Cat ear sensitivity and inflammation

Sushi789

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Jul 30, 2006
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My healthy 3 year old male cat has been scratching his ears lately at night. I didn't think anything of it at first but a few days ago I noticed some hair loss at the tip of his outer ear. This weekend he started scratching more and today the ear tip is inflamed and red... I think he scratched too hard with his nails.

He spent night in the kitty hospital around Xmas time because he ate a bow off a Christmas present ( he is totally fine, the overnight stay was just a precaution) and I am worried he might have caught ear mites there since the symptoms just recently started. I don't see any black stuff in or around his ears though, which I understand is the hallmark of ear mites.

I have another cat ( the little girl in my avatar) who was recently at the vet for her annual physical and the vet noticed that she had a bacterial ear infection and gave her some drops that seem to have clear it up quickly. She has been prone to ear problems for as long as I have had her (yeast infections) so I wasn't worried that her infection had moved to my other cat but now I wonder if it might be that....? Though her infection did not affect the outside of the ear and whatever is ailing my boy seems to be outside and at the tip.

I am calling the vet tomorrow and will bring my boy in ASAP this week, but I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas or experiences like this? Does anyone know of a bacterial infection could happen outside the ear like this? I hate to bring him to the vet because it's a MAJOR ordeal for him, and he just went through so much with the bow incident... But I don't want to take any chances so I think I have no choice. I also don't want to try any home remedies on him... He is super skittish and I just don't want to take any chances with that; if something is wrong i want the vet to help him. But I am worried and would love some feedback if anyone had ideas or similar experiences.

Thanks in advance!
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
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Aug 8, 2006
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Unfortunately ear problems can be down deep where you can't see them. Is he also shaking his head as well as scratching? I was told ear mites make a sound like crinkling plastic that annoys the cat (who wouldn't be annoyed?) and they shake their heads a lot. If he is just scratching it could be anything. The only way to know is too let the vet look in there. I know where you're coming from. I have a couple of cats that are not going to the vet no matter what I say. Sigh...
 

sharknbark

Like a Sloth
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Jul 26, 2007
558
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I did have a vet tell me it's possible for some ear infections to spread among pets if they share bedding and/or have a lot of close-range contact w/one another (rub faces, sleep next to each other, etc.). Since your other cat had an ear problem right before your now-suffering cat, I think it's a good plan of action that you are touching base w/your vet.
 

Sushi789

O.G.
Jul 30, 2006
4,857
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Thank you everyone for the helpful replies!

I'm beginning to think these two incidents might be related; it does seem like too much of a coincidence that my two cats would have two separate ear issues within a few weeks of each other.

My boy has actually stopped itching and the inflammation has gone down but we have a vet appt scheduled just to make sure. The baldness has to have been caused by something and I won't stop worrying until I know what. Hopefully it will be something minor and easy to deal with! And he was due for his annual vet visit soon anyway, so now we will just do it a few weeks early.:smile:
 

Sushi789

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Jul 30, 2006
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give an update in case anyone is interested or if this thread comes up in a search.

Turns out my kitty doesn't have ear mites, thank goodness! the vet said the slight baldness is normal for him and that some cats are prone to pattern baldness. He has always had some baldness above his eyes. She said that because he has lost some hair inside his ears, he had developed a lot of wax and that was probably why he was scratching so much. One ear was slightly infected so she gave me drops and we should be all set.

SO glad I checked it out though!:smile:
 

Star15Rin

MAC Madness!
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Sep 19, 2006
3,667
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CT
KMSNYC said:
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give an update in case anyone is interested or if this thread comes up in a search.

Turns out my kitty doesn't have ear mites, thank goodness! the vet said the slight baldness is normal for him and that some cats are prone to pattern baldness. He has always had some baldness above his eyes. She said that because he has lost some hair inside his ears, he had developed a lot of wax and that was probably why he was scratching so much. One ear was slightly infected so she gave me drops and we should be all set.

SO glad I checked it out though!:smile:
Just something to be aware of in the future- my cat had a similar problem with overproduction of wax, and it turned out to be related to his facial allergies. When hen would take his allergy pill, it would be much better! (unfortunately, it was very hard to get him to take pills...)