ear irratation

My 2 year old cat has an ear irratation.

RESPONSE:

You don't give me enough details about the ear problem so here is some general information that I have copied out of one of my pages:

A cat's ear-flaps are easily torn, bitten or scratched in fights because they are so prominent. Deep wounds should be examined and treated by your vet to avoid the risk of infection. If you notice your cat holding down its ear and vigorously shaking its head, one of the cats five senses has kicked in...there may be a bacterial or yeast/fungal infection of the ear. This could also signal that there's a foreign object in the ear such as a tick or grass seed, or indicate the presence of parasites or ear mites.

With ear mites, there will probably be extreme irritation and a discharge of brown wax. Reddening and swelling of the ear tips could be a fly strike, hematoma, vascular or immune mediated problem or neoplasia. For example, a raw and bleeding ear tip and constant scratching of the ear might be a squamous cell carcinoma...a common tumor that can affect the ear pinnae. Reddening and swelling of the ear tips could also be sunburn.

The first sign of most ear problems with itchiness or pain which will cause the animal to shake its head, scratch or paw at it ears and possibly hold the ear down. It is important to realize that problems cannot be diagnosed on symptoms alone. Overlapping symptoms can occur, so an examination and diagnostic testing may be necessary to get a correct treatment. Other problems that could affect the ear include trauma, polyps, abscesses from wounds and scabies. Cushing's Disease can also cause hair loss on the ears, while allergies can cause ear problems and itchiness as well.

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Randall L. Norstrem, DVM of Crestwood Animal Hospital (253-839-4744)


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