How to Cure Ear Infections in Cats
Unlike dogs, cats are not prone to ear infections,but if they are unfortunate enough to contract one, treatment can be difficult. Why is this so? The ears of cats are very complex and delicate. When horrible parasites enter or even over-accumulation of earwax occurs, different infections can gather. Feline otitis (ear infection) is caused when the epithelium lining in the ear canal becomes inflamed and it is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you register its symptoms.
In this OneHowTo article we tell you how to cure ear infections in cats so you can prevent any further health complications.
There can be many factors that make your cat suffer from otitis. The most common cause is the presence of mites, parasites that can be prevented by administering pipettes or drops usually onto the animal's back. These are more commonly found in kittens and adults usually only catch them when a new kitten is introduced to their environment.
But cats also often develop otitis because of other foreign substances in their ear canals such as herbs, pieces of cloth, food, etc. If this is the case, it will be necessary for a veterinarian to remove the problematic object.
When a cat has otitis, it has a number of symptoms which exhibit signs of their condition such as:
- Your animal strongly shakes their head side to side due to something bothersome in their ear.
- Insistent scratching in and around the ear.
- This condition can also produce some yellowish liquid or blackened pus which causes the ears to become swollen or red.
- Otitis can also cause a strong foreign odor.
If you detect any of these symptoms, it is essential that you go to the vet to examine the animal and determine the best course of treatment.
To successfully cure a cat's ear infection there are different options that the vet will have to assess: hair removal/extraction, ear cleaning or even the dreaded option of surgery.
Fortunately, however, it is more likely that your vet will start treatment and then ask you to continue cleaning the ear yourself. To do this:
- Carefully analyse the state of the external auditory canal and the eardrum
- Remove any remaining agents that are causing the otitis
- Remove bacteria, pus or other secretions which cause the area to swell
- Use the ointment or eardrops the vet will give you by gently holding the cats outer ear (the pinna) and squeezing or dropping the solution inside. Then calmly rub the base of the ear to both introduce the medicine and sooth your cat's anxiety.
Before cleaning, if the infection is quite serious and your cat experiences acute discomfort, you may want to ask your vet about the use of an anti-inflammatory.
If the infection is very advanced, it is likely that the vet will start with water or saline to clean and assess whether they can use topical cleaning products.
Early detection of otitis and taking your cat to the vet are imperative as it could prevent the animal from suffering severe pain and, in some cases, loss of hearing.
You might think that you can just go to the drugstore and buy a few drops for otitis to reduce the infection of the animal, but this is irresponsible as only a profesional will know the extent of the infection. If infections are not treated properly, they can lead to other complications developing which might have a grave and detrimental effect on our pet's health.
You should not stop treatment as soon as you see that the cat is better as the infection may be present even if the symptoms are not. As a general rule of thumb, you should continue treatment for at least a week after the initial symptoms have subsided to ensure a thorough removal of infection.
You may have heard of treatments for otitis requiring the use of tablets or injections. This kind of cure is prescribed when the animal, besides the discomfort we have previously described, shows other nasty symptoms such as fever, anorexia or ruptured eardrums. In these cases, your cat will require a more intensive treatment.
In the event that none of the above treatments have positive results, the vet may indicate that the best thing to do is a surgical intervention. This will only happen if necessary, so trust that it is the best course of action to bring your cat back to its full health.
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