Caring for your Meow’s Ears

Ear infections can cause a lot of pain to your cat. So, here’s more about ear infections.

Cat ear infections can be divided in Pinna and ear canal disease. Infections of the external ear canal, also called the outer ear, are common in dogs, but not very common in cats. This is called otitis externa. The Persian breed appears more prone to ear infections than other breeds of cats. Cats living in wild can have cuts and tears due to thorns and dog bite wounds, which later on get infected.

Watch out for?:

  • Odour.Cat Health
  • Scratching or rubbing of ears and head.
  • Yellow discharge, which is from bacterial or candid infection.
  • Black discharge in the ears due to mites.
  • Redness or swelling of the ear canal.
  • Shaking of the head or tilting it to one side.
  • Pain around the ears.
  • Changes in behaviour such as depression or irritability.

Ear mites:

Many cats living together are more prone to ear mite infections. Ear mites can cause several of these symptoms, including a black discharge, scratching, and head shaking. Ear mite infections generally occur most commonly in kittens. Ear mites in adult cats occur most frequently after a kitten carrying mites is introduced into the household. Sometimes, ear mites create an environment within the ear canal, which leads to secondary infection with bacteria and yeast (fungus). After the mites go, secondary bacterial infection grows amongst the dead tissue, debris and inflammatory cells. 

Since cats are very sensitive to drugs and medicines, consult your vet immediately. First, the ear canal is examined with an otoscope, an instrument that provides magnification and light. This permits a good view of the ear canal. This examination allows to determine whether the eardrum is intact and if there is any foreign material in the canal. When a cat is in extreme pain and refuses to allow the examination, it must sometimes be completed under sedation or anesthesia.

Choice of the anesthesia is another issue and should be entrusted with experienced vets who know about “cats.” A cell cytology can be done by taking a smear on the slide and seen under the microscope. Live mites can be demonstrated. In chronic infections, culture and sensitivity test is a good idea. The ear discharge should be collected in a sterile container and sent to the lab.