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Scratching ears.. mites or fleas?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a 3 and a half month old kitten who goes outdoors regularly. We noticed awhile ago around the time she needed some more flea medication that she was scratching at her ears alot.

She's since been to the vet and he gave her some flea spray (I'm a little skepitcal as to whether or not it actually works..) but she's still scratching. She seems to have a little bit of blood (or maybe dark ear wax? Bloody ear wax?) in her ears as well, and is often scratching with her foot IN her ear.

I'm guessing this is likely ear mites, but I don't really know much about them, and I'd like to have some more information before I take her to the vet, as I'm in Ecuador and the vets are hit and miss here. Could it possibly still be fleas, and the possible blood in the ear would be coming from the way she's scratching them?
post #2 of 17
I would bet on ear mites. Can you get a flea preventative called revolution where you are? If so, that should take care of the mites. Mites also cause secondary bacterial and yeast infections, so if you can find a decent vet willing to take a good look under a microscope, that would be your best bet.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
I would bet on ear mites. Can you get a flea preventative called revolution where you are? If so, that should take care of the mites. Mites also cause secondary bacterial and yeast infections, so if you can find a decent vet willing to take a good look under a microscope, that would be your best bet.
So Revolution is good for mites and fleas? I know there's a similar one here.. I can't remember what it's called but I know Pfizer makes it..
post #4 of 17
Revolution takes care of fleas, ear mites, and some types of worms. The other kinds are primarily for fleas. There's a brand of ear drops, if you can get them there, that's single dose - maybe follow up dose 21 days later. Starts with an A and I'm pretty sure the active ingredient is the same as Revolution has.
... Can't remember the name though.

If not, there are some people on here that have used home remedies, maybe one can post? But it takes more cleaning and may or may not get all the mites.
post #5 of 17
It is also possible she has an ear infection going on. I do suggest having your vet take a look ASAP, as ear infection left untreated can cause deafness & balance issues.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
It is also possible she has an ear infection going on. I do suggest having your vet take a look ASAP, as ear infection left untreated can cause deafness & balance issues.
not to mention, loss of ear. my friend's cat had recurrent yeast infections of the ear that just couldn't be gotten under control. this fall, he had an ear amputated as a last resort.
he can hear just fine, but he's kinda funny looking [according to her, i haven't seen him since the op].
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Starts with an A and I'm pretty sure the active ingredient is the same as Revolution has.
... Can't remember the name though.
Acarexx... its just ivermectin though, which doesn't prevent fleas. The revolution will take care of just about everything...
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
She's since been to the vet and he gave her some flea spray (I'm a little skepitcal as to whether or not it actually works..) but she's still scratching. She seems to have a little bit of blood (or maybe dark ear wax? Bloody ear wax?) in her ears as well, and is often scratching with her foot IN her ear.
I think there's a black sort of ear wax that is associated with ear mites.

Good luck getting kitty's ear woes sorted out!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
It is also possible she has an ear infection going on. I do suggest having your vet take a look ASAP, as ear infection left untreated can cause deafness & balance issues.
I don't think it's an ear infection.. when we found her she had a really bad ear infection and we managed to heal it up. It's been gone for awhile, and this new business seems completely different and less severe than her previous ear infection.

I guess it could still be an ear infection.. but it seems quite different..
post #10 of 17
Ear infections can be re-occuring, like a life-long problem. Sometimes they aren't as severe yet are still an ear infection.

Is there black 'grit' or anything inside the ear that you can see?
post #11 of 17
patchy has this problem, too. when we first brought her home she scratched her ears so bad that they were all bloody. i figured she had ear mites since the shelter neglected to treat her for fleas also. the vet found no mites but discovered she had food and pollen allergies. since she refuses to eat prescription food, i just clean her ears out with kitty qtips every few days and put vinegar in them so she doesnt get yeast infections.
post #12 of 17
Do you notice anything black in her ears? If so, that usually an indication of ear mites - but I wouldn't rule out an ear infection, either. Maverick, one of my furbies, who I thought had ear mites and was treating him for them, turned out to have an ear infection, which was determined after I took him to the vet. Does your cat have any odor coming from her ears? If she does, I would say it was an infection, which needs to be treated ASAP.

I hope it's nothing serious!

~KK~
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
Do you notice anything black in her ears? If so, that usually an indication of ear mites - but I wouldn't rule out an ear infection, either. Maverick, one of my furbies, who I thought had ear mites and was treating him for them, turned out to have an ear infection, which was determined after I took him to the vet. Does your cat have any odor coming from her ears? If she does, I would say it was an infection, which needs to be treated ASAP.

I hope it's nothing serious!

~KK~
Yup, a little bit of black wax stuff. Not too much.

Previously when she had an ear infection, it was definitely smelly which is another reason I'm convinced this isn't one..

Anyways, I'll be taking her to the vet pretty soon for rabies shots, and I'll see if I can get Revolution (or something similar I hope!)
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
Yup, a little bit of black wax stuff. Not too much.

Previously when she had an ear infection, it was definitely smelly which is another reason I'm convinced this isn't one..

Anyways, I'll be taking her to the vet pretty soon for rabies shots, and I'll see if I can get Revolution (or something similar I hope!)

I would say it's earmites, then. You'll find out for sure when your take her to the vet.

More good vibes just in case.

~KK~
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I would say it's earmites, then. You'll find out for sure when your take her to the vet.

More good vibes just in case.

~KK~
Thanks so much! I'm not sure if I will find out at the vet, since the majority of vets here are not so good, and mostly deal with farm animals.. I guess we'll find out today!
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
Thanks so much! I'm not sure if I will find out at the vet, since the majority of vets here are not so good, and mostly deal with farm animals.. I guess we'll find out today!
Even if your vet is basically a "farm" vet, he should be able to determine what earmites are. My vet deals with farm animals a lot too, and he knows the difference between earmites & an infection. If your vet doesn't know, he's not very smart, IMO. I'd take my cats to a different vet if he didn't know the difference between earmites & infections..

~KK~
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
Even if your vet is basically a "farm" vet, he should be able to determine what earmites are. My vet deals with farm animals a lot too, and he knows the difference between earmites & an infection. If your vet doesn't know, he's not very smart, IMO. I'd take my cats to a different vet if he didn't know the difference between earmites & infections..

~KK~
Yeah, my vet in Canada was the greatest vet EVER and it was because she mostly dealt with farm animals. But I'm in Ecuador, and the farm vets mostly just provide vaccinations for cats and dogs and do artificial insemenation for pigs.

Luckily I found a pretty good one today, with a REAL vets office (aka one not open to the street, or on the counter of their shop) and mananged to get some medicine for her ear mites. I'm hoping they are ear mites since they didn't even get me to bring the cat in.. (I just stopped by while I was out to ask about an apt.)
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