If your cats starts shaking its head more often than usual and scratching at one or both of its ears, the likelihood is that it is suffering from one of the cat ear infections described below. Don’t delay in seeking veterinary help under these circumstances, because these infections can often become chronic, recurring at intervals if they are not treated effectively at the outset. There may be no clear signs of infection, but you may notice an unpleasant odour associated with the ears.
If you suspect your cat has an ear infection, a veterinary check is required urgently. With an infection, an extra output of wax, triggered by the inflammation within the ear is likely, making the ear tender.
What can be done if my cat develops a haematoma?
- It may resolve by itself to some extent, but usually it is necessary for surgery to be carried out, in order to drain the blood from the ear.
- Ear infections can be treated using ear drops. Take care that you do not hurt your cat unnecessarily when applying these to such a sensitive area.
Should I buy an over-the-counter remedy for my cat’s ear infection?
It really is better to obtain veterinary advice in this case, to be sure that you are using the best treatment. This is usually supplied as drops, which should be applied directly down the ear canal, taking care not to hurt your cat.
How should I go about cleaning the ear?
Don’t push a cotton bud into the ear canal when cleaning it as you may hurt your pet. Cotton wool soaked in olive oil and used to wipe the inside of the ear is a much better option.our vet can determine the exact cause of the problem by looking down your cat’s ears with an instrument called an otoscope.
CAUSES OF EAR PROBLEMS IN CATS
- Microscopic ear mites can be seen moving around in the ear, and may also be detected in ear wax. In some cases, there may also be bacterial and fungal infections present as well, and treatment will need to be directed accordingly, if it is to be successful.
- There is even the possibility that a foreign body such as a grass seed could have penetrated into the ear canal, and caused an infection.
- Any obstruction will need to be removed with a special pair of narrow forceps, before treatment can be given. Cats with prominent ears, such as the Devon Rex, are perhaps most at risk from this type of problem, particularly in the late summer and autumn when grass seeds are ripening.
- Aside from the infection, the cat can also injure itself badly as a result of the inflammation if it is allowed to continue scratching unchecked for any length of time.
- It may be necessary to place an Elizabethan collar around its neck to stop it scratching itself. Otherwise, there is a risk that the scratching may cause internal haemorrhaging within the ear flap, resulting in a swollen, blood-filled area known as a haematoma.
- Ear mites can be spread readily from dogs to cats and vice versa, particularly if they have close contact, so you may need to treat any dogs in your household as well as your cat.
- The mites do not burrow into the lining of the ear, but they will consume dead skin cells on the surface, where their movements cause irritation.
- Some cats carry these mites displaying few if any symptoms. Always complete a course of treatment with the aim of eliminating them completely, so that the problem doesn’t recur.