Clean Cat Ears
Clean Cat Ears: The inside of your cat’s ears should be clean and free of odor. Remove excess earwax with cotton balls or tissues. If you see dark, gritty specks in the ears, which indicate ear mites, or an ear discharge, take your cat to the vet.
Tips For How to clean cats ears
1- The first tip to clean cat ears is preventing water from entering the ear. If you bathe your cat, prevent water from getting into her ears by inserting cotton balls at the opening of the ear canals. Wet ear canals can predispose a cat to ear infections. If your cat has been in a fight, check the ears for any cuts or bites that may need to be treated.
2- The 2nd tip to clean cat ears is that Routine ear cleaning is not required. Some wax is necessary to maintain the health of the tissues. However, ears should be cleaned when there is an excessive amount of wax, dirt, or debris. For small amounts of waxy debris, a damp cotton ball or a cotton-tipped swab works well. Many cats tolerate this well if you sit down and hold them in your lap, facing away.
3- The 3rd tip to clean cat ears is not putting any cleaning solution in the ear unless you are confident the eardrum is intact. To clean a very dirty ear, apply a few drops of warm mineral oil, olive oil, a dilute vinegar solution (three drops white vinegar in 1 ounce [30 ml] of water), or a special ear cleaning solution from your veterinarian (such as Oti-Clens, Epi Otic, Clear X Cleansing Solution, Virbac, Malacetic Otic, or Tris-EDTA products) to the external ear canal and massage the base of the ear to loosen dirt, excess wax, and debris. Then gently wipe out the ear with a cotton ball.
4- The 4th tip to clean cat ears is that ear folds and creases at the base of the ear are best cleaned with a cotton tipped swab moistened with oil or a cleaning solution.
Do not direct the applicator into the ear canal because this will push the debris deeper into the canal and pack it against the eardrum. Do not swab out or irrigate your cat’s ears with ether, alcohol, or other irritating solvents, all of which cause pain and swelling of the tissues.
5- The 5th tip to clean cat ears is that many cats object to ear cleaning and should be gently restrained, as described in Handling and Restraint. Try to make this a positive experience by staying calm and quiet and giving your cat a treat or some play time right after the ear cleaning. Many cats hold their ears in strange positions right after a cleaning.
HOW TO APPLY EAR MEDICATIONS
- Ear medications should be applied only to clean ear canals. Discuss with your veterinarian what cleaning solution will work best with the medications your cat needs.
- Some ear medications come in tubes with long nozzles; others come with medicine droppers. Restrain your cat so the tip of the applicator does not accidentally lacerate the skin of the ear canal. Fold the ear flap back over the top of the head.
- Insert the end of the nozzle or medicine dropper into the ear canal only as far as you can see. Unless directed otherwise by your veterinarian, squeeze in a small amount of ointment or instill three to four drops of liquid.
To apply medication, insert the tip of the nozzle only as far in as you can see and squeeze in a small amount.
- Because most infections involve the deep, horizontal part of the ear canal, it is important for the medicine to reach this area. Massage the cartilage at the base of the ear for 20 seconds to disperse the medicine.
- The massaging will produce a squishy sound. Use a cotton ball to wipe any excess medication off the inside of the ear flap.
Antibiotic Ear Medications
1- Antibiotic medications commonly used to treat external ear infections include Panolog, Tresaderm, Gentocin Otic, Otomax, Mometamax, Baytril, and others. Others are avail- able that contain different antibiotics or combinations of medications.
2- All ear preparations can damage the middle ear or inner ear if the eardrum has been ruptured. Medications should not be put into ears until a veterinarian has examined the cat and determined that the eardrums are intact.
3- Sometimes the cat will need to be sedated by your veterinarian so that the ear canal can be thoroughly cleaned of wax and debris.
4- Problems associated with the prolonged use of antibiotic ear preparations include allergic skin reaction, the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, and overgrowth of yeast and fungi. Follow the directions of the manufacturer about fre- quency of application. Expect to see improvement in two to three days. If not, consult your veterinarian because further delay can be harmful.
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