Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Ear Mites

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Treating Ear Infection In Cats

Tip Tuesday Video – how to tell if your pets has mites or fleas

Treatment for feline ear infections isnt usually complicated. To begin, 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 has not yet been infected, oral or injectable antibiotics can often help to clear up the infection.

For ear mites, bacterial ear infection in cats or yeast infection in cats, treatment with corticosteroids, antifungals, antibiotics or anti-parasitics in-ear drops may be prescribed.

Treatment at home for your cat’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 deeper into the ear.

Early treatment of infections is essential since ear infections can turn chronic and possibly even lead to facial paralysis and hearing loss.

Signs Of Ear Mites In Cats

Signs of an ear mite infestation are noticed from cats’ behavior as well as evidence in the ears. Cats bugged by ear mites may scratch at their ears, shake their head, or keep their head tilted at an anglealmost like they’re trying to dislodge the pests. Waxy or crusty discharge that looks like coffee grounds may be evident on the exterior and interior of the cat’s ears.

Those spots that look like coffee grounds are evidence the ear mites have been at work for a while, according to Ernie Ward, DVM, a writer, podcaster, pet nutrition advocate, and veterinarian who works with cats at animal rescue groups in North Carolina.

“That’s the blood of the mites, feeding, spilling over,” Ward says. “There’s already been a lot of suffering by the cat that’s gone unnoticed.”

Ward imagines these bugs crawling around in a cat’s ear, and no matter how much a cat shakes, paws, or scratches, the sensation of movement and itching never stops.

Ear Inflammation And Debris

Infected ears tend to be red from the scratching and the bodys natural inflammatory response to the mites. Because the parasites stimulate the ceruminous glands of the ear, there is a build-up of brown to black wax that often resemble coffee grounds. If you are unfortunate to catch a whiff of it, youd know how foul it smells. In advanced cases, the wax may block the entire canal and cause problems with hearing and balance.

If the condition is left untreated, the affected skin becomes hard, thick, and dry. Combine that with hair loss and wounds from continued scratching and youll have a very sorry looking cat indeed.

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Should You Treat With Natural Or Commercial Products

If you are using a commercial product from the pet store for treatment, you should use it twice a week for at least three weeks. However, if you are using natural remedies for mite treatment, use it for a month because the mite egg will continue to hatch for a month, and there is more chance of reinfection.

Your vet will recommend steroids or antibiotics to calm inflammation or to treat bacterial infection. However, the technique for treating your dog is the same in both cases.

Change your clothes and wear old clothes before starting treatment because you are more likely to have stains of oil, tea, or any antiseptic solution on you when your dog shakes his head with irritation.

There are numerous supplies you will need during treatment, such as a clean cloth, an applicator, and treats. Commercial products are easy to use because they come in water bottles. For tea or oil, you can use a travel-size bath bottle or dropper for your convenience.

Keeping the clean cloth next to you will help clean up excess medicine if it spills around the treatment.

If you have a small puppy, you can place it on any counter or table next to your supplies, and for larger dogs, kneel down next to them. If you can get help from an extra pair of hands, it would come in handy to keep your puppy from moving.

Put a few drops of oil on them and let gravity move the liquid to its final destination. If you use something to poke your dogs ears, it will damage the eardrum and hearing.

Canine Scabies

How To Tell If A Human Has Ear Mites

Treating Ear Mites In Cats

Sarcoptic mites, the creatures responsible for mange in cats and dogs, are also a pest in humans 1. When they infect pets, they may be called ear mites, since the edges of the ears are the most obvious points of damage. Humans rarely get mite infestations in the ears. Instead, they exhibit infection by these ear mites as a reddish skin rash. This rash is called scabies, and can be extremely uncomfortable.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Examine the skin around your ears and on other parts of your body. Scabies manifests as red bumps, blisters and itchy spots. You may need to use a mirror to look at some parts of your body.

Look for burrows. Sarcoptic mites live under the skin, and burrow from one bump to the next. These burrows usually look like thin red, brown or gray lines a few millimeters long. They can be hard to see, and are destroyed by scratching.

Talk to a doctor. If you suspect you have a mite infestation, don’t put off talking to a medical professional. He or she can help you determine whether or not you really have mites. You’ll need to get appropriate treatment to kill the mites and stop the itching.

Tips

Sarcoptic mites on pets are not the same kind of mites that infests humans, but they can cause short-term itching and welts. Most cases of mites are acquired from other humans, not from pets.

