Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Yeast Infection In Cat Ears

Itchy Scratchy Ears: Ear And Skin Yeast Infections In Cats

Day Ten: Treating Cat Ear Yeast Infection

A cat ear yeast infection is one of the most commonly diagnosed cat ear problems at veterinary clinics. But unlike their canine counterparts, cats, by nature, tend to be very stoic creatures. As a result, ear infections in cats may cause serious health issues and may reach an advanced state before symptoms become noticeable. If you suspect your cat may have an ear infection, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian immediately. Only your vet can help you determine the underlying cause of the infection yeast, ear mites, fungus, or something else entirely and recommend the best treatment or remedy.

Recovery And Management Of Ear Infections In Cats

Most ear infections in cats can be treated with medical management in 1-2 weeks. While complications such as ruptured ear drums and middle and inner ear involvement can lead to hearing loss, most ear infection symptoms resolve with treatment.

Given the anatomy of the nerves close to your cats ear, a good rule of thumb is to avoid cleaning your cats ears unless instructed to do so by the vet.

Some cats may be uncooperative when it comes to application of medication. If youre having a hard time, ask your veterinarian for tips. These may include confining your cat to a single room for the duration of treatment to make them easier to catch, and learning how to hold your cat to avoid getting scratched or bitten.

Management and recovery may differ if the underlying cause is a tumor, polyp, or abnormality that requires a surgical procedure. If the tumor is malignant, your veterinarian may recommend a follow-up appointment with a veterinary oncologist to discuss continued treatment options.

Ear Infection In Cats

Ear infections are uncommon in cats but when they do strike the underlying cause can be serious.

That’s why it is essential to seek treatment for your kitty’s ear infection as early as possible. An easy to treat outer ear infection can quickly spread to the middle ear and onto your cat’s inner ear. Left untreated ear infections in cats can result in hearing loss.

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Recovery And Management Of Cat Ear Infections

Cats usually start feeling better within a few days of treatment. Once they seem to recover, it could be tempting to stop treatment, or cancel follow-up appointments. However, all medications should be used for the full treatment length and a recheck exam with cytology should be scheduled. Common causes of treatment failure include treatment thats not long enough and inadequate therapy. It is important to learn how to clean and medicate your cats ears to ensure the product reaches the deep part of the ear canal.

The recheck cytology and veterinary exam is important because it may show one or more of the following things:

  • The ear infection is better, but not fully resolved .

  • The ear infection is resolved, and treatment can be stopped.

  • The ear infection has changed and now requires a different course of treatment.

  • Some cats may have recurring ear infections, especially if they have abnormal ear canal anatomy or chronic predisposing issues, like allergies. Other issues, such as foreign material or ear mites, are more readily cured and do not recur.

    In general, cats with ear infections have a good prognosis. Early intervention, fully completing any medications, and treating underlying factors are the keys to success.

    How Should I Apply Medication To My Cat’s Ear

    Yeast Cat Ear Infection Pictures
    • It is important to get the medication into the horizontal ear canal or lower part of the ear canal. The cat’s ear canal is shaped like an ‘L’ and you must ensure that you apply the medication into the entire ear canal. For step-by-step instructions, see handout “Applying Ear Drops to Cats”.
    • When all ear medications have been applied, clean the outer part of the ear canal and the inside of the ear flap with a cotton ball. Do not use cotton tipped applicators , as they tend to push debris back into the vertical ear canal.
    Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM

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    Are Ear Infections In Cats Contagious For Humans Or Other Pets

    Ear infections are generally not contagious for humans or other pets, with one exception: those caused by parasites. Parasites like ear mites are highly contagious for other cats in the household. If one cat is affected, talk to your veterinarian about preventative treatment measures for your other cats.

    Symptoms Of Fungal Yeast Infection In Cats

    The primary symptoms associated with yeast infections in cats depend on the type of infection present. Here are some common symptoms associated with these types of fungal infections in cats:

    • Smelly discharge from lesions on the skin
    • Upper respiratory infections


    There are several types of fungi that can cause yeast infections in cats, although they are not common. Below are a few types of fungal yeast infections that are known to affect domestic cats:


    Candidiasis is a yeast infection that affects primarily the skin and mucous membranes of the skin. This condition is not often seen in cats, but can occur in cats that are immunodeficient. This means that cats with immune suppressing conditions are more likely to contract this fungal yeast infection.

    Malassezia dermatitis

    Malassezia dermatitis is caused by yeast that is often present in the skin and ears of domestic felines. However, an overgrowth of yeast can cause inflammation of the skin and a host of other problems. This fungal yeast infection can occur in any breed.


    Blastomycosis is caused by a soil-borne fungus. Although most common in dogs, cats can become infected upon inhaling fungal spores. While not all infected cats become sick, those that do can have a multitude of unpleasant symptoms such as skin lesions, fever and cough.

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    Anatomy Of The Ear And Other Contributors To Ear Yeast Infections

    This is more likely to affect dogs than cats. Dogs with floppy ears or a lot of hair around or in their ears can be predisposed to ear yeast infections. Those floppy ears that arent well ventilated and are extra hairy can trap moisture, a condition thats favorable for yeast overgrowth. Pets who are frequent swimmers can also be more prone to ear infections because of the constant exposure to moisture.

