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One 'Smelly' Ear - no sign of mites.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

My little cat, 'Spunky' was lying beside me on the bed a couple of days ago and I noticed a strong, bad smell coming from her. I looked her over and when I checked her ears, I realized the odor was coming from her right ear. The left ear is perfectly O.K. There doesn't seem to be any dirt or dried blood in her right ear - in fact it looks fine and she isn't scratching. I was debating using some vinegar and water, but not knowing what exactly the problem is, thought I would ask your advice as you are all so knowledgeable. BTW, 'Spunky' is about thirteen years old.

Thanks for any help at all. I would sincerely appreciate it!

Christine
post #2 of 15
Don't pour anything into your cat's ear. Especially water.

Not all ear problems are mite related. Mites are only a problem in uncared for cats. So unless someone neglects their pet cat they've had for years, there won't be mites.

What you're smelling is an infection. Probably deeper down in the ear. You have to take the cat to the vet for this.
post #3 of 15
That smell concerns me. For a body part to smell like that, some necrotizing (flesh-eating) has to be occurring. Get to the vet ASAP because it sounds like an infection is eating away at the ear canal.
post #4 of 15
I'm sorry Spunky is having a problem with her ear. That's no fun at all!

First things first -- the best thing you can do for Spunky is to make her an appointment with her veterinarian. The issue you're describing does not read like ear mites and, as was previously stated, the majority of indoor, well-cared for cats will not contract mites. But, that being said, it does seem as though Spunky may be dealing with an ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by an overgrowth of yeast or by bacteria. But, regardless of the cause, an infection would require a trip to the vet as untreated ear infections can lead to a host of other problems. And, I'm sharing this not to scare you, but in older cats, tumors of the ear canal can be an issue. A foul odor coming from the ear is always a cause for concern and it would be in Spunky's best interest to be seen by her veterinarian as soon as possible (it's not an emergency, but she should be seen sooner rather than later).

In the meantime, since you're not reporting seeing debris or wax in her ear, do not try to put any kind of liquid or cleaner in her ear. The vet will likely check Spunky over and, depending on what they see when examining the ear, may do an ear swab and/or culture. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan should be discussed and decided upon. It all sounds scarier than it is, but I do hope you'll get Spunky to the vet and, when you can, update us on how she's doing. Good luck and please keep us posted.

And, before I go, here are some vibes for you and your kitty .
post #5 of 15
I agree with the others. Vet first. There are many ear problems besides mite. My Mazy cat has chronic ear issues due to an untreated yeast infection in her ears before she came to me.

Please keep us posted on Spunky!
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison Joy View Post
as was previously stated, the majority of indoor, well-cared for cats will not contract mites.
Note that I said cared for cats. Indoor/outdoor and even fully outdoor cats are at a higher risk to get them if not treated with a monthly flea topical like Revolution or Advantage Multi - BUT, ear mites are not spread as easily as ticks or fleas are. They take closer contact with an infested animal or that animal's bedding. Your average cat doesn't just walk up to another strange cat and start cuddling with it. So even if your cat goes out, one shouldn't assume ear mites for every ear problem. Especially not when most people will try OTC things for ear mites that will make an infection worse or do nothing to help a possible allergy.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks you all so very much for your thoughts and advice. Spunky does not go out although I have two others that do go out for brief periods.

I am taking your advice and will be making an appointment with my vet ASAP. Spunky does not seem to be in any distress (thankfully), but as you all have said, the odor is certainly not natural.

I will most definitely let you know the result of the examination.

Thanks to you all again for taking the time to post. I really appreciate your care and concern.

Love to all your 'fur babies' too!

Christine
post #8 of 15
I have a cat with chronic ear problems as well. Hers are allergy related. Sounds like some kind of infection is going on, possibly a yeast infection. Look to see if your kitty is holding her ear down or differently from the normal, perked up way, or if she shakes her head when you pet her near her ear. Those are generally signs that something's irritating or hurting her ear.
post #9 of 15
Cable had a smelly ear right after i moved. took her to the vet, & she had a bacterial infection - a shot & some drops, & it cleared right up!
looked 'dirty', but the wax came off easily, unlike when it's mites.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Eva View Post
Thanks you all so very much for your thoughts and advice. Spunky does not go out although I have two others that do go out for brief periods.

I am taking your advice and will be making an appointment with my vet ASAP. Spunky does not seem to be in any distress (thankfully), but as you all have said, the odor is certainly not natural.

I will most definitely let you know the result of the examination.

Thanks to you all again for taking the time to post. I really appreciate your care and concern.

Love to all your 'fur babies' too!

Christine
That's good! Don't put it off, though. The longer ear problems are left untreated the more the likelihood of life long problems, like my Mazy cat. No telling how long her ears were bad before she came here.

Now I keep a bottle of tresaderm in the fridge at all times, for flare ups.

I'll be watching for updates.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!

Took 'Spunky' to the vet's yesterday. Turns out she has a really bad ear infection. She cleaned out Spunky's ear with peroxide and applied some drops called 'Surolan'.

I have to clean out her ear with peroxide and apply drops twice a day for two weeks. I have to wait fifteen minutes between cleaning with peroxide and applying drops. Spunky was very good considering that the cleaning out process must have hurt like blazes.

Thank you so much for all the valuable 'input'. I shall keep you informed!

BTW - Some of you may remember that some months ago I posted about 'Felix' the beautiful Maine Coon cat which I gave to my neighbor, Doug, who is in a wheelchair. Felix had disappeared for a day or so and then he was found right outside Doug's place. Felix is doing very well. He loves his new owner and cuddles with him all the time. Sticks his head under Doug's chin when he is sleeping. He is a gorgeous cat now with green eyes and very long hair. A nice ending to the story of a lost cat.

Hugs and thanks!

Christine
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

Just a quick update on Spunky. I've been doing the peroxide/antibiotic treatment twice a day and her ear infection seems to be clearing up. No more horrible odor! She also doesn't seem to mind the peroxide anymore, so I take it it no longer stings when applied. She goes for a check up in a couple of weeks.

Thanks so much to all of you for caring!

Hugs,
Christine
post #13 of 15
Thanks for the updates Christine! Don't know how I missed your first one after going to the vet, but so glad Spunky got her diagnosis and is responding to treatment.

Are the drops tresaderm? Remember to keep them in the fridge!

Thanks for the happy update on Felix, too!
post #14 of 15

I merely googled my newly adopted cat's problem....a smelly ear and pulled up this website.  Thank you so much, everyone who helped out with Spunky's problem as my cat 'Don Gato' also has this issue.

 

I'll be getting my new boy to the vet quickly, so thanks to everyone, for your answers. Keep it up.

 

Love you guys, chescat.gif

 

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by grronthehill View Post

I merely googled my newly adopted cat's problem....a smelly ear and pulled up this website.  Thank you so much, everyone who helped out with Spunky's problem as my cat 'Don Gato' also has this issue.

 

I'll be getting my new boy to the vet quickly, so thanks to everyone, for your answers. Keep it up.

 

Love you guys, chescat.gif

 


Welcome to TCS. There may have been advances in the 2 years or so since the thread was last posted, but I am glad that you are taking the cat to the vet.  Keep us informed how Don Gato is doing.  If you have any questions, post them or send me a PM. 

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