Ear mites are a very common external parasite and are highly contagious among animal species. The ears and skin of dogs and cats can be irritated by ear mites, leading to itching, scratching, and health issues down the road. Cats are more likely to contract these parasites than dogs, and they are relatively easy to treat. Our Baton Rouge vets explain how to treat ear mites in cats.
Ear mites are a very common parasite that can be found on many different species of animals. Itching, scratching, and health issues can occur when the ears and skin of dogs and cats are irritated by ear mites.
They are relatively easy to treat, and cats are more likely to contract them than dogs. Our Baton Rouge vets explain how to treat ear mites in cats.
What Causes of Ear Mites in Cats
You may read about ear mites and wonder how they make their way into your pet's ears in order to make them so miserable. Which factors contribute to their infection, and how are they transmitted from one pet to another?
Because ear mites are highly contagious, they can spread easily from one infected animal to another. Eye mites are most common in cats, but they can also be found in dogs and other wild animals. In boarding environments or outdoors, your cat can easily get ear mites if she gets too close to another animal or touches a contaminated surface, such as a grooming tool or bedding.
Be sure to check your newly adopted cat for ear mites and schedule a routine exam with your vet as soon as possible, as shelter cats often contract ear mites.
Symptoms of Ear Mites
The most common signs of ear mites in cats include:
- Head shaking
- Scratching at ears
- Hair or loss or irritation due to excessive scratching around the ears
- Dark crusty or waxy discharge from the ear that looks like coffee grounds
How to Treat Ear Mites in Cats
Many pet owners have asked how to get rid of ear mites in cats. Fortunately, treatment is fairly straightforward.
The antiparasitic medication your vet will provide is topical or oral if your cat is diagnosed with ear mites. Your veterinarian will likely also clear your cat's ears of the characteristic wax and discharge associated with these parasites and prescribe a course of antibiotics depending on how severe your cat's specific case is.
Your vet will also check for any secondary infections that may be present from the infestation and treat them as needed. Your vet will probably recommend that you return to the office within a week or two to ensure that the mites are gone and that further treatment is not necessary.
Your vet will probably also prescribe medication for any other household pets to ensure that the infestation doesn't continue.
It's not recommended to use home remedies to get rid of ear mites in cats. Even though some methods are capable of killing these parasites, many at-home treatments don't kill the eggs. So, while it appears that the mites are gone. The infestation will begin again when the eggs hatch.
How to Prevent Ear Mites in Cats
A regular checkup and ear cleaning for your cat with your veterinarian will help prevent more serious infestations of ear mites on your cat. Likewise, ensure that you clean your cat's kennel, bedding, and your home to catch any stray mites. Your vet will also be happy to recommend parasite prevention products for your feline companion.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.