Cats, like dogs, are very prone to ear infections. When these diseases attack them, they can suffer a lot of pain and discomfort so we must be vigilant and make sure to clean their ears frequently.
But why are they so prone to these types of infections? The ears of these animals are intricate, so wax and parasites can easily get trapped there and cause infections that must be treated by a specialist.
Types of otitis in cats
Depending on where the infection has occurred, we differentiate external otitis , otitis media and internal otitis .
When the outermost part of the ear, that is, from the pinna to the eardrum, becomes inflamed, we are talking about the cat having external otitis. It is the most common in these animals, especially if they are between 1 and 2 years old, and if they go outside. During spring is when we will have to be much more careful and take better control, since it is during this season when more cases of otitis occur due to high temperatures and humidity.
Likewise, if we bathe him regularly, it is very important to avoid getting water, antiparasitics or anything else (such as shampoo) in the ear , since otherwise we would cause pain and discomfort. To avoid this, simply put a cotton plug in the ear impregnated with liquid petroleum jelly.
This type of otitis is nothing more than a poorly cured or untreated otitis externa. It occurs when the middle ear has become inflamed. In severe cases it may even be broken. Cats with otitis media may notice hearing loss , which will be more or less important depending on how advanced the infection is.
Due to its location, it is the most difficult to cure. It usually occurs after trauma or poorly healed external or medial otitis. In this case, we could come to think that our furry is becoming deaf in one ear, and that the infection will have advanced so much that it will have obstructed the ear canal.
Causes of otitis
The causes of otitis are many and varied, so we are going to see them separately to find out why our cat’s ears are infected:
Although it is not very common, the truth is that the cat’s ear can also end up with a spike inside. If that happens, the vet should remove it carefully, under general anesthesia. Usually within 2-3 days you will have fully recovered .
The mite that causes otitis in cats is called Otodectes cynotis . It is, by far, the most common cause, and also one of the easiest to treat: you just have to apply a pipette to kill the mites, and drops that the vet will tell you directly into your ear.
Bacteria and fungi
These microorganisms are opportunistic, which means that they do not cause otitis by themselves, but rather take advantage of the weak immune system to make the situation worse .
Giving the cat medicine for a long time, cleaning its ears with products not suitable for them, or allergies can cause otitis by altering the tissue made up of cells, thus reducing its protective function.
Symptoms of otitis
This is a really very annoying disease that will make the cat feel very bad, very uncomfortable. You will not be able to lead a normal life until you have fully recovered. To find out if you have been infected, the most common symptoms are:
- Shake your head strongly and carry it from side to side.
- Scratching the ears frequently and very hard.
- Trying to scratch your ears against furniture, carpet, or other object.
- Appearance of yellow liquid that will turn black as the disease progresses.
- Red and inflamed ears.
- Hearing loss, which you will recover when you have overcome it.
- Strong smell coming from the cat’s ears.
Treatment of otitis
If we suspect that our cat has otitis, the first thing we have to do is take it to the vet to examine it and give it the most appropriate treatment as the case may be, since depending on the type and what caused it, it will be necessary to administer some medications or others. Now, at home, in addition to giving him the treatment he tells us, we can do a series of things to make him improve.
Cleaning the cat’s ears
The cat’s ears will be cleaned with a sterile gauze moistened with saline solution . Little by little, without applying pressure, the wax will be removed from the inside out.
Prevent moisture from entering the ear
This is very important. If you are going to bathe your furry, put a cotton plug moistened with petroleum jelly first. If any moisture gets in, dry it carefully with gauze.
Put on an Elizabethan collar
We are not going to fool you, normally cats cannot bear to wear this collar, but it is highly recommended that you wear it to avoid hurting yourself with your paws when grooming.
Prevention of otitis
Otitis is a disease that can be prevented if from time to time (4-5 times a week) we examine our animals ourselves: mouth, eyes, tail, feet … and of course their ears. In this way, it will be easier for us to know if you have a problem. Also, if you notice any change in his behavior, it is probably because there is something that is causing him pain or discomfort . Reason more than enough to go to the specialist.
Otitis in cats can be cured following the treatment imposed by a professional. Be patient and give him lots of pampering , and he will recover much earlier than expected
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