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What are the causes of ear infections in cats – treatment at home

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What are the causes of ear infections in cats?

Ear infection in cats is a painful condition, although it is not very common, and it may occur as a result of many causes, such as ear mites, bacteria or yeasts that grow inside the ear, or an allergy. Although it is necessary to see a veterinarian when ear infections are noticed, in some cases some home remedies can be used to solve the infection problem. How do you know if your cat has an ear infection and what home remedies can you use?


Causes of ear infection in cats


Unlike typical ear infections suffered by humans, and children in particular, which are often affected by the middle ear, otitis media in cats primarily affects the outer ear, while it may affect the middle and inner ear secondarily, as a result of the transmission of infection from the outer ear canals. In general, the main causes of otitis media in cats are:


  • Ear mites.
  • Often an overgrowth of bacteria, yeasts, or both.
  • Wax buildup in the ear canal.
  • Thick hair in the ear canal.
  • Allergic reactions (allergies) to food, pollen, weather, or others.
  • Polyps and polyps in the ear.
  • A ruptured eardrum. Improper ear cleaning.
  • Foreign bodies enter ears, such as dirt, sand, grass, or others.
  • Diabetic.
  • Immune diseases such as the Feline Immunodeficiency virus, or the Feline leukemia virus.


Symptoms of otitis media in cats


There are many symptoms that characterize otitis media in cats, the most important of which are:

  • Excessive scratching of the ears or rubbing the ears with objects.
  • Head shaking or tilting.
  • Yellow or black secretions.
  • Redness or swelling of the earlobe or ear canal.
  • A buildup of waxy secretions in or near the ear canal.
  • Dark, coffee-like discharge is a symptom of ear mites.
  • Strong smell.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Loss of balance or confusion


Treating otitis media in cats at home


Cats are usually very resistant to ear infections, so if they develop otitis externa, especially if the infection is repeated, it is necessary to search for the root cause of the problem, and it is necessary to note that an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the problem is very necessary to choose the appropriate treatment, as without knowing What type of infection is present, cannot know which medication to use.

In some cases, as mentioned previously, inflammation may result from the presence of a foreign body or tumor in the ear canal, so treatment with medication alone will not solve the problem. Therefore, in summary, the veterinarian should examine the cat to diagnose the cause, ensure the integrity of the eardrum, and prescribe the appropriate medication.

In some cases, and if you are sure of the type of infection that causes ear infections in your cat, you can apply the following home remedies, with the need to make sure at the beginning that it will not harm the cat:

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Oil: The oil is used in case of infection with ear mites, which are parasites the size of a pinhead that can crawl into the cat’s ear and multiply in it, causing inflammation, and it is responsible for 50% of infections. One of the effective treatments for ear mites is Ivermectin, in addition to the possibility of using baby oil, placing a few drops of baby oil in the affected ear several times a day for a month, and will suffocate the mites. In addition, you can use a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or almond oil mixed with vitamin E in the ear after cleaning it from the secretions.

Apple cider vinegar: It is used in the case of bacterial or fungal infections, and it is one of the most common home remedies for cat ear problems. You can make a mixture of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water, put it in a spray bottle, and spray the infected ear at least once a day. Diet change: If you suspect that your cat’s ear infection is due to a food allergy, try gradually switching to natural food that is free of chemicals and contains only a few ingredients in a way that helps identify the allergen. In addition, you can add quercetin or bromelain supplements that will help prevent allergic reactions in the digestive system.


How do you know if the home remedy is working?

When applying one of the aforementioned home remedies, you should pay attention to the signs that the cat’s ear is responding to treatment, which are:


  • Lack of pain or sensitivity.
  • Lack of symptoms of infection, such as shaking the head, rubbing the face, or scratching the ear.
  • Redness and odor improved.
  • Lack of waxy secretions.


If you notice any of the following warning signs, stop treatment and contact your vet immediately:


  • The cat’s extreme refusal to attempt to clean and place the treat.
  • Red secretions from the ear.
  • The appearance of red and white blisters in the ear canals or on the earlobe.
  • Increased odor.
  • Increased secretions in the ear.
  • The cat has a high temperature or swollen ear.


In conclusion, you should know that if otitis media in cats is not treated properly, it may move to the middle and inner ear and damage the eardrum, which may cause permanent deafness and imbalance.

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