Itchy cat ears can be a chronic and frustrating problem for pets and their owners alike in Nairobi. Inflamed or infected ears cause pets obvious discomfort that can leave owners feeling helpless and concerned. In addition, a pet’s various attempts at relieving the itch in the ears (e.g., scratching, face rubbing, head shaking) can disrupt their sleep and normal activities.

Reasons for Itchy Cat Ears

Ear issues can arise for many reasons, and Our clinic which serves the Nairobi area will have to examine your itchy pet to be able to confirm an accurate diagnosis. Your veterinarian will assess your pet’s external and internal ear canal, perform a microscopic assessment (i.e., cytology) of discharge, and determine the root cause—without which, treatment will be ineffective at best, and harmful at worst. Common causes for pets’ itchy ears include:

  • Bacterial or fungal infections — Your pet’s ears have a natural balance of a small amount of bacteria and yeast that are normal inhabitants. Environmental conditions such as canals are warm, dark, moist environments – a natural breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Water (e.g., from bathing or swimming) trapped in your pet’s ear canal can accelerate bacterial growth.
  • Allergies — Environmental allergens (e.g., grasses, tree pollen) and food allergies can cause the normal balance in the ear to be disrupted, which results in skin disorders, including chronic ear infections.
  • Injury — Aural hematomas are blood- or fluid-filled pockets that develop inside on the ear flap in response to trauma (e.g., excessive head shaking, ear scratching, rough play).
  • Trapped hair or debris — Certain breeds, such as poodles and shih tzus, have inner ear hair that can become matted with debris or wax, preventing normal air flow.
  • Foreign objects — Seeds, grass awns, and ticks can burrow in the skin and create irritation.
  • Tumors or polyps — Tissue growths can irritate the ear and create an additional surface area for bacteria and yeast to grow.
  • Waxy buildup — Excessive ear wax can accumulate in the ear canal and irritate your pet’s ears.
  • Ear mites — Your pet can contract parasitic ear mites through close contact with an infested pet. These extremely irritating microscopic mites feed on skin oils and ear wax. This condition is typically seen in young puppies and kittens.

Examining Itchy Cat Ears

  • A pet cat ear exam typically involves a thorough inspection of the external and internal parts of the cat’s ears by a veterinarian or a trained veterinary technician.
  • The exam may begin with a visual inspection of the external ear canal and surrounding area to check for signs of inflammation, discharge, redness, swelling, or the presence of parasites such as ear mites.
  • Following the visual inspection, the veterinarian may use an otoscope, a specialized instrument with a light and magnifying lens, to examine the deeper parts of the ear canal and the eardrum.
  • If necessary, the veterinarian may also take samples of ear discharge for further analysis to identify the underlying cause of any ear problems.

Importance of the examination

  • Regular ear exams are essential for maintaining your cat’s overall health and detecting any potential ear problems early on.
  • Ear issues in cats, such as infections, parasites, allergies, or foreign objects lodged in the ear canal, can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to more severe health complications if left untreated.
  • Detecting and treating ear problems promptly can help prevent discomfort for your cat, reduce the risk of complications, and potentially save on costly medical treatments down the line.

Cost of the examination

Overall, while the cost of a pet cat ear exam may vary, it is an important investment in your cat’s health and well-being. Regular ear exams, along with proper at-home care, can help keep your cat’s ears healthy and prevent potential ear problems.

How can I improve my pet’s ear health?

Consider your pet’s ears as an extension of their skin—cleanliness and air flow can promote health and minimize microorganism growth. Your pet’s routine ear care should include:

  • Cleaning their ears weekly
  • Preventing water from entering their ear canal
  • Maintaining routine veterinary care
  • Reducing ear canal hair (e.g., poodles, shih tzus)
  • Scheduling an appointment with your regular veterinarian at the first sign of a problem

Pets’ itchy ears are more than an inconvenience—untreated or recurring infections and pain can challenge their immune system, lead to secondary complications, and negatively affect your furry companion’s quality of life. If your pet experiences frequent ear infections or irritation, talk to your veterinarian about treatment and management options.

For those times when your pet’s all-night ear scratch-a-thon begins after your regular veterinarian’s business hours, our Ducknetvet team can help. Ducknetvet provides convenient access to expert veterinary care when your pet needs it most—including late at night. Contact  Ducknetvet—because your pet can’t wait to feel better.

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