June 10, 2010

Ear Mites in Cats

Filed under: ear mites in cats,parasite treatment — Dr. Amber Reed @ 5:24 pm

feline ear mitesEar mites are very small parasites that resemble spiders and they infect the ears of cats and dogs.  While they usually live in your cat’s ear canals they have also been known to survive in other parts of the body.  Ear mites in cats can cause a variety of very uncomfortable symptoms and they are known to be the most common cause of ear infections in cats.  Your cat’s ear canals provide the perfect environment for ear mites to live:  the area is moist, warm, and there is little air flow and sustenance for ear mites is provided by the epidermal debris and ear wax.  Eventually, ear mites dig into the ear causing the inflammation and irritation associated with ear infections.

While ear mites are difficult to spot, the symptoms of ear mite infestations in cats are not so subtle.  In fact, cats with ear mites are probably in a considerable amount of discomfort.  With thousands of tiny insects living in their ears, various symptoms are bound to present.  First of all, you may notice your cat scratching her ears or shaking her head.  This is because in the early stages of infestation, ear mites cause the ears to become very itchy.  Eventually, your cat’s ears will become painful to the touch and will appear flatter than usual.  In addition, the ears may produce a foul odor.  Finally, your cat’s ears may begin to bleed because of persistent scratching.

Once diagnosed, ear mites can be treated with drops or other medications.  Your vet may prescribe an insecticide to clean your cat’s ear canals and kill the ear mites but you can also find various treatments at your local pet shop.  Because ear mites are extremely contagious and can be passed between cats and dogs it is important to treat the condition immediately.  Ear mites do not affect humans.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.