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Chronic ear infections

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We adopted Ramsay when he was 12 weeks old [he's 2 years now], and he had an ear infection in his left ear then and had ear infections up until January of this year. It was so bad when we got him that his ear membrane had ruptured. He's gone back and forth between yeast infections and bacterial infections, and we've tried all sorts of medications over the 2 years. Nothing worked until finally he was put on Zymox with hydrocortisone. We've had samples tested twice and they are still free of infection at this point. Is there anything that we can do/give him to prevent his ear infections from flaring up again?
post #2 of 6
Half of ear infections in cats are due to food allergies. The other half are due to other allergies. Okay, a teeny percent are due to polyps (they did look for polyps, yes?) Anyway, allergies cause inflammation, and once the tissue is inflamed, the yeast and bacteria that normally hang out in the ears will grow out of control and cause the symptoms of infection.

With any allergies, a hypoallergenic diet trial is a great place to start, but especially with ear infections since so many are diet-related, and the ones that aren't may still respond to diet. It needs to be a canned, homemade or raw diet, not dry food, which is its own problem. Here's my article about it:
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you, and wow, I had never even thought that food allergies could be associated with an ear infection!

So, now I have a follow-up question. My cats are currently eating, have been since March, Taste of the Wild dry with the occasional (once a weeks or so) meal replaced with a Merrick canned food. They had been on Evo dry before but when Evo's formula was changed they ended up with diarrhea that wouldn't clear up. While I would love to change them to a homemade, raw or wet diet, I'm not sure that's financially possible for us at this point as we are both in college full time and the budget is tight. What are some more financially feasible options for us to try with Ramsay?
post #4 of 6
I guess it depends on *where* you'd rather spend your money: investing in a good diet for your cat, or paying the vet to take care of the problems the dry food is causing! It really is an "either/or" decision. Just think of the money you have spent in 2 years treating these recurring ear infections! Ramsay could have been eating lamb chops instead!

There are dry foods that don't contain any of the top allergens (which are listed in the link I gave you), but they are still heat processed. Allergic cats can quickly become allergic to the next protein they're exposed to, so you're only putting off that judgment day.

Canned food seems more expensive, but the cat will eat less of it (and poop less, too--so there's your big savings on kitty litter! ), and save you a fortune in vet bills. Not to mention that Ramsay will feel tons better with clean, pain-free ears!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I had a good feeling that was coming. Thanks again Dr. Jean!
post #6 of 6
Dang, you've already got me figured out! Sigh. I guess the honeymoon's over!
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