Cat Ear Discharge: Common Causes
When your cats ears are healthy, theyre pink and clean inside, have no smell, have very little or no wax, and seem able to detect the sound of a can opener from a mile away.
When your feline friend has ear problems, you may notice a much different kitty. Symptoms of ear problems in cats include pawing at the ears, sensitivity to touch, a large amount of cream colored, orange, dark brown, or black wax hearing loss head tilting or shaking and loss of balance. The most common causes of ear discharge in cats include:
- Ear mites . So tiny you usually need a microscope to see them, ear mites are the most common cause of cat ear problems, and they can be very irritating to your cat. An ear mite infestation can get so bad, that along with a lot of head shaking, your cat may scratch hard enough to create bloody sores an ear infection may result.
- Ear infections. This is serious business. Ear infections are not only extremely uncomfortable for your cat, but if left untreated they can lead to permanent deafness or a need for surgery. Ear infections in cats can be caused by a number of things, including a piece of debris caught in their ear canal, wax buildup in the ear canal, allergies to food or pollen, autoimmune diseases, thick hair in the ear canal, a ruptured eardrum, drug reactions, tumors or polyps in the ear canal, and environmental irritants.
Home Remedies For Ear Mites
There are many products on the market that claim to kill ear mites, but those available without a prescription are usually less effective than a licenced product from your vet. Always talk to your vet if your cat has an ear problem. They will not only provide you with licenced, effective treatment but will also check your cats ears for other problems. Leaving an ear problem for too long can lead to serious problems.
How Are Ear Mites Treated
You wont need an exorcism to get rid of these pests, but it is important to follow all of your veterinarians instructions to a T. Once a cat has been properly diagnosed with ear mites, treatment generally begins with a thorough cleaning of the ears to remove any wax or debris that may shield the mites from topical medications that are applied directly in the ear and the areas around it. These topical medications are typically prescribed for a period of two to three weeks and work in a way similar to that of lice shampoo in humans to eliminate ear mites completely.
Ear mites come with a high risk of infection, so many veterinarians will also prescribe ear drops or a treatment of antibiotics to relieve any infections that the cat may be suffering from. Infection treatment times can vary, but it usually does not exceed one month. Be sure to schedule a follow-up visit to be sure all your cats creepy crawlies are completely gone.
Because ear mites are so contagious, all pets in the household should be treated for ear mites. Additionally, it is important to keep an infected cat away from other animals as much as possible until the end of treatment.
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How Serious Is An Ear Mite Infestation
Left untreated, your cats health will suffer. According to WebMD Pets, half of all feline ear infections are the direct result of ear mite infestation.
Such infections can lead to an aural hematoma, a rupturing of the blood vessels inside the ear, which can even cause deafness and may require surgery to correct.
How Big Are Ear Mites In The Human Body
Ear mites are almost microscopically tiny, about the size of a pinhead, says Dr. Miller. But, he notes, its possible to see their rapidly moving little bodies with the naked eye. Ear mites are extremely contagious, he notes, moving from one cat to another on close contact and eventually making their way to the ear.
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Chronic Ear Infection In Cats
Is your kitty suffering from chronic ear infections? This can be caused by growths, allergies, parasites and more. If you find your cat has a long-lasting or recurring ear infection thats making their ears itchy or painful, discuss this with your vet, as they may be able to prescribe a medication to help reduce tissue swelling inside the canal.
In some rare cases, surgery will be necessary to correct the problem and remove swollen tissue that has blocked or narrowed the canal.
How Do Cats Get Ear Mites
Ear mites are common among outdoor cats and highly contagious between animals, although thankfully not to humans. Eggs are laid in the ear and take roughly three weeks to mature into an adult mite who can then breed and add to the infestation. And mites are not just relegated to your cats earsthey can occasionally go wandering and cause itching elsewhere on a cat’s skin.
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Facts You Need To Know About How To Get Rid Of Ear Mites In Cats
Sometimes it feels like treating ear mites is a hard and daunting task. But were firm believers that knowledge is power and that the more you know, the easier it will be to kill ear mites.
Be Ready For A Mite Fight
Getting rid of your cats ear mites is a multi-step process.