    Make Sure You Know Which Ear Youre Treating

    How to treat your cat’s ear infection at home using tea tree oil

    Take your cat to the treatment area.

    If youve forgotten which ear requires treatment, refer to the directions or call your vet. Often, pet parents describe their pets problem area from their perspective instead of from their pets perspective.

    So when the vet or the staff say right or left ear, remember that they are talking about the cats left ear, which is on the right when youre looking at your cat.

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    What Feline Yeast Infections Of The Ear Look Like

    Feline ear infections have a particular set of symptoms connected to them, including ear scratching, head shaking and inflammation. Yeast-caused ear infections have the additional symptoms of smelly black or yellowish discharge from the ears. If ear infections are left untreated, the infection may progress into the cats inner ear. At this point, symptoms can become more severe, such as:

    • facial paralysis

    At Home Care For Your Pets Ears

    It is important to inspect and clean your dogs ears at homeon a regular basis. Here are a few easysteps that can be implemented during bath time:

    • Examine the ear and gently wipe away any loose dirt, fluidor residue with a cotton ball.
    • Add ear cleaning solution into the ear canal while placingone finger in front of the earflap and your thumb behind it.
    • Softly massage ear canal while working the cleanerthroughout the ear.
    • Take a new cotton ball and pat up and down entire canal tosoak up ear wax and any liquids.
    • Repeat this flushing process as necessary.
    • Once all the debris and liquids are removed, pat entire earsurface with fresh cotton ball until ear is completely dry.
    • Apply any prescription medicine as directed.

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    How Are Cat Ear Infections Treated

    Whether the cause of your cats ear infection is determined to be a yeast infection, a bacterial infection, or from ear mites, your vet will prescribe a course of treatment with antifungals, antibiotics, and/or anti-parasitics, all of which come in the form of eardrops or ointment. If the infection has reached the middle ear, but the eardrum has not been compromised, the vet may prescribe a course of antibiotics that may be oral or injectable. If a foreign body is lodged in the ear canal, your cat will be sedated and the object removed. More serious causes will be addressed by your vet and a course of action decided upon.

    Dont be surprised if the vet clips the fur around the cats ear canal prior to applying feline ear infection treatments. This provides a cleaner surface for the application of medication and allows for proper drying around the ear canal. On rare occasions, surgery may be recommended to remove swollen tissue that has narrowed or blocked the ear canal however, this concern can most often be sufficiently addressed with medication.

    Quick Facts About Cat Ear Infections

    Cat Ear Yeast Infection Pictures
    • Ear infections in cats are not a common diagnosis, but they can quickly degrade your cats quality of life if theyre unlucky enough to get one
    • Some of the symptoms of cat ear infections include an odor coming from the ear, redness around the ears, and discharge coming from the ears
    • Most cat ear infection treatments involve the use of a potent, medicated, antifungal and antibacterial topical solution, like Banixx

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    Symptoms Of Cat Ear Infections

    Cats with ear infections may experience differences in severity and length of infection. Most often, cats will have these symptoms:

    • Swollen, red, and possibly ulcerated pinna

    Depending on the cause, ear infections may affect one or both ears. It is more common for both ears to be affected.

    As the infection and inflammation progress to the inner and middle ears, cats may show signs of incoordination and vestibular issues. The vestibular system is involved in balance, motion, and orientation. Problems with the vestibular system are similar to vertigo in humans. They may also injure the pinna to the point of developing an ear hematoma .

    Cat Ear Infection Causes

    Ear mites are common mites that live on the surface of pets’ ears, including those of cats, dogs and ferrets, says the Companion Animal Parasite Council. Ear mites are very contagious and spread through direct contact. Fortunately, people can’t contract ear mites. Because ear mites are so contagious, they’re a bigger problem when multiple cats live together in tight quarters, like in a shelter.

    While ear mites are generally the main culprit of a kitten ear infection, yeast and bacterial infections are usually seen in older cats. Yeast and bacterial infections in kittens tend to only be secondary to an ear mite infestation.

    Ear infections due to yeast or bacteria can develop secondary to an ear mite infestation, or can develop due to allergies. It’s normal for small amounts of yeast and bacteria to live in the ear canal, but if something puts the ear out of balance, like ear mites, polyps or allergies, then a secondary bacterial or fungal infection can occur.

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    About Dr Cathy Barnette Dvm

    Dr. Barnette is a veterinarian and freelance writer based in Florida. Her 14 years of experience in small animal clinical practice have allowed her to witness firsthand the communication gaps that often exist between pet owners and members of the veterinary team. Her goal is to create engaging content that educates owners, empowering them to make the best possible decisions for their pets. Dr. Barnette has two cats of her own, in addition to a dog and a pet dove.

