Cat Ear Infection Treatment Explained

Cat ear infections are common in cats of any age group however, breeds like Persian cats are more susceptible to ear infections. Prompt treatment is necessary for ear infection as it prevents severe and sometimes permanent damage to the ears. Cats suffering from ear infections experience pain, discomfort and exhibit several symptoms.

Symptoms of Cat Ear Infection Are:

  • Scratching the ears frequently
  • Red inflamed ears
  • Ear discharge
  • Dizziness, mostly in severe inner ear infections

The vet will conduct a physical examination to determine the cause of infection and choose the appropriate treatment option. An otoscopic examination will reveal inflammation and infections in the ear canal. Cats that don't cooperate during the physical examination require sedation. Cytology is a test that involves microscopic examination of a sample of the ear discharge. Ear pus, tissue debris and fluids are also analyzed during diagnosis. It helps detect bacteria, yeast and parasite infections.

Feline Ear Mites

Ear mites can cause significant ear irritation and inflammation in cats. They are tiny insects that thrive on the cat's ear fluids and tissues. They multiply and cause itching and swelling of the ears.

Treatment for Cat Ear Infection

The treatment of cat ear infection is based on the cause of the infection. The vet will also examine the severity and location of the condition. Feline ear infections occur in the outer, middle or inner ear canal. Treatment for inner ear infection has to be appropriately administered to prevent further damage to the ear canal.

The most common cause of cat ear infections is yeast. Humid climates, hormonal changes, allergies and excessive cleaning of the pet's ears can all contribute to feline ear infections. Periodic ear cleaning procedures need to be followed only when ear wax buildup, debris and mite infections are present. Pet owners should avoid using over the counter ear cleaning solutions as they may not be suited to your pet's infection. It's also essential to learn the appropriate ear cleaning technique from the vet.

Cytology tests sometimes detect two different infections in the ear. The vet will prescribe medication that involves a combination of drugs to treat both infections at once. Antibiotic medications, anti-fungal ointments and ear mite treatments are also used to cure varying ear conditions.

Commercially Available Ear Treatments

  • Tresaderm
  • Panolog cream and ointment
  • Zymox Otic with Hydrocortisone
  • Tritop
  • Animax

The prescribed medication should be administered for the entire course of treatment, unless otherwise directed by the vet. Remember to read and follow instructions before using any medication on your pet. Apart from commercially available prescription medication, discuss ear treatment options with your vet. Herbal remedies may effectively cure ear infections especially in pets with recurring infections. They have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and reduce ear pain and swelling in pets.

If the diagnosis doesn't reveal bacterial or mite infections, the vet will test the pet for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Diabetic pets suffer from frequent ear infections. Pet owners should regularly groom their pets and check their ears for infection or inflammation. The treatment options work effectively if the infection is diagnosed promptly.