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Itchy ears

Christie

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Jun 20, 2020
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79
Hello I’m noticing that ever since I started letting the cats outside, supervised 30 minutes a day, they itch at their ears more than before now so I’m wondering if they are picking up mites or something like that. They do roll around on the patio. We try to power hose it as often as possible. It can be sandy ish.
How can I know for sure? And what do I do for treatment if so?
 

Dr. Christina

Veterinarian
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
604
Great observation! When do they itch at the ears? For how long do they itch? Do they shake their heads? Are both doing it the same? Examine the ears for redness, discharge, or black junk.

They will not get ear mites from the dirt. For reference for anyone, when cats get ear mites, the mites bite the ear and suck blood so their stool is very black. Because of the irritation, the ear produces excess wax. The mites' stools are black from digested blood, so the discharge is very black to gritty to grainy/waxy. With a magnifying glass you can actually see the tiny white mites running around (usually if there are a lot of them). Never assume mites or an infection without a diagnosis.

There are gentle treatments to soothe ears, but first let's hear more about the itch. I bet they are very happy to be outside!

Dr. Christina
 

Dr. Jeff

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Feb 23, 2017
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Hi Christie. As Dr. Christina mentioned, they won't get mites or other bugs in the ears from being outside unless they have a close encounter with another cat with ear mites. Even if they do I bet your young and vital kitties would be resistant.

Have you looked in their ears for sand or other debris, plant pieces, etc.?

Is it a transient itch when they first come in? On the 1/10 scale how itchy are their ears, and what about other itchiness seen as excessive grooming, pulling out their hair?
 

Christie

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Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
79
Ok this is very helpful. They itch briefly and upon checking, their ears are clean.
Come to think of it, my recently deceased older cat always had interior black ears. I thought it was just dirty and gross. I wonder now if it were mites. Could he have passed them on? I would be able to see them though & with a magnifying glass ... I will order one just to have a look
 

Dr. Jeff

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Yes, the kittens could have gotten ear mites from Pepper.
 

Christie

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Jun 20, 2020
Messages
79
Yikes. Magnifying glass should arrive today. Should I bring them to the vet for a quick check or if I see them myself... white and running around or blackness. what’s the next step?
 

Dr. Jeff

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Your vet could look under the microscope and see what's up right away.
 

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