Warnings

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How Are Ear Infections In Cats Treated

If your vet determines that your cat has ear mites or a yeast or bacterial infection, theyll treat it with anti-parasitics, antifungals, or antibiotics, as appropriate. These all come in ointment or eardrop form.

If the eardrum is fine but infection has reached the middle ear, the vet may prescribe oral or injectable antibiotics.

To begin treatment, your vet might clip the fur around the cats ear canal to help the cleaning and drying of the ear canal.

At home, you can continue checking your cats ear to see if the inside of the ear flap is pink and the canal is clear. If ear drops have been prescribed, gently lift the ear flap and squeeze out the solution into the ear canal. Gently massage the base of the ear to help the medicine work its way into the ear canal.

If your cat has chronic ear infections, the vet may prescribe a medication to help reduce the swelling of tissue in the ear canal. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove swollen tissue that has narrowed or closed the ear canal.

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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.

Determining If Your Cat Has Ear Mites

Ear mites in Pets
  • 1Look for excess wax. The ear mites provoke the lining of the ear canal to produce excessive amounts of wax. This wax is typically a dark brown/ black color, and can sometimes look like waxy dirt in the ear.XResearch sourceReaginic hypersensitivity in Otodectes cynotis infestation of cats and mode of mite feeding. Powell et al. Am J Vet Res 41 .
  • A cat with healthy ears will have minimal earwax. If you see something that looks like coffee grounds or flecks of black dirt in the ear, this is a sign of a possible ear health problem.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to sourceXExpert SourceVeterinarianExpert Interview. 29 June 2021.
  • The cat’s ear produces this wax as a defense against the impact of the infestation.
  • You may also notice a foul smell coming from the ears.
  • 2Watch for scratching or shaking. Ear mites cause irritation, and so the cat is likely to scratch repeatedly at the ear with a back paw and/or to frequently shake its head.XResearch sourceSmall Animal Dermatology. Muller & Kirk. Publisher: Saunders.
  • The cat’s claws may break the skin surface, leading to additional soreness, bleeding, and in some cases bacterial infections.XResearch sourceSmall Animal Dermatology. Muller & Kirk. Publisher: Saunders.
  • Regardless of the cause, if your cat frequently holds its head to one side, you should get it checked by a vet.
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    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.;

    Some Additional Signs Of Ear Infections To Watch For Include:

    • Black or yellowish discharge from either ear
    • Head tilting
    • Ear discharge that looks like coffee grounds
    • Redness or swelling in the ear canal
    • Loss of balance or disorientation
    • Hearing loss
    • Strong, offensive odor coming from the ear
    • Excessive waxy buildup in or near the ear canal
    • Redness or swelling of the ear flap

    We recommend carefully examining your cats ears regularly. Healthy ears are usually pale pink, free from detectable odor and debris, and have little to no wax. If something does not seem quite right, schedule an appointment with a vet as soon as possible.

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    How The Vet Confirms The Infection

    Its important to note that intense scratching and ear inflammation can be caused by things other than ear mites. Bacteria, fungi, other kinds of parasites, irritating chemicals, and physical obstruction of the ear canal can manifest the same way. And even if youve actually seen the

    This is why it is vital to go to a veterinarian before trying to treat any kind of ear infection at home.

    Your vet will most likely use an otoscope to see the inside of your cats ear and visualize the mites. Ear swabs will be taken and assessed in the lab to confirm the diagnosis and check if there are concurrent bacterial or fungal issues that will need treatment as well.

    A physical exam will be done to check if the infection has spread to other parts of the body. In extreme cases, a neurological exam may be warranted. This is only for situations in which the infection appears to have infiltrated much deeper into the ear canal, possibly reaching the nervous system.

    The Difference Between An Ear Infection And Ear Mites

    Cat Ear Infection

    What looks like ear wax in your cats ear can be a signal of a bigger health issue. Ear mites mainly lead to ear wax, but there are some common ways of differentiating between them. These are tiny parasites that are visible through the naked eyes. They usually feed on the wax in the cats ears and may excessively stimulate wax production from the wax-producing glands in the cats body.

    Ear mites are prevalent in Kittens and elderly cats and can either weaken the cats immunity or make the cat weaker. Ear mites are basically tiny, but they can cause inflammation and irritation, which is mainly uncomfortable. In the case of ear mites, there is the likelihood of a discharge that looks like dry coffee grounds or black coffee grounds, and it will consist of blood, mites, and ear wax.

