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Ear Problems and Your Cat

April 1, 2014

Poor little Lily. Your sweet little cat has abandoned her window sill bird-watching routine during the past couple of days. Now, Lily’s pawing and digging at her ears and wildly shaking her head. She’s also rolling around the floor and rubbing her ears against the carpet. Clearly, something is bothering Lily’s ears, but she won’t let you get close enough to examine them. Fortunately, your Rapid City veterinarian can keep Lily comfortable while he performs diagnostic tests to determine the cause of her ear discomfort.


Ear Infection

Lily might be in the throes of a nasty ear infection. Perhaps a piece of debris has somehow worked its way into her ear canal; or a yeast or bacteria colony has gone crazy inside one or both ears. Ear infections can potentially signal a hormonal upset, an allergy, or even a hereditary condition.


Ear Mites

These nasty little parasites are common among cats and dogs, and in fact your pets can pass them back and forth. If Lily has an ear mite infestation, you’ll notice that her ear contains black/brown debris that looks like coffee grounds. Lily’s ear itching and scratching will also dramatically accelerate.


Blood Blisters

If Lily keeps vigorously shaking her head and scratching her ears, she can actually rupture a blood vessel within her ear flap. Lily then develops a blood accumulation, also called a blood blister or hematoma, in that ear flap.


Red Flags

You don’t want beautiful Lily to experience any of these nasty ear ailments, so you’ll watch her ears carefully for any abnormalities. Look for a buildup of dark brownish wax, or perhaps a yellowish or black discharge. You might also see a swelling or redness in Lily’s ear flap or canal, and perhaps even some bleeding. Her ears might smell horrendous, too. An ear infection can cause Lily to act a little woozy, as her balance can be affected. Finally, Lily might experience loss of hearing.


Clearly, it’s time to get Lily to your Rapid City vet, who can quickly diagnose and treat her ear problem. You can’t wait until Lily gets some relief so she can curl up on your lap and resume her bird-watching activities.

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