Itching and scratching, pets often deal with a common problem and that is ear mites. Fortunately, they are pretty easy to treat.
The Nebraska Humane Society sees a lot of cats with ear issues and the most common problem is ear mites. Cats’ ears are important to them so it's important to take care of this issue.
Cotton’s ears are damaged. He came in with big hematomas on his ears, which are like pockets of blood. Those were formed because he had such bad ear mites that he scratched at his ears non-stop.
Ear mites are tiny parasites, barely detectable by the naked eye, but they do big damage if left untreated, causing irritation and inflammation. Over time, ear mites can infect the external and internal canal and lead to more serious skin or ear infections and even entirely block the ear canal with coffee-ground-like debris.
Outdoor cats are more likely to get ear mites as they are highly contagious and passed from pet to pet in casual contact at home or outside. Keeping him inside is a good deterrent.
The symptoms include excessive scratching and rubbing of the ears, head shaking, hair loss and dermatitis, black or brown waxy secretion, a strong odor, inflammation of the ear, obstruction of the ear canal with coffee-ground-like debris or scratches or scabs near the ear.
If you think your cat might have ear mites, it's important to bring your cat to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. Ear mites are pretty easy to treat with medicated washes from your veterinarian, but it's good to know that 50 percent of ear infections in cats are attributed to ear mites, so routine cleaning of your cat's ears will alert you to any early problems.
The Nebraska Humane Society is at 8929 Fort Street and is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at nehumanesociety.org.