    Although this can help discern whether your cat has ear mites or excessive wax production, its prudent to take the cat to a vet for a comprehensive examination. The vet will focus the examination on the ears using a microscope, clean the cat, and propose some measures that would be effective in dealing with cat ear mites.

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    How Can Bad Ear Mites Damage The Dog Ears

    If your dog suffers from a severe case of ear mites, treat your dog immediately because, in long-lasting cases, dogs experience a complete loss of balance and hearing.

    Another common and serious problem found in dogs is ear wounds that can occur as a result of an injury caused by aggressive scratching to eliminate itching. Dogs hind claws are very powerful and can cause painful scratches, so you should clean wounds regularly.

    Signs Your Cat May Have Ear Mites

    An ear mite infection will cause your cats ears to itch. This often results in them:

    • shaking their head or scratching their ears excessively
    • having red and inflamed ears caused by extra wax and irritation
    • producing a black, dry ear discharge which can sometimes let off a bad smell

    Irritation in a cats ear can also be caused by allergies leading to an infection that can look similar to ear mites. So, its crucial that you get your pet to the vet for a proper diagnosis.;

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    Can You Prevent Ear Mites In Cats

    One of the most effective treatments for ear mites in cats is prevention. A monthly topical dose of Revolution prevents an ear mite infestation from ever happening. In addition, Revolution protects against fleas, hookworm, roundworm, and the extremely serious and deadly heartworm. The only infestation is does not prevent is ringworm, which is a fungus and not actually a worm. There are other medications to treat this syndrome in cats. Another product that protects against ear mites is Advantage Multi. It is also applied on a monthly basis, directly to your pets skin.

    Watch For Scratching Or Shaking

    My cat has EAR MITES!?!
    • Ear mites lead to irritation, and so the cat scratches repeatedly at an ear using a back paw or frequently shaking off its head.
    • The cats claws can break the skin surface, causing additional soreness and thus bacterial infections.
    • A cat which suffers from ear mites for a long period of time develops inflammatory polyps in ear canals, and blood blisters on ear flaps because of constant rubbing and scratching.
    • In addition, the external ear can be inflamed and thus produce pus, or the cats eardrum can be torn, leading to balance issues and other problems which need professional veterinary assistance.

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    Cleaning Your Cats Ears With Vinegar

    The most effective solution for cleaning your cats ears is plain old white distilled vinegar.

    It helps to;remove dirt and debris left behind by ear mites. It also kills adolescent ear mites on contact and the acidity helps to maintain a healthy balance in the ear canal.

    Petwave.com;recommends applying directly with a cotton ball or swab. If you choose to use a swab, be careful not to poke or jab the delicate inner ear canal.

    What Kind Of Mites Live On Cats Ears

    Some types of mange mites, like Notoedres cati, seem to prefer to live on the skin around the head and ears of cats. Mite infestations can make cats so itchy that they scratch to the point of self-mutilation. The skin in affected areas can also become thickened, scaly and covered with crusts.

    Flies can be both annoying and harmful because they bite cats to feed on them. We dont often think of flies biting but thats what they do. They usually attack areas that have less fur, such as the eyes and ears. Once theyve pierced the skin, they can start a cycle of feeding that is often hard to stop.

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    What Is The Life Cycle Of The Ear Mite

    It takes approximately 3 weeks for a mite to develop from an egg to an adult, going through a total of 5 stages. Adult ear;mites live about 2 months, during which time they continually reproduce. The entire ear mite life cycle takes place on the host animal, although mites can survive for a limited time in the environment.

    Mineral Oil: Cheap And Effective

    Ear Mites In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

    Mineral oil is another great way to smother ear mites. It also boasts the added benefit of reducing pain and inflammation of the ear tissue.

    It provides moisture and helps protect the ears and promote healing as well.

    If you dont have any mineral oil at home, baby oil works just as well. That is because baby oil and mineral oil are the same things.

    But be warned: some baby oil does contain fragrance, which can irritate some cats ears.

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    How Are Ear Mites Diagnosed

    The vet will examine your cats ear canal for any signs of mites using an otoscope. They will look for signs of inflammation, swelling and discharge. The vet will also be looking for other causes of the ear problem such as a foreign body like a grass seed.

    Sometimes your cats ears are too sore for them to sit still during the examination, and they may need to be sedated for the diagnosis and initial treatment. A microscopic examination of the ear discharge is commonly performed to look for mites and to check for other types of infection.

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