Feline Ear Care
Your Cat's Ear
Clean, odour-free, pale pink colour and a minimal accumulation of wax are indications of healthy ears. Check your pet's ears regularly.
Signs of Ear Disease
- Unpleasant odour.
- Excessive scratching and pawing of the ear and head.
- Sensitivity to touch, often resulting in pain.
- Constant tilting/shaking of the head to one side.
- Black or yellowish discharge.
- Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal.
- Changes in behaviour like listlessness, depression or irritability.
- Accumulation of dark brown wax.
- Loss of balance or hearing and disorientation.
- Bleeding or discharge resembling coffee grinds.
Otitis Externa Infection of the external ear canal and Otitis Media, infection of the middle ear, are usually caused by ear mites, bacteria or yeast. Other possibilities include injury, debris, a polyp, tumour or a foreign object lodged in the ear canal. When seeking treatment, act quickly. If your cat has an ear infection, he/she may be in considerable discomfort. Medicated ear drops designed for topical use contain a variety of ingredients. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections while antifungals are administered for yeast. The antinflammatory- usually a steroid - will reduce pain, swelling and redness. Your veterinary surgeon will determine this during your visit and suggest the best course of action.
Ear Mites are common parasites that are highly contagious, often contracted from pet to pet contact. Excessive itching is the most common sign. Ear mites create dark, crumbly debris that look like coffee grinds.
Haematoma of the Ear Flap means blood has accumulated in the ear flap (pinna). This may be due to an underlying inflammatory to itchy condition either related to the ear or elsewhere on the body. Fleas are always an important consideration in such cases. Vigorous head shaking, scratching or trauma to the ear area result in damage to the blood vessels, often set off by infection, mites, fleas or debris.
Deafness usually brought on by age, trauma, loud noise or infection, can also be hereditary or congenital. Once diagnosed, clinical deafness is a lifelong condition.
Prevention. Ear cleaning solution used on an appropriate basis can be helpful in keeping your cat's ears healthy
How to Administer Ear Drops or Ointment to Cats
- Read the label instructions carefully for correct dosage.
- Gently pull the ear flap over the head, squeeze out the desired amount and apply it to the lowest part of the ear canal.
- Gently massage the ear area to help work the medication deeper into the ear canal.