- Your cats ears need to cleaned before any medicine can get to the source. Your vet may do the first cleaning right at the office. Dont hesitate to ask for any and all tips so you can continue the process at home.
- Your vet will prescribe an ear cleaning solution, plus a parasiticide to kill the mites.
- If your cat has mites plus an ear infection, youll also get a prescription for an antibacterial or antifungal medication to treat the infection.
- Following your veterinary teams instructions carefully, make sure to gently clean your cats ears and apply any medication as directed.
- Come in for a checkup in about 2-3 weeks to make sure your cats ears are improving and the mites are on the run.
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What Are Ear Mites In Cats
Ear mites in cats are common. They are parasites that normally live in the ear canal and sometimes on the surface of the skin. Ear mites cause a condition known as otodectic mange. While not life-threatening, ear mites are contagious to other animals and can cause severe irritation to your feline companion.
Veterinary Costs Adding Up Fast
Regular veterinary care for your cat may already be quite costly. Add to that the cost of professional cleaning of your cats ears, on-site medication, prescriptions, and any follow-up visits and treatment, and youve racked up a substantial veterinary bill.
Even a trip to your local pet supply chain for medication and premium ear cleaning products can be prohibitively expensive.
Natural home remedies can save you hundreds of dollars and, best of all, you probably already have what you need right there in your home!
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How To Get Rid Of Ear Mites In A Cat
Last Updated: July 1, 2021ReferencesApproved
This article was co-authored by Ray Spragley, DVM. Dr. Ray Spragley is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the Owner/Founder of Zen Dog Veterinary Care PLLC in New York. With experience in multiple institutions and private practices, Dr. Spragleys specializations and interests include non-surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament tears, Intervertebral Disk Disease, and pain management in osteoarthritis. Dr. Spragley holds a BS in Biology from SUNY Albany and has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehab Institute as well as a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through Chi University.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 988,932 times.
How Ear Infections In Cats Are Diagnosed
Your vet will start by using an otoscope to look into your cats ear canal, then taking a sample of ear debris to examine under a microscope to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or ear mites are causing the issue. If you bring your cat in for routine exams, your vet may be able to detect early signs of infection before they develop into long-term problems. We also have an in-house laboratory that allows us to perform tests and receive results quickly and effectively.
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Check Your Other Animals
- If you have more than one pet and you, therefore, suspect that one of them has ear mites, then you should ensure that you check all of their ears.
- This is due to the fact that ear mites spread easily between the animals if they sleep together or even groom each other.
- If you only treat the affected animal, then it can be that other pets are harboring the parasite but dont indicate any signs, and might thus act as a reservoir for a re-infection.
- If one pet is having ear mites, then it is likely that you are required to treat all the pets in the house so as to do away with an infection.
Get Treatment For Your Pets Ear Mites In Jackson Tn
If you suspect your dog or cat has ear mites, schedule an appointment at University Parkway Animal Hospital immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation will become, and the risk of an infection increases. Call our team today at or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.
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How To Recognize And Treat Mites On Your Cat
Recognizing mites and knowing how to treat them is important to the health of your cat.
Reading time: 5 minutes
Recognizing mites and knowing how to treat them is important to the well being of your pet cat. The mites themselves are a big problem however, the real danger is your cat scratching itself in an attempt to relieve the itching. This repeated scratching can result in a number of deep wounds, as the itching becomes much more relentless.
Along with the worry for your pet’s health, there are also the serious health ramifications for individuals living alongside suffering animals. Mites can only thrive when given a host to feed off, but this also means that they can travel from one host to another. This means that you and other people or animals in your household are prone to catching the mites and suffering from the same problems as your cat.
Signs Of Ear Infection In Cats
If your cat is pawing at their ear or looking otherwise uncomfortable, they may have an ear infection. Other symptoms of ear infection your cat may display include:
- Yellowish or black discharge
- Ear discharge resembling coffee grounds
- Hearing loss
- Swelling or redness in the ear canal
- Strong odor
- Waxy buildup near or on the canal
- Loss of balance
- Swelling or redness of the ear flap
While healthy ears are pale pink in color and have no visible debris or odor, and minimal or no wax, infected ears are often red or swollen, or will have an odor.
