Ear Mites Can Be a Serious Nuisance to Your Cat
If your cat’s ears look inflamed and irritated, she could have a bad case of ear mites. Ear mites are tiny, eight-legged parasites that proliferate by feeding on the wax and oils in a cat’s ear canal. If the ear mites aren’t dealt with, they can cause ear infections and other, more serious skin infections.
This guide will help you understand ear mites in cats and how you can treat your cat appropriately to get rid of them for good.
How Do Cats Contract Ear Mites?
Ear mites are extremely contagious and they can be easily passed from one pet to another through casual contact. Cats are more likely to get them than dogs, but dogs aren’t immune to contracting them. Humans, however, are immune to ear mites.
Signs and Symptoms of Ear Mites in Cats
If your cat has ear mites, you will start noticing changes in her appearance and behavior. She will start scratching or rubbing her head excessively or she may start shaking her head from side to side. The ear itself will appear red and there will be a strong-smelling black or brown waxy secretion inside of it. In some cases, the hair around the ears will start falling out and scabs may appear on the skin near the ears.
How Dangerous Are Ear Mites?
Ear mites might seem like rudimentary pests, but they can cause a lot of damage if you don’t get your cat treated as soon as possible. Besides increasing the risk of ear and skin infections, ear mites can also cause the blood vessels in the ear to rupture. This is known as an aural hematoma and this usually requires surgery to fix.
How Are Ear Mites Diagnosed?
If your cat is showing one or more of the signs and symptoms listed above, then you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as you can. Do not try to self-diagnose your cat as a bacterial infection in the ear can sometimes appear similar to an ear mite infestation.
Your veterinarian will take a sample of the waxy discharge and examine it under a microscope in order to make a positive or negative ear mite diagnosis.
How Are Ear Mites Treated in Cats?
The type of treatment will depend on how severe your cat’s ear mite infestation is. In most cases, the veterinarian will prescribe a topical medication to be applied inside the ear and on any infected areas of skin. If the infection is more severe, then antibiotic ear drops will be prescribed to treat the infection.
It is important to follow the treatment through to its completion. Your cat will start feeling better once treatment begins, and as a result, you might think that the problem is over when it isn’t.
Continue to apply your cat’s medications according to the vet’s directions until the treatment program is complete, or the ear mites could quickly repopulate in your cat’s ear. In addition, you should thoroughly clean your cat’s bedding and check all of the other pets in the home for signs of ear mites to reduce the risk of re-infection.
Can Ear Mites in Cats Be Prevented?
Because ear mites are transferred from pet to pet so easily, it can be difficult to completely prevent your cat from contracting them again in the future. But by practicing regular ear cleanings on your cat, you will be alerted early on if your cat does contract them, which will make it easier to get rid of the ear mites.
If your veterinarian diagnoses your cat with ear mites and prescribes her antibiotics or other medications, you can receive a free quote for the medications from Diamondback Drugs. Try us today – we can help you save money on all of your cat’s medications.
Author: Giano Panzarella