Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mite infection is one of the most common infections to afflict cats. They are also very contagious, so quick diagnosis and treatment is essential to avoid spreading mites to other pets in your home or neighborhood. Below, a Dunedin veterinarian answers the essential questions about ear mites in felines.

What is an Ear Mite?

Ear mites are tiny parasites that infect and live inside your cat’s ear canal. There are several common types of ear mites, but they all do essentially the same thing—feed on the wax and oils in your cat’s ear and burrow into the skin, causing inflammation and itching. If left untreated, an ear mite infection can lead to serious skin or ear diseases or ear canal blockage.

How Did My Cat Contract Ear Mites?

Since they are highly contagious, it’s most likely that your cat got ear mites from another cat. The parasite can also infect dogs, although it is much less common. Have a conversation with your Dunedin vet to determine a likely cause of infection in your cat.

How Do I Recognize an Ear Mite Infection?

You’ll probably first notice your cat scratching, rubbing, and shaking his ears around more than usual. A dark black or brown secretion may come from the ears, which might have an unpleasant odor. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your Dunedin veterinarian to set up an appointment.

How Are Ear Mites Treated?

You will need to take your cat to your Dunedin vet for an accurate diagnosis—he or she will take an ear sample and prescribe treatment based on the evaluation. Topical solutions, medicated ear drops, or antibiotics may be necessary. An ear cleaning might be needed as well.

You can help prevent ear mites by cleaning your cat’s ears regularly. Gently swab the inside of your cat’s ears with a small piece of cotton and an ear cleanser. Ask your Dunedin vet about these products and how to go about using them safely.


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