Otodectosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms

Otodectosis of cats is a fairly common disease. The causative agent is the ear mite Otodectes cynotis. It is parasitic on the eardrum, in the external auditory canal and in the auricle.

It is an oblong yellow-gray insect, approximately 0.2-0.5 mm in length. The basis of its nutrition consists of exfoliated or dead cells of the epidermis and crusts on the skin.

Causes of infection

Animals up to one year old are at risk. Kittens also often get sick. Infection occurs through contact with sick Pets (and especially with stray fur – bearing animals) or items of care for them, common items for hygiene. A human ear mite does not bite, but people can carry it on their clothes or hands and be a source of infection for cats.

Symptoms of the disease:

  1. Brown crusts and scabs in the ear canal or auricle.
  2. Scratching and scratching of the ear.
  3. The pet is restless.
  4. Severe itching and shaking of the head. The cat scratches its ear with its paw and rubs against the first household items it finds.
  5. Discharge from the ears with an unpleasant smell. At first they are serous, and then purulent.
  6. Scabs in the ear and scabs around the ear.
  7. Hearing Impairment up to the point of loss.
  8. High temperature in the pet.
  9. “Crooked Head”: the cat turns its head so that the ear is at the bottom. In this case, the inflammatory process is likely to spread to the eardrum, middle and inner ear.
  10. In the advanced stage-convulsions and seizures. During them, the pet may die. They occur when the inflammation has passed from the ear to the meninges.

Course of the disease

Tick under the microscope

Ticks peel off the top layer of skin, and in this place begins to stand out tissue fluid brown. It dries up, crusts are formed that itch very much, and the animal tries to tear them off with its paw. Fungal and bacterial infections can enter through these small ulcers.

Scratches from scratching the ear with claws also do not contribute to recovery.

In advanced cases, the disease can spread to the entire body.

Going to the vet

Before showing the animal to a doctor, do not clean the pet’s ears so that the veterinarian can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment. He will take a scrape of earwax and examine it for parasites under a microscope in the laboratory. To defeat the disease, the doctor will prescribe acaricidal drugs, clean the animal’s ear from pus and crusts. To do this, most likely, you will need to introduce a sedative or swaddle the cat very tightly, since the procedure for cleaning the ears is not pleasant, and the restless pet becomes aggressive.

The owner of the cat should know that the course of treatment must strictly comply with the veterinarian’s instructions: an untreated animal may become infected again. Therefore, after anti-inflammatory therapy, it is necessary to strengthen the cat’s immune system, give it vitamins, and treat the coat with insecticides.

Both ears are treated, even if only one shows signs of infection. If there are several animals in the house, then you need to treat them, because otodectosis is very contagious. Sometimes you may need to take antimicrobial, analgesic, or antihistamines. Prevention measures against secondary infestation also include isolating the patient and wiping all surfaces and objects in the room with antiseptic fluids.