Ear Mites

These are insect parasites very common in cats.

Symptoms
Persistent ear-scratching. A build-up of wax in the ears, dotted with black specks, is an indication that a cat may have ear mites; the black specks are probably spots of dried blood. The mites can move down the ear canal and infect the middle ear; such an infection will cause the affected animal to lose his sense of balance. The cat may be unable to hold his head straight or, in more serious cases, may constantly fall over.

Causes
Ear mites Otodectes cynotis, which are common in cats and also in wild rodents. If left untreated, the irritation caused by ear mites will cause the cat to scratch, sometimes until his ears actually bleed.

What to do
Seek veterinary advice in all cases of ear mites, or if your cat suffers balance loss. All animals that have been in contact With the infected cat must also be treated, as ear mites can infect other animals that may not show any symptoms for some time.

Treatment
In mild cases, the vet will prescribe ear drops. If the cat’s ears are irritated, they may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. Mites are easily treated if caught early enough. The ear mites are usually white or colourless and are not visible to the naked eye – a magnifying glass lens or otoscope is required although otoscopes may not be able to detect them as the mites hide under pieces of wax. A special instrument called an otoscope is used to inspect the inside of a cat’s ears.

Ear Canker otitis in Cats

An inflammation of the skin lining the ear, otitis is one of the most common conditions in cats, and may occur in one or both ears.

Symptoms
These may include regular ear- scratching and head-shaking, a discharge or smell from the ear and reddening of the inner ear flap and/or the ear hole. The cat may well hiss at anyone who ventures to touch him around the ear.

Causes
Normally, the amount of wax produced in a cat’s ear is exactly the same amount that is lost naturally. Much of the wax is lost through evaporation of the water from the wax. Problems occur when the ears do not get proper ventilation and the wax builds up. This excess wax causes irritation, and the ear is stimulated to produce even more wax. This leads to ideal conditions for normally harmless fungi and bacteria to grow and prosper. Ear mites, foreign bodies in the ear and skin problems can also cause otitis.

Treatment
Treatment may include syringing of the ear, or the application of a topical medicine, such as ear drops or ointment. Whatever medications are prescribed, it is important that you administer them exactly as instructed, and always finish the course of treatment. In serious cases of recurring otitis, surgery may be necessary to improve ear ventilation. Even though otitis is not a serious condition, if not properly treated it can become chronic, causing severe problems and possibly damage to parts of the ear and the cat’s hearing.

Ear Injury FlapEar Flap Wounds in Cats

Symptoms
Any ear wound, no matter how minor, is likely to bleed a great deal.
Even if the actual wound does not cause the cat any real pain, the irritation of blood running down the ear is likely to cause him to scratch at his ear and shake his head.

Causes
Ear flaps are often bitten and scratched during fighting, and some felines, particularly farm cats, may injure their ear flaps in their usual day-to-day life.

Treatment
After cleaning with saline solution, cover minor wounds with antiseptic ointment, cream or powder. If the wounds look inflamed within a few days of the injury, consult the vet, as antibiotic treatment may be required.

What to do
With someone restraining the cat, the wounds should be cleaned using saline solution. Once cleaned, it will be possible to see the extent of the damage; if this is significant, seek veterinary treatment as the wounds may need suturing.Take any cat showing any of the symptoms of irritated ears to the vet as soon as possible – immediately if you suspect a foreign body is lodged in the ear. Never attempt to remove a blockage yourself, as you may damage the cat’s ear permanently. Don’t put any liquid, ointment or other medication inside the cat’s ears unless on the direction of your vet, and don’t attempt to put any solid object inside the cat’s ear, including cotton buds, which may also damage the ear.
Discharge from the ear should not be interfered with until your vet has symptoms of diabetes mellitus are seen in queens just after they have started oestrus.

Many of the conditions associated with diabetes mellitus are also common symptoms of other, less serious, diseases or other factors. For example, an increased thirst may simply he due to your cat being fed on a dry diet.