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To analyze the results of transoral ventral bulla osteotomy (TOVBO) in cats.


13 client-owned cats treated by TOVBO between February 2016 and February 2019.


Medical records of cats with a diagnosis of middle ear disease (MED) that underwent TOVBO were reviewed. The procedure was similar to the one described for dogs. Short-term follow-up was obtained via clinical examination before discharge and at day 15 postoperatively. Long-term follow-up was performed via telephone interview.


13 cats (age range, 8 months to 12 years) underwent unilateral (n = 10) or bilateral (3) TOVBO (16) for the treatment of tympanic bulla (TB) infection (10), nasopharyngeal inflammatory polyps (5), or bullet retrieval from the TB (1). There were no intraoperative complications. One cat with a poor preoperative status died at postoperative day 3 from pneumonia. Eight cats experienced postoperative complications including head tilt (n = 2), Horner syndrome (3), loss of appetite (2), and temporary blindness (1). Collected samples confirmed the presence of nasopharyngeal inflammatory polyps (5), or otitis media (8). Six months after surgical intervention, 9 cats were free of MED signs.


This oral approach provided a good access to the TB in all cases. The complications observed after TOVBO were similar to those for VBO. In cats, TOVBO seems to be an acceptable and safe minimally invasive alternative to the other approaches of the TB to address MED.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association