Cat Ear Infection: Prevention & Seeking Treatment

Cat Ear Infection

cat ear anatomy

Picture Credit: Cat Watch Newsletter

Cats don’t generally develop an ear infection, but when they do, it could cause discomfort and possible deafness.

If they are in contact with other cats with ear mites, chances of them having the same infection are high. An underlying medical problem may cause an ear infection too.

Causes
  • Overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, or both
  • Wax buildup in the ear canal
  • Thick hair in the ear canal
  • Food or pollen allergies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tumors/polyps within the ear canal
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Improper ear cleaning
  • Foreign bodies such as bristle from grass
  • Environmental irritants
  • Diabetes mellitus
Symptoms

Cat Ear Infection

  • Black/yellowish discharge
  • Redness/ swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy Buildup
  • Discharge from ear canal that resembles coffee grounds which is the symptoms of ear mites
  • Foul odor
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of balance or disorientation
Treatment

If your cat has ear mites, yeast or bacterial infections, your vet will treat it with anti-parasitics, antifungals or antibiotics. These medications come in the form of ear drops.

However, if the infection has reached the middle ear, the vet may prescribe oral medication or injectable antibiotics.

Your vet may clip off the fur around the cat’s ear canal to help with cleaning and drying of the ear canal. Once you’re home, apply medication as instructed. If unsure, get the vet to demonstrate to you how it should be done.

However, if your cat is having chronic infection, the vet may prescribe a medication that helps to reduce the swell in the ear canal. Sometimes a surgery is needed to remove swollen tissue that has narrowed or closed the ear canal.

Cats with diabetes or weak immune system are prone to getting an ear infection.

Prevention

Check your cat’s ear regularly to make sure there’s no redness, swelling or foul odor. Clean when necessary. A healthy ear should be pale pink and have no visible debris, odor, minimal or no ear wax.

Get your vet or groomer to show you how to clean your cat’s ears. As regular checks and cleaning help prevent painful ear infection in your cat.

Canine Ear Infection: Prevention & Seeking Treatment

Ear Infection

Canine ear infection is usually caused by bacteria or yeast. Their ears are mostly vertical, moisture and debris are easily retained in the ear canal. Ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies and hypothyroidism can be the contributing factor that leads to an ear infection.

Symptoms

  • Scratching of the ear or area around the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Odour in the ear
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusts or scabs on the inside of the outer ear
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Rubbing of the ear and surrounding area on the floor or furniture
  • Head shaking or head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

How To Prevent Ear Infection

We can’t 100% prevent an ear infection, however, we could minimise the chances of your dog getting one. Like they always say, prevention is always better than cure.

  • Always check your dog’s ears for any abnormalities. Such as foul odour or redness around the ears.
  • If your dog’s ears appear dirty, gently use a cotton and ear solution prescribed by your vet to clean the area. Your vet will advise on how often you should clean your dog’s ears.
  • It is important to keep your dog’s ears dry after a swim or a shower. Moisture trap in your dog’s ear canals is where bacteria thrive and grow and will lead to an infection.
  • For dogs with excessive ear fur around the ear canal, it should be removed. You may seek help from the groomer or vet to show you how this is done.

When Should Your Dog See A Vet

If your dog shows any sign of the above symptoms, it is best to seek treatment. Ear infections can be painful and uncomfortable to your dog. Any delay treatment may cause more harm to both the ear canal and middle ear.

With the right diagnosis and medication, your dog will recover fast in no time.