank you for your reply, Opus. She is not a white kitty, she is a bengal, in perfect health.
The Dr. isn't so concerned about the anesthesia b/c she had seemingly perfect hearing for about 1 month after the dental. He said all intubations and extubations went smoothly. He was very considerate when choosing the anesthesia and I know she was maintained with isoflurane.
I am wondering if maybe the dental caused some sort of inner ear imbalance maybe? I am wondering also if we should not rule out an inner ear infection just because she has normal gait and is not turning her head. She does sleep with her ears slightly flattened now, which is not normal.
Hi, you know, it seems to me I've read an article about this in my Cat Magazine. I'm going to try and find it...if in fact that's where I read it. Could have been in our daily paper in the pet section though. I just googled "sudden deafness in cats" and one site I read a doctor saying that sudden deafness (and blindness) can occur in an older cat...which yours is although I'm sure you don't think of her that way :) The dr does mention ear infection or polyps in the ears can be the cause, as well. Have you tried a google search of this issue?
Since kitty is sleeping with her ears flattened, clearly, she's telling you she feels odd, so maybe a round of antibiotics wouldn't hurt. Has your vet checked her ears for infection?
I was also going to say that it could be age related.
Has the vet checked if this has got to do anything with the nerve? I think you mentioned he checked for tumors and ear mites…and that you are completely sure the drugs that were administered to her have nothing to do with this.
I suggest taking her to a specialist! It may not be what you want but maybe her deafness can be reversible. Specialists usually know what to do immediately after they take a look at a patient.
In the meantime, try to adjust to her sudden condition. Make sure she knows when you are around instead of “surprising” her although I’m sure you already do this since you probably don’t want to scare your kitty or make her nervous. You are going to have to use non-verbal communication with her from now on, like the slow blink which says “I love you”….and lots of petting and reassurance.
I’m sorry your kitty has lost her hearing. I hope this can be reversible. But if it isn’t, know that even though you will have to be more cautious and tweak your ways with her, it doesn’t mean she’s got a death sentence written up for her. She can live many more years. I commend you for taking such good care of your pet. I can tell you have been trying hard to find an explanation and a cure.
Let us know if you need any further advice. Do lots of research. Read a lot on this. I’m sure you will come up with the answer.
good to rule that out!! isofluane/gas is the safest!
I agree with Jade, could well be an infection from the extraction...although a month after seems not real llikely either, but could certainly be from other causes. the indication of flattening her ears does indicate she's feeling some pain...antib's and drops maybe what needs to be tried...let us knkow how it goes please we worry when we don't hear back about outcomes and its also knowledge for everyone that could find themselves in same boat with the kids...
2 of mine went deaf pretty suddenly, but they were much older, Queen Victoria was over 15 and Calamity Jane was over 19...they were sisters (same litter) and each of their hearing went about 2 years before the end. Cammie was always a bit healthier and skinnier than Bear-toria.
Other cats I've had past 15 never went deaf...
With both of them, we adapted to the situation.
Anita and I walked around the house a little "heavier" and made quality lap time more available. We figured that a little predator (albeit well-fed ones ,-) would be disturbed by losing a major sense and would need extra comforting.
Both of them quickly learned that a stamp on the floor at the expected times of the day meant breakfast of supper. They each were very perceptive and felt the vibrations at the other end of the house, if they hadn't already awakened; waiting by their plate, somewhat patiently.
The younger cats sensed that the Elders weren't quite the same and adapted, too.
I'm wondering if you know your Bengal is one of the ones with a Dominant white gene??, its part of the breed profile for some Bengals, usually blue eyed. though not white to look at........I googled & found this link that might explain it better )hope it works as a link, if not lose the <> & C&P)
My Parents have a Bengal Tom, he's now 13, & he too is now mostly deaf & it is apparently a genetic predisposition with some Bengals, depending on their ancestry, & colouration,........ Danny isn't at all white, though paler under neath & has blue eyes.........Though he didn't go suddenly like yours,.....I wonder is it possible your Cat has gone deaf more slowly & you've only noticed now she is completely deaf, thats easy to do with Cats, as they are very adept at adapting themselves, especially if you live in a noisier household, Children etc?................strangely he also flattens his ears when sleeping & my Dad who is also now Deaf wonders if he also gets a bit of tinitus which he notices more when trying to rest..........., as my Dad now does too.
Hope you get your answer, but I wouldn't be surprised if its genetic
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.