How to check for ear mites in cats
I. How to quickly identify if a cat has ear mites
We often see dogs or cats scratching their ears and shaking their heads, which is usually caused by ear mites. These parasites are common in cats and are highly contagious (they do not usually affect humans).
Although ear mites are not life-threatening, they can make a cat's life miserable. Ear mites can cause blockage of the cat's ear canal, which can be severe enough to cause the cat to scratch the ear and cause the blood vessels in the ear to rupture, and this requires surgery.
What are ear mites?
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live mainly in the ear canal and feed on skin debris. Their presence causes inflammation and may also lead to secondary ear infections. They reproduce quickly, taking only three weeks from the time they lay their eggs in the ear until the eggs hatch and develop into reproducing adults. Although ear mites are mostly found in the ears, they can also wander onto the body and cause skin irritation and itching.
What are the signs of feline ear mites?
Head shaking: There are two types of head shaking in cats. One is once in a while, this could be when it has water or something else on its body and when it feels something foreign on its body it will shake its head and shake its body to shake the foreign object off. The second kind is that the cat has mites in its ears. Ear mites will irritate the ear canal and produce itching, and it will shake their head to get rid of the source inside their ears that causes it to itch, and we all know it doesn't do much good to do so. When we see a cat shaking its head once in a while, we should not find it funny and need to check its ears for ear mites in a hurry because, a cat that shakes its head a lot is suffering.
Ears discharging dark waxy or crusty secretions: We can pluck the fleece of the cat's outer ear and if we see dark waxy secretions, this indicates that the cat has mites in its ears and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Stimulation of other parts of the body leading to frequent scratching: Cats often scratch their bodies either due to parasitic infection or ear mite stimulation. When we see a cat scratching its ears or other parts of the body, we first check its ears to see if they are clean inside, and if there is gelatinous material inside the ears, it proves to be an ear mite infection.
What do we need to do after finding ear mites?
First, we clean the cat's outer ear with a cotton swab to reduce the irritation and remove some mites. Care should be taken not to stick the swab inside the inner ear, which can push the discharge deeper into the ear.
We then use over-the-counter ear drops or prescription mite medication prescribed by the doctor. Many over-the-counter non-irritating ear drops on the market can effectively remove mites and relieve cat ear irritation. We can use them continuously for more than a week to facilitate the complete removal of ear mites, after which we can use them once a week to prevent ear mite infections. If it is found that the cat already has a wound inside the ear, it is necessary to consult the doctor and prescribe some prescription acaricidal medication. It is important to note that you should never treat your cat's ears without permission at this time! In the case of a wound inside a cat's ear, any irregular treatment can lead to serious consequences!
Ear mites can be transmitted in the animal kingdom as well as to humans, but don't worry, they die quickly and naturally in humans, and only in rare cases will they cause a human rash.
Usually, we have to clean our cats' ears regularly, especially after they have come into contact with other small animals of unknown origin. Only if we do a good job of prevention can we nip ear mite infections in the bud. Love it and take care of it!
II. What should I do if my cat has ear mites?
Most parasites have a process of transmission that is selective for infected animals. Ear mites, on the other hand, are more powerful. As soon as 1 cat in the house is infected, all the rest of the dogs and cats living together have to start treatment at the same time.
Not picky: Cats and dogs of any age can be infected, as well as arctic foxes, ferrets, wolverines, and white-tailed deer that have difficulty escaping ear mite parasitism.
Pleasant young cats: Younger cats are more susceptible than dogs, and close contact (playing and sleeping together, etc.) increases the chances of ear mite infection.
What should I do if my cat has ear mites? Learn these tricks and deal with them easily
How many ear mites are there in a small ear canal?
Ear mites in the cat's ear canal can reach thousands at the worst
Knowing your enemy is the only way to win a hundred battles
The ear mite is a permanent parasitic mate, oval in shape, about 0.35~0.53mm, mostly living in the ear canal of cats, and a few in the head, neck, and tail.
When cats are infected with ear mites, the mites will pierce the cat's skin to suck lymphatic fluid, and the skin of the ear canal gradually thickens, producing a reddish-brown scab (earwax) that leads to otitis.
At the same time, certain cells in the ear canal proliferate and, after about 2 weeks, cause allergies in the cat, which may result in a secondary bacterial or fungal infection.
How to detect early if there are mites in the ear canal?
Ear mites cause itching in cats, usually manifested by scratching the ears with the hind legs or shaking the head and rubbing the ears, and scratching marks near the ears, neck, and tail root.
2 Hair loss and bleeding
Cats scratching can cause hair loss in certain areas and may cause blood or lymphatic fluid to seep from the ear, often manifesting as blood and lymphatic fluid accumulating under the skin of the ear, forming an ear hematoma.
The external ear canal of cats is clogged with exudate consisting of oil, blood, lymphatic fluid, and ear mites, resembling a red and black scab.
Bacteria and fungi, following ear mites, invade the cat's ear canal and may affect the middle ear, inner ear, and meninges. When the infection is severe, the cat may have impaired hearing, loss of balance, and symptoms such as spasms or spinning movements.
5 Pain and odor
When the doctor examines or the owner touches the cat's ear canal, the cat often feels pain and even resists the examination. Close by, you can also smell a foul odor coming from the ear canal.
How can ear mites be diagnosed?
Diagnosing ear mites can be done in two simple steps: first, take the cat to the hospital, and second, let the professional veterinarian do ear microscopy on the cat.
The veterinarian will take out a small amount of ear wax from the cat and place it under the microscope after proper treatment to confirm the diagnosis of "moving ear mites".
Treatment methods (can be done at home)
1 First, apply an appropriate amount of ear wash to the ear canal of the cat with ear mites and rub gently to dissolve the ear wax.
2 After the ear wax is softened, use a small number of cotton balls in a hemostat to remove the dirt from the ear canal.
3 Rub in the cat's ear canal with medication that can kill mites, such as ear skin.
4 If the cat has bacteria or fungus in the ear canal at the same time, then antibiotic ear drops are also needed to assist in the treatment.
5 It should be noted that for some cats with violent personalities or very serious infections, treatment after anesthesia needs to be considered.
Examples from around
On the morning of January 5, 2018, a 4 year-old British Shorthair cat, Silver Gradient, Bake (male has been de-sexed 6 kg) visited an animal hospital.
The cat was not in good spirits and had some anxiety. A month earlier, the cat had been scratching its ears and throwing its head, with a small amount of bleeding and a large amount of black discharge from the ears.
1 Diagnosis process
The cat was very resistant to the ear canal examination and showed sensitivity during the examination.
After the veterinarian removed the foul-smelling brown discharge from the cat's ear canal, the cat was observed under a microscope and a large number of roundworms, about 0.3-0.5mm in size, could be found, confirming that the cat was infected with ear mites.
2 Treatment and results
After 1 week of continuous medication (2 times/d for EarSol and once every 2 days for parcel), the cat's ear canal discharge was reduced, the redness and thickening and the odor in the ear canal basically dissipated, and the cat recovered completely after 2 weeks of medication.
Ear mites are also found in the environment
Although ear mites are not life-threatening to cats, they are very susceptible and make cats itchy and smell bad, so parents need to pay attention to them.
It is also very important to prevent ear mites and to disinfect the environment. Your cat is still healthy? Beware! Ear mites may be hiding around your cat, waiting for an opportunity
Does your cat have ear mites? How did you cure it?
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