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How To Recognise An Ear Mite Infection
Your feline friend scratching its ears regularly is usually the first sign of a parasite infection. Infected cats tend to shake their heads and hold it in an angle. You may notice a dark coloured discharge in ear which may be coupled with an offensive smell. Pets might scratch the infected area and alopecia may be spotted on the ear, head and face.
Treating Ear Mites In Dogs And Cats
Fortunately, ear mites are perfectly treatable and the process to do so is usually fairly straightforward. Once your vet in Castle Rock has confirmed the diagnosis, he/she will probably prescribe topical medications which should destroy all of the ear mites. There are a variety of topical treatment types including eardrops, ointments and creams and these must be used exactly as directed. You will be able to complete the course of treatment at home.
If your cat or dog has damaged the skin around her ears as a result of scratching them excessively, further treatment may be needed. This may consist of oral and/or topical antibiotics, which again should be administered as advised and the course finished. In some cases, it might be necessary for your pet to be fitted with a cone collar which will prevent her from doing further damage to her ears.
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The Symptoms Of Ear Mites
Ear mites cause several symptoms. These include:
- Scratching: The first symptom of ear mites is excessive scratching. When the ear mites feed on the wax and oils in your pet’s ears, it causes a severe itching sensation. If your pet is excessively scratching its head or ears, it could have ear mites.
- Dark, crumbly discharge: If there is dark, crumbly discharge, similar to the appearance of coffee grounds coming from your pet’s ears, it is a sign of a serious ear mite infestation. The discharge is dried blood due to your pet scratching at the ear mites.
- Wounds: If your pet has scabs or abrasions at the base of the ear, it could have ear mites. Most pets will use the claws on their hind legs to scratch, which can cause abrasions over time. If the problem is not treated, the wounds can become infected, putting your pet’s health at risk.
- Invading other body parts: If your pet’s ear mite infestation becomes severe, the mites can enter other parts of the body, which can be very dangerous.
Can Ear Infections Be Prevented
Preventing infections before they have a chance to cause your dog discomfort is always the best option. While ear infections arent 100% preventable, like mites, there are some things you can do to lower your dogs risk.
If your dog suffers from infections due to allergies, the best thing to do is to remove the allergen from their daily life. This could include things like changing their food. If your dog has a diet thats high in starch, it could also be a contributing factor in how frequently they get a buildup of yeast in their ears.
One of the easiest ways you can help to prevent ear infections in your dog is to clean out their ears regularly. This is something you can do at home, and it can end up saving you a trip to the vet! Regular cleanings are a great way to keep ear infections at bay. In the next section, well go through a simple step-by-step guide to cleaning your dogs ears at home.
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How To Treat Ear Infection In Cats
Treatment for feline ear infections isnt usually complicated. To start, your vet may need to clip the fur around the cats ear canal to help keep it clean and dry.
If the infection has reached the middle ear but the eardrum is untouched, oral or injectable antibiotics may clear up the infection.
Treatments for ear infections in cats that are caused by bacterial or yeast infections, or ear mites, may be treated with corticosteroids, antifungals, antibiotics or anti-parasitics in ear drop form.
At-home treatment for your kitty’s ear infection involves monitoring the condition of your cat’s ears to check that the interior of the ear flap is clean and that the canal is clear. If your vet has prescribed ear drops, gently lift the ear flap, then squeeze the solution into the ear canal, massaging the base of the ear to help the medicine work its way into the ear canal.
Early treatment of infections is essential since ear infections can turn chronic and lead to facial paralysis and hearing loss.
My Cat Hates Going To The Doctor
For most people, a trip to the doctor can be quite stressful. Maybe its the strange smells of iodine and rubber gloves that triggers your anxiety.
Maybe its the nervous hush of the lobby as you wait with strangers for the results of a blood test.
Whatever stress you feel at the doctors office, it is likely much worse for your cat.
The busy, sterile environment of the veterinary office can be quite alarming to your pet and cause undue stress. Stress that effects their health just as it does ours.
Home care helps to reduce stress in your cat by keeping them in a familiar environment, where they can feel safe, and by receiving care from a person they know and trust.
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