Everything You Need To Know About Ear Mites In Cats Including Symptoms And Treatments

Ear Mites in CatsEar mite infestation can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition for cats. If you suspect your feline is suffering from this disease and are looking for more information on this topic, you've arrived at the right page. This article aims to arm you with all that you need to know about ear mites in cats including its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

With that said, here's a detailed breakdown of this infection:

What Are Ear Mites?

Simply put, they are minute parasites that take up residence in the outer canals of cats and dogs. While there are several different types of mites, one group in particular is found in almost ninety percent of ear mite infestations in felines and is known as Otodectes Cynotis. These nasty critters suck up the blood and skin of their host, leaving behind a trail of waxy, dark brown residue.

What Do They Look Like?

Although smaller in size than lice and fleas, ear mites can be spotted with the naked eye. Gently wiping the infected area with a clean ball of cotton will reveal tiny specks moving about in the surface residue - these white dots are the mites.

Where Do They Come From?

In most instances, the primary source of an infection will be another animal. If not maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, shared play spaces/bedding can be a very active breeding ground and young pets especially, are susceptible to contracting this condition.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Ear Mites?

Well, if you notice your feline displaying any of the symptoms below, it's certainly possible that they may be suffering from ear mite infestation:

Ear Mites in Cat Ear* Constant shaking of the head

* A foul smell emanating from the ears

* Frequent scratching of the ears

* Flattened ears

* Dizziness

* Pus-filled fluid in the ear

* Specks of fresh/dried blood inside the ear canal

Negative Effects Of Ear Mite Infection

It's recommended that you make a quick trip to the vet in order to confirm the diagnosis and begin the treatment process. If ignored or left untreated, your pet's condition can rapidly deteriorate and result in long-term damage such as partial/complete loss of hearing.

Further complications include aural haematoma - when your cat constantly shakes its head or scratches its ears, blood vessels inside the pinna may burst. Thereafter, blood slowly seeps into the gap located between the skin of the external ear, causing the fluid to build up gradually. To make matters worse, a swollen bump may develop which could lead to permanent damage of the ear. This can be very painful and will most likely require lengthy surgery to completely heal.

Diagnosis

When you take your pet to the veterinarian, you'll be initially asked to provide a detailed history of it's health and daily activities. Next, a thorough physical exam will be performed on your cat including a swab sample of the discharge from the ear, a chemical blood profile, a urinalysis, a blood count and an electrolyte panel to make sure it hasn't contracted other diseases. Additionally, a dermatologic test will be done, with the skin scrapings sent to the lab for further analysis.

What Solutions Are Available For Treating This Problem?

Here's an effective two-step process you can use to heal ear mites in cats:

First off, clean the ears of your feline and apply a few drops of ear mite medication every day for a week. Also, you may want to treat the entire body of your pet to keep the parasites from spreading. You can do this by bathing your cat with an anti-bacterial shampoo (these are readily available at supermarkets and pet stores).

Moreover, a monthly dose of Revolution or Advantage Multi (excellent remedies that are applied on the skin) are helpful for preventing an ear mite infection from ever occurring in the first place. After all, prevention is better than cure, right? The former in particular, is ideal for protecting your precious pet from roundworms, hookworms, fleas and the potentially fatal heartworm disease.

Final Words

Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of this condition and are better equipped to deal with it successfully. If your feline is diagnosed with this infection, make sure you take swift action to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Remember, a healthy cat is a happy pet!