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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9595
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My Siamese cat is almost 5 months old. He is a healthy pper

Customer Question

Hello.
My Siamese cat is almost 5 months old. He is a healthy hipper active kitty and seems as tho he is happy. A couple of weeks ago his ears became irritated to the point where the tips of his ears had folded downward and he looked very uncomfortable. We ended up taking him to the vet and the vet said he didn't have mites or infection but gave us a topical flea, tick, mite treatment anyway as a precation. We gave him the drops and waited a day to see some improvement. It seemed as tho he got better but we wanted the vet to check him out again just to be sure. He was still scratching and shaking his ears a lot. Nothing inside of his ears except a tiny bit of wax. The wax was a normal wax colour not dark or gritty like mites. The vet said he looked like he might have a fungal infection so he gave us some Surlan drops to help clear up the infection. Upon giving him the drops he seemed to of got worse and it looked as tho the drops made his ears get these tiny little blisters. So we st
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Simon. It must be frustrating to see him so uncomfortable and not responding to medication.

As strange as it sounds, when I'm presented with a cat whose ears are itchy and yet there's no evidence of mites or infection, then I'd want to rule out a food allergy. I know it doesn't sound intuitive or logical that a the ingredients in a cat's food could trigger itchy ears but this is actually a fairly commonly seen problem in this species.

It's a difficult diagnosis to make although it's a relatively easy one to address: simply change the diet to one which is more hypoallergenic or one with a novel proteins. Options include: Z/D (from your vet), or Natural Ba***** *****mited Ingredient Diets, Nature's Variety Instincts line, Evo duck or venison, Nature's Variety Frozen Raw Medallions (I recommend that they be zapped in the microwave for 10-15 seconds on each side). Grain free may help in some cases, too.

I'll sometimes treat these patients with steroids although I might hesitate to do so in a cat this young. Over the counter options which may help reduce his scratching are anti-histamines with acceptable ones listed below:

Benadryl at a dose of 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet given twice daily or

Chlorpheniramine at a dose of 2-4 mg twice a day or

Claritin (Loratadine) at a dose of 2.5-5 mg/cat or

Zyrtec (cetirizine) 5 mg once or twice a day

It is important to ensure that the formulations used contain ONLY the antihistamine and are not combination products (e.g. Claritin-D contains pseudoephedrine, which could cause very significant adverse effects in a cat).

Sedation is a common side effect with these kinds of drugs.

I hope this helps. Deb