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Companion Animal Practice
Diagnostic imaging of ear disease in the dog and cat
  1. Livia Benigni

    Livia Benigni graduated from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1997. She spent three years in the cardiology unit at the Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d'Alfort, in Paris, before moving to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) where she is a Temporary Lecturer in radiology. She holds the European diploma in veterinary diagnostic imaging.

  2. Chris Lamb

    Chris Lamb is Senior Lecturer in radiology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the RVC. He is a diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Radiology and the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging.


MOST dogs and cats with common aural conditions, such as otitis externa or aural haematoma, may be treated satisfactorily without the need for diagnostic imaging. However, animals with recurrent or severe otitis, and those with more marked signs, such as para‐aural swelling, pain on opening the mouth, vestibular syndrome or facial paralysis, may benefit from a more thorough work‐up to examine the middle ear and adjacent structures. In such cases, the anatomical complexity and relative inaccessibility of these structures is best addressed by diagnostic imaging ‐ involving, as appropriate, radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasonography. This article reviews the use of these imaging techniques in dogs and cats with clinical signs of ear disease and illustrates some of the more typical findings.

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