Cats don’t typically get ear infections, but when they do, the cause can be complex.
If your vet has eliminated ear mites– the perpetrator in about half of all feline ear infections– she’ll need to do some sleuthing to determine what’s causing your cat’s outer or middle ear infection. It could be secondary to allergic reactions, a mass, or perhaps something lodged in the ear canal.
Detecting the condition may require sedation or X-rays, however dealing with ear infections typically isn’t really complicated. Antibiotics, anti-parasitics, antifungals, and corticosteroids are the most typical treatments.
What’s essential is that you get your feline in for treatment as quickly as you see signs of ear pain. Ear infections can become chronic and cause deafness and facial paralysis.
What Causes Ear Infections in Cats?
Normally, unless your cat has gotten mites from another animal, ear infections are a secondary condition. That indicates they are actually the result of some other underlying medical problem.
Here are a few of the contributing causes and perpetuating elements for external ear infections, called otitis externa, and middle ear infections, called otitis media:
- An overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, or frequently, both
- Wax accumulation in the ear canal
- Thick hair in the ear canal
- Allergic reactions such as food or pollen
- Autoimmune diseases
- Tumors/polyps within the ear canal
- Ruptured eardrum
- Incorrect ear cleaning
- Foreign bodies such as bristle from lawn
- Ecological irritants
- Diabetes mellitus
Infections of the middle ear are generally the result of an infection that has actually spread out there from the outer ear canal.
What Are the Signs of an Ear Infection in a Cat?
A cat will reveal his discomfort by scratching or pawing at his ear or shaking or tilting his head in the direction of the painful ear. Other symptoms to search for include:
- Black or yellow-colored discharge
- Soreness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
- Waxy accumulation on or near the ear canal
- Release from the ear that looks like coffee premises (a symptom of ear mites).
- Strong odor.
- Hearing loss.
- Loss of balance or disorientation.
How Are Ear Infections in Cats Treated?
If your veterinarian identifies that your feline has ear mites or a yeast or bacterial infection, she’ll treat it with anti-parasitics, antifungals, or antibiotics, as suitable. These all come in ointment or eardrop kind.
If the eardrum is great however infection has actually reached the middle ear, the veterinarian may prescribe oral or injectable antibiotics.
To start treatment, your veterinarian may clip the fur around the cat’s ear canal to assist the cleansing and drying of the ear canal.
At home, you can continue examining your cat’s ear to see if the within the ear flap is pink and clear. If ear drops have actually been recommended, carefully raise the ear flap and capture out the solution into the ear canal. Carefully massage the base of the ear to assist the medication work its way into the ear canal.
If your cat has chronic ear infections, the veterinarian might recommend a medication to assist minimize the swelling of tissue in the ear canal. In some cases, surgery is had to remove swollen tissue that has narrowed or closed the ear canal.
Are Certain Cats More Susceptible to Ear Infection?
Felines with diabetes, allergic reactions, or a weak body immune system are more susceptible to ear infections.
Can Ear Infections in Cats Be Prevented?
The best way to avoid another painful ear infection is to consistently examine the ear to make sure there’s no inflammation, residue, or odor. Healthy ears are pale pink and have no visible debris or odor and very little or no ear wax. It is best for the vet to reveal you how to clean your cat’s ear or to do it himself or herself. Never ever insert a cleansing device into the ear canal itself unless your veterinarian has actually instructed you to do so.