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Cleaning out ears?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,

My kittens and adult cat have been scratching at their ears and shaking theirs heads lately.

There are no signs of mites, but there was a good bit of wax in their ears the last few times that I looked.

I wanted to know what ear cleaning solutions everyone uses or has used? When I last mentiioned the ear issues to my vet (a couple months ago) she looked, there was no infection or mites, and said to use an ear cleaning solution... I had been told by the vet that sees our dog, that you could mix vinegar and water to use as a cleaner, but the vet that sees my cats said that vinegar isn't a very good "drying solution" and she'd reccomend a product made for cleaning ears.

So, what do you use or what have you used and how often do you clean out your cats ears?

I bought some Auror-UM at petsmart today (the only ear cleaner they had for cats) and tried it out... The cats weren't pleased and it left an "oily" odor...although I'm not sure if that was from dissolved ear wax or the liquid itself... So, I'm very open to trying out another brand of solution that works.

post #2 of 6
Hmmm Im not sure, Art, my cats clean each others ears.

But I wonder why your kitties would be shaking their heads if their ears were dirty? Do they all do that? If they all just started doing that, I would get a 2nd opinion.
post #3 of 6
I clean my girls weekly, wrap her up in a towel. But she is a Sphynx, so it isn't at all uncommon to clean ears weekly (following bath time)
post #4 of 6
Funny you should ask. At Jack's first vet appt 2 weeks ago the vet looked in his left ear and noticed a lot of wax--they cleaned it out and didn't seem worried. Well on Monday my husband said Jack's ear stinks and is full of wax. So we cleaned out what we could (were very careful not to stick qtips in too far). Well it just stunk more and continued to get waxy. He hadn't been itching it and wasn't really shaking his head. Finally on Thursday I had had enough so I took him to the vet, his left ear is pretty badly infected. So we are giving him oral antibiotics twice a day (which is terribly rough), putting in ear drops twice a day (which is no issue) and twice a week cleaning his ears with a special ear solution they gave us. I can already see a difference and his ear does not smell anymore.

The vet said it looked like the wax build up/along with some dampness probably caused the infection.

post #5 of 6
I like Zymox ear cleaner. It has enzymes in it that break down wax and dirt in the ear. It also doesn't have a strong scent and doesn't leave the ears oily like some do. I order it online, I can't find it at any local stores.

I've heard about the vinegar and water solution often, but I personally don't like it. I used it on my dog for a while after my vet recommended it, and it only seemed to make her ears worse. Besides which she always acted like it hurt her.

Having said that, I would go to the vet for ear scratching & head shaking. My Cornish Rex gets a buildup of wax in her ears and needs them cleaned weekly, but it never makes her act as though she's uncomfortable.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies folks.

Yes, they did not seem to like having their ears messed with, but I'm not sure if it was just due to putting the liquid cleaner in their ears, or if it actually burned...

Really, only one of them had been "shaking", infrequently. the other two have just been scratching on and off for a while. I think it has gotten somewhat better since I cleaned out their ears, but I will wait a couple of days before judging for sure. There's still no ear odor or inflimation (or signs of mites). So we'll just have to wait and see.

One of the cats was on ear drops for quite some time (about a month) but I haven't seen any recurring signs of infection since then.

I was wondering if the scratching could also be a sign of a food allergy? They have scratched around their necks as well (but then again, I've seen some scratches on them and/or scabs where they have nicked each other play fighting, so they could be scratching those).

I will go see the vet if the scratching/ shaking becomes worse, but I would really like to avoid another vet trip if I can.

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