    Ear Infections In Cats

    Cat Ear infection | Famous Maine Coons ears cleaned with Zymox

    Ear infections are a common feline condition, but can result in permanent complications if left untreated. They can have a variety of causes, and may affect the outer, middle, or inner ear. Regardless of cause, ear infections are typically a treatable condition. Identifying a possible ear infection quickly means you can treat it before it causes complications. Fortunately, the symptoms of an ear infection are generally easy to recognize.

    In This Article

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    What Is An Ear Infection

    An ear infection in cats typically involves inflammation of the external ear canal. This condition is also called otitis externa. While ear infections are a relatively common occurrence in dogs, they are less common in cats.

    The feline ear has a number of components. Many of these components are protected by the ear drum, such as the middle ear and inner ear. Infections of the middle ear and inner ear are less common in cats.

    Instead, cat ear infections typically affect the external ear canal or outer ear, outside of the eardrum. The inflammation associated with an ear infection also commonly affects the pinna .

    How Much Does It Cost To Treat Ear Infections In Cats

    The cost for treating ear infections in cats depends on the cause of the infection and veterinary practice. The cost usually includes the exam fee, diagnostics, medications, and any follow-up examinations. If your cat requires sedation, anesthesia, or surgery, this will add considerably to your bill. Most uncomplicated ear infections due to ear mites can be treated for under $100.

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    How Are Ear Infections In Cats Diagnosed And Treated

    If we suspect your feline has an ear infection we will examine the ear canal with an otoscope. Well look to see if the eardrum is intact and if there is debris, discharge, or inflammation present. If your kitty is in a lot of pain, a thorough exam under anesthesia may be necessary to properly determine the source of the issue. We will sometimes examine samples taken from the ear in order to choose the right medication for treatment.

    To treat ear infections we will clean the ear canal as best as possible. Certain medications given both orally and topically can be prescribed for bacterial or yeast infections. For ear mites, we generally prescribe a parasiticide medication to be applied to the inside of your cats ear, or directly on their skin to remove the mites.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Ear Infections In Cats

    Cat Ear Mites Vs Yeast Infection

    Symptoms will be visible by examining the ears, or by observing your cats behavior. Your cat will paw at their ears, or shake/tilt their head to try to remove the irritation.

    Symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the infection and the location . However, they generally include:

    • Swollen ear flap

    • Ear flap redness

    • Strong odor from ears

    • Unsteadiness/Loss of balance

    • Walking in circles

    Ear infections are uncomfortable for cats. They may be itchy, painful, and even disorienting, in the case of middle and inner ear infections. The symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually, and last for long periods of time. Many cats will scratch at their ears or shake their heads to try to alleviate this discomfort. However, scratching and head shaking can cause self-trauma, resulting in scabs and secondary infections.

    While the symptoms and their duration may vary slightly, any changes to the appearance or smell of your cats ears could be a sign of a potential problem, so if you notice anything amiss, contact your veterinarian.

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    Ear Infection Treatment And Prognosis

    If your cat has an ear infection, your veterinarian will prescribe antiparasitic medication, antibiotics, or another medication, depending on the type of infection.

    Treatment of an ear infection varies, depending on whats causing the infection. Ear mite infestation is treated with anti-parasite medications, which may be given systemically or applied directly to the ears with ear drops.

    Bacterial infections require antibiotics, but the precise antibiotic that is used may vary based on what is seen on microscopic examination. Yeast infections are treated with an antifungal agent. Most ear drops contain a combination of antibiotic and antifungal drugs, combined with a corticosteroid to relieve pain and inflammation.

    Cats with a chronic or severe ear infection may also be treated with oral or injectable medication. These medications can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the ear canal, allowing topical medications to work more effectively.

    Ear cleaning is also a component of treating an ear infection. Removing excess debris from the ears helps the medication work effectively. Your veterinarian will also prescribe or recommend an appropriate ear cleaner for your cat. Its important to not try cleaning your cats ears with ingredients you may have at home because they can be very painful and can actually worsen your cats ear infection.

    How To Use Banixx At Home To Treat My Cats Ear Infection

    Once your veterinarian has determined the underlying cause of your cats ear infection, the best course of treatment will be recommended to quickly and safely eliminate it. If the problem is mites, an anti-parastic ointment will take care of them economically and in short order. Banixx Pet Care can then be applied as a soothing, healing agent to treat the infection and irritation caused by the biting mites. If your cat has a yeast/fungal infection, Banixx can be used to quickly combat the yeast/fungus infection and, thereafter, as a regular ear cleaner for this type of cat ear problem.

    Banixx Pet Care can be used at home, in conjunction with any prescribed medication, to provide your cat with instant, soothing relief from the irritation caused by biting insects or other nasty parasites. Banixx low pH solution will also quickly combat any yeast or fungal infection by creating an environment in which bacteria and fungus simply CANNOT GROW, thus allowing the prescribed medication to concentrate on the existing infection. Fortunately, since Banixx is not only an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment for cats, its the ideal product for the treatment your of cats ear issue.

    Customer Testimonial:

    “We have been treating our cat for ear infections for 2 years. The vets have given up. I thought this was worth a try. After one week, the infection was gone. I recommend this product to everyone!”From Eve, via Amazon

    Customer Testimonial:

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