cat ear infection

Cat Ear Infection Causes and Treatment

Ear infections are not uncommon in cats, particularly those with long hair or floppy ears that can trap moisture and debris. Signs of a cat ear infection in a cat may include head shaking, scratching at the ears, discharge or odor from the ears, and sensitivity when the ears are touched.

How common is it for cats to get ear infections?

Dogs have more bacterial and yeast outer ear infections than cats. Otitis externa is the medical term for a cat ear infection of the outer ear. Ear mite infestation is the most common cause of external otitis in cats, also known as otitis externa.

What are the symptoms of a cat ear infection?

Infections of the ear canal can be very painful and uncomfortable because the ear canals are very sensitive. A cat will be shaking its head and scratching its ears in an effort to clear the ear canal of any debris or fluid that may be present. It’s common for the ears to become red and inflamed, and they might even start to smell bad. The majority of the time, a black or yellow discharge can be seen.

Don’t ear mites usually cause these symptoms?

Mites in the ear canal can be the root cause of several of these symptoms, such as a black discharge, itching, and shaking of the head. On the other hand, kittens and cats who live outside are most likely to suffer from ear mite infections. When a kitten already infected with ear mites is brought into the family, it is most likely that the adult cats will have the condition as well.

Ear mites can sometimes produce an environment within the ear canal that encourages the development of a secondary infection with bacteria or yeast. It is possible that the mites will have died off by the time the cat is brought to the veterinarian, but the ear infection will still be rather severe.

Can you treat your cat’s ear infection with ear drops ?

No, a comprehensive analysis of the problem’s exact cause is required before selecting a suitable treatment in order to solve the issue. A cat ear infection can be caused by a wide variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungus, and viruses. We are unable to choose the appropriate medication since we do not know the type of infection that is present.

When a cat is shaking its head, it can sometimes be traced back to a foreign object, tumor, or polyp that is located in the ear canal as well. Medication therapy on its own will not be sufficient to remedy these issues. It is essential to perform a thorough examination on the cat to validate why exactly it is shaking its head and the health of the eardrum. Some drugs can cause eardrum rupture, which can lead to hearing loss.

How can you determine what is causing the ear issue?

An otoscope is a device that magnifies and shines light into the ear canal, which can be used by the veterinarian to inspect the ear canal. The veterinarian is able to get a clear view of the ear canal and evaluate whether or not the eardrum is intact, as well as whether or not there is a tumor or some other foreign material in the ear canal.

If there is a significant amount of debris, discharge, or irritation present within the ear canal, it is conceivable that a thorough examination will be unable to be carried out. Sedation or general anesthesia could be required if the cat is unwilling to have its ears examined, or if the ears are in excruciating discomfort and the cat does not want to have its ears examined.

Under the microscope, the veterinarian may analyze a sample of the material that was extracted from the ear canal. This process, which is known as ear cytology, plays a very significant role in assisting the veterinarian in selecting the appropriate prescription for your cat.

What kind of treatment is given for a cat ear infection?

The outcomes of the cytology test and the otoscopic examination will inform the veterinarian how to treat your cat in the most effective manner. If there is something foreign stuck in the ear canal of the cat, the cat can be sedated so that the foreign object can be extracted. Bacteria and fungi each have their own unique treatment options, but when multiple types of infections are present, it is often necessary to take more than one medication at a time.

The diagnosis of any underlying diseases is an essential component of the evaluation. If this cannot be done, it is less likely that the cat will experience a positive response to treatment; the cat may respond temporarily to the treatment, but then relapse once the medication is stopped being administered.

Should we be concerned that something other than a primary ear infection is occurring when a cat is shaking its head ?

Ear infections are extremely rare in healthy cats because of their natural immunity. If a cat develops otitis externa, particularly if it reappears, it is necessary to look for an underlying cause, such as an ear mite infestation, an unusual shape of the ear canal, or a disease affecting the cat’s immune system.

What is the prognosis?

Ear infections in cats are highly treatable, and nearly all of them can be cured provided that they are correctly diagnosed and given the appropriate treatment. On the other hand, the outcome will be less favorable if an underlying cause is not properly identified and treated even if it is present.

The ear canal of my cat is almost completely blocked off. Is this a problem?

When a cat ear infection becomes severe and persistent over time, the ear canal may eventually close off. There are medications that can be given to cats in order to help shrink the swollen tissues and open up the canal. Surgical intervention might be necessary in certain cases.

How should I apply medication to my cat’s ear?

It is essential to inject the medication into the lower part of the ear canal or the horizontal portion of the ear canal. Because of the “L” shape of the cat’s ear canal, it is imperative that the medication be administered thoroughly throughout the entirety of the canal.

When you have finished applying any and all ear medications, use a cotton ball to clean the external portion of the ear canal as well as the interior of the ear flap. Cotton-tipped applicators should be avoided at all costs because of their tendency to force debris further down the vertical ear canal.

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