Cat Ear Infection
Diagnosing and Treating a Cat Ear Infection
While ear infections in dogs are quite common, a cat ear infection does not occur nearly as often. In fact, most cats will never have an infection during the course of their life. For that reason, it is not wise to assume an ear infection is the cause of a problem that appears to have something to do with the ears.
Often, when dealing with a cat ear infection, the cat will shake her head and scratch at her ears as if she is trying to get something out of the ear. In some cases, there will be an odor or a discharge from the ear as well.
The problem is that the same symptoms can be present when dealing with mites or with a tick lodged within the cat’s ear. That is why it is necessary to visit a vet in order to confirm the diagnosis one way or the other.
Even if it is a cat ear infection that is causing the problem, the medication prescribed will vary based on the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. The other issue is that the vet must make sure that the ear drum is still in good shape. This can be a problem, especially in the rare cases of cats who have suffered chronic ear infections.
Sometimes, the ears will need a thorough cleaning even before the medication can begin. That is because if the buildup of debris is dense enough, it could stop the medicine from being effective in reaching and treating the cat ear infection.
Once the medication has been prescribed, the next challenge is actually getting the medication into the cat’s ear. Because it is important that the medication actually make it down into the ear, there is a certain technique that should be used.
Hold the ear straight up in order to open up the ear as much as possible. Put the medicine into the ear while still holding the ear up. You must hold the ear up long enough for the medication to make its way down into the ear canal. Gently rub the base of the ear between your thumb and finger in order to further work the medicine down into the ear.
Only then should you allow the cat to shake its head. If you let the cat shake its head sooner, most of the medicine is going to end up all over the room, rather than in the ear.
Obviously, some cats are going to take this better than others. Some pet owners have found that it will take two people in order to give the medicine to treat a cat ear infection. One person will need to hold the cat still while the other works with the ears.
The good news is that, with proper treatment, a cat ear infection will almost always be effectively treated with one round of medication. If the ear infections become chronic, there may be an underlying cause which will need to be determined by a vet.
You should visit a vet at the first sign that something is wrong. The earlier a cat ear infection is treated, the less likely there will be any complications as a result.