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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
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Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My female cat, 8 years old, shakes her head & scratches her

Customer Question

Customer: My female cat, 8 years old, shakes her head & scratches her ears and has scratched a bare spot on her neck. Vet says no mange or ear mites gave her an antibotic & steroid shot...said she may be stressed. What should I do?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She does this constantly even at night when she trys to sleep.
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Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

It is certainly appropriate for your veterinarian to try a steroid injection and the antibiotic to see if this will help. Most cats get relieve within a few days. However, it is also important to look for obvious infection in the ears (yeast, bacterial). Was a swab of the ears checked for bacteria/yeast? If not, then this is the right next step because drops may be needed to give her relief. As well, your veterinarian may need to perform an ear cleaning to remove debris and then get a good view of the deeper aspects of the ear to screen and make sure the ear drum is intact and there are no masses/polyps there.

I think it important to step back for a moment and talk about underlying issues that cause ear infections/itching and neck itching. The most common cause is an underling allergy such as atopic dermatitis (environmental allergy) or food allergy or flea allergy. Therefore, appropriate year-round flea control (e.g., Revolution or Advantage) is necessary even if indoor only. And, then clearing the current infections, monitoring for return. IF there is immediate return then in the head area, a food trial with a hypoallergenic diet (one gotten through your veterinarian to ensure it is "pure") and then fed for 8-12 weeks is the right next step. You can also discuss if you want to do allergy screening.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

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