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Cat ear health

Cat Ear Health Problems:

Dogs are usually most prone to developing ear canal infections.

Cats, owing to the small size of their ears, do not experience as many infections in the outer ears as dogs. The infection in the outer ear is known as otitis externa and certain breeds like Persian cats are more prone to ear infections than other breeds.

A cat that is suffering from an infection in the ear may appear to be extremely uncomfortable. The ear canals of the cat are extremely sensitive and you may see the cat shaking its head vigorously from side to side in order to remove fluids and debris from the ear.

If the cat feels excessive irritation, it often scratches its ears till it becomes red and irritated and starts to give out an offensive odor.

If you observe failing cat health, ear mites may be the underlying cause. Ear mites can cause inflammation and redness of the ears. They may even cause a black colored discharge from the ear.

A cat with ear mites can be seen shaking its head and scratching its ears. The ear mites enter the ear canal and create an environment where yeast can grow easily. The mites may leave the ear canal, however, they leave behind infections and sometimes yeast. There are many bacteria which may cause infections in the ear. Some types of fungus may also cause an infection. The vet may have to examine the ear closely and run some tests to identify the exact cause of the ear infection. When the doctor diagnoses the cause of the infection, treatment can be started.

In rare cases, an ear infection could have also been caused due to a tumor in the ear. For a tumor, the treatment has to be more rigorous and the medications would be stronger. A closer examination of the cat can also tell whether the cat has a foreign body inside the canal. If there is a foreign body in the ear, there is a danger of rupturing the ear drum.

Ear infections usually require an otoscopic examination. If the infection is very severe, a cytologic examination may also be conducted. The debris and the fluid present in the ear can be studied to determine the course of treatment. If the ear infection is caused due to an underlying ailment, medications and treatment may be used to treat the particular ailment. Cats are usually resistant to ear infections. However, if the shape of the ear of the cat is unusual, it may cause an infection. The suppression of the immune system may also lead to infection by bacteria or fungi.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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