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Stubborn ear wax

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm going to ramble here, so I'll apologize in advance.........

We have two young ladies living with us..... Brownie is a large, friendly, 2-year-old, dignified brown tabby who mews quietly, loves to sit on my wife's lap and in the cat bed on the desk next to the monitor in my office, and has a quiet enjoyment of Culver's frozen custard (but only, of course, the vanilla)....

Skye, on the other hand is an energetic 1.5-year-old, 6 pounder (she was only 2.8 pounds when we adopted her at 6 months of age), with the attitude of a kitten. To her, the whole world is a carnival filled with things with which to play..... Anything on a counter, table, desk, or other surface that she can move is fair game to get pushed off the edge - just to enjoy watching it fall and bounce! She's my constant companion and insists on being cuddled and paid attention to at regular intervals throughout the day - she also spends her time in the cat bed next to the monitor - yes, a huge amount of desk real estate is occupied by two cat beds so they can each have their own 'cause they don't like to share when they're napping!

They're both happy, healthy girls. They HAD ear mites and I wound up using Revolution for 3 months to make sure they were all gone.

Unfortunately, at their recent vet checkup, Skye has ear wax. Apparently quite stubborn and the vet says she may just be a cat that generates more than the usual amount of ear wax... We've been using the ear cleaner/wax dissolver we got from the vet for a couple weeks and she's STILL got a lot of wax in one ear and apparently a plug/blockage/chunk of wax in the other. She seems to me to be doing a lot of ear scratching - not scratching the outside but pushing her paw into the ear and acting like she's trying to pull something out. So I presume the wax is as annoying to her as it is when I get wax in my ears.....

The vet says the solution will work and they don't like to force the wax out by irrigating since they have to sedate the cat to do this. He told us to make sure we get LOTS of liquid in the ears and massage them vigorously.... Which we're doing now, but WOW does she hate having her ears messed with! She gets in quite a snit... Which I didn't think was possible since she has the attention span of a hummingbird!

Anyhow, does anyone in here have any ideas how we can help get this junk out faster and keep her ears clean without having to put the dreaded and nasty ear liquid in?
post #2 of 10
The only suggestion I have is get another opinion.

I may be out to lunch, but my understanding was that Revolution was not a "cure" for ear mites - it was a preventative (this is according to my vet).

I think she may well still have ear mites but I would definitely recommend you get that second opinion from another vet.
post #3 of 10
I would also question whether or not the ear mites are completely cured. This alone can cause build up and blockage in the ears. I would seek a second opinion, before it ends up being something much worse.
post #4 of 10
We used Revolution on Hannah when she had fleas and ear mites when we first got her. It took care of both, but we also treated her ears with something else. I don't remember what it was, though, and it's been almost 4 years since then.

Our other cat, Callie, has excessive ear wax due to allergies. The vet surmises that her allergies cause her ear canals to swell and "trap" the wax, dry skin, and other stuff and keep it from flushing it out on its own. I have her ears flushed out every year when she has her teeth cleaned since she's already konked out. She has had a yeast infection in her ear associated with the blockage and it causes her ears to itch. The vet puts this goopy stuff in her ears to treat the yeast infection and soothe her ears after.

I will tell you that I've watched them clean her ears out and I will NEVER do that again, for me or for her. It was horrible and she was so uncomfortable. Her little ears were so red from them holding them to get down into the canal. I got ignored and the silent treatment from her for several days after that experience! After watching that, I decided that she'd have her ears done while she was out to have her dentals. It's the perfect time to do it!

Here's the wax plug that was removed earlier this year. This is the first time they've taken a pic for me so I can actually see what they're seeing.

post #5 of 10
EWWWWWW!!!!! Thanks steph...

I can tell you (both from experience with my cats and personal experience) a little warm olive oil does wonders for cleaning out the tubing. It does a great job breaking up the dirt and will drown the ear mites, plus the cats really don't seem to mind the process.

Having your ear irrigated is NOT allot of fun, it isn't particularly painful but it does feel really strange & I can't see any cat sitting still for that.

Place a little luke warm olive oil into the ear canal, massage for 1 minute, wipe clean with tissue. Don't put too much in or let them run around, as I found, it will end up all over your house!!

I used olive oil because it's a viable option & I had some really nasty cheap stuff hubby bought I didn't want to use for cooking. Mineral oil is a perfectly fine option as well.
post #6 of 10
When I first adopted Ava (about 6 years ago), she had a bad wax problem that was caused from the healing of an ear mite problem. My vet gave me OtiFoam Ear Cleanser, and it worked wonderfully AND she didn't mind it hardly at all. I now use, about every four - six weeks, OtiRinse Ear Cleanser to help keep them clean on all three cats. I have a large screened in porch, consequently, sand, etc. gets on it, and I think increases the dirty ears. At any rate, I warm the bottle in a bowl of hot tap water, and none of them mind it in the least; they actually seem to enjoy the experience making them nice and clean!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Had the little one (Skye) back to the vet after a month of cleaning with the ear stuff they gave me... She still had the "wax plug" in one ear and a lot of wax in the other. The vet says there are no ear mites, things are clean, but still getting wax buildup.......

She's still doing, in my opinion, a lot of ear scratching. The vet doesn't want to try to irrigate her ears since they have to sedate her for that. He says if we clean the ears regularly the wax should dissolve, but so far it hasn't....

So, I think I'd best get another opinion. Maybe try the OtiFoam Ear Cleanser...
post #8 of 10
Well, I feel like a complete idiot! I clean my cats ears at times, but I never knew that they could have such a severe problem with wax. Ouch & Wow! That picture really says it all.
post #9 of 10
Something else you might want to ask your vet is if she might have a yeast infection in her ear. Callie used to get those frequently and the symptoms are pretty much the same as ear mites (minus the mites)...itchy ears, ear flaps held down, not up and perky like normal, and there's a bad smell. The vet can take a culture of the goop in her ear and let you know. There's a goopy icky gel type med that they can put in the ear to cure the yeast infection, but I'd get the ears thoroughly flushed first, preferably while under anesthesia.
post #10 of 10

When I adopted my little guy, he had ear mites which was cured.  However, he continued to have icky, itchy ears.  When I took him in, they did a lab culture and said it was yeast - which is apparently quite rare for a cat.  Still treating for the yeast yet he also has wax plugs in his ears.  Vet says that irrigating to flush the wax out is not a good idea as it can mess up cats' inner and middle ears (e.g. ringing in the ears, vertigo, etc.). 

 

The "rinse" that he suggested is acid based so the wax will melt AND will also kill the yeast.  According to him, yeast love oil and wax, so be careful when using those "oils" in the ears!  You may be making the problem worse as I inadvertently did with the miticide which is oil-based.

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