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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My short hair, 2 year old neutered male cat has one ear that

Customer Question

My short hair, 2 year old neutered male cat has one ear that is filled with fluid. It does not seem to be infected, however, but it has not subsided in the last ten days. No change. I do treat him for ear mites. Could that be a contributing cause?
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you. Are you referring to the ear flap that is filled with fluid? Has your vet diagnosed him to have ear mites? Is there still discharge in his ears?What are you using to treat his ears?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I am referring to the entire ear flap; it is blown up like a balloon! I know ear mites in that I have 15 cats which have been dropped off on our farm over the years. Some cats have so severe ear mites that their inside ear is nearly closed. I was buying ear mite medicine from my vet, but now I must bring the cat in and I cannot afford to bring ten of them in or at this time even one because he must have rabies and distemper shots which makes a $15 bottle of medicine cost nearly $50.I have been, in the absence of actual ear mite medicine, treating this cat with mineral oil. I dip a cotton tip into mineral oil and then clean out the ear followed by an infusion of about 1 or 2 ml. into the ear and rub it around. I then repeat this procedure for several days. This cat, however, has demonstrated such an odd appearance with this swollen ear flap that I am unsure what is the problem. Perhaps something other than ear mites. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but this condition will leave him totally disfigured I fear. The swollen ear started before I treated him. It was only after seeing his condition that I felt I must do something.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the reply.It sounds like two things are going on. First the discharge in the ear. You are right that some cats with ear mites will have swollen ear canals to the point that they close off. The problem is that it is impossible to differentiate an ear mite infestation from a secondary ear infection with bacteria or yeast by visual inspection alone and many cats, if not most, with ear mites will experience both. When the mites are present, they set off an inflammatory reaction in the ear canal and that warm, inflammed canal is the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. Unfortunately, mineral oil is only partially if that, effective at treating ear mites and has no effect whatsoever on the secondary infections. Some ear mite medications will have ingredients besides the miticide to calm the inflammation and treat the secondary infections, but not even all of those do and often two medications need to be prescribed. As far as the swelling of the ear canal, this is termed an aural hematoma. The fluid that causes the swelling is bloody serum, like a blood blister and eventually, if left untreated, will form a clot and the ear flap will scar down into a folded, deformed flap which may block off the opening to the ear canal. For that reason, some sort of treatment of the hematoma is necessary. Treatment options include surgery, cannula placement or in some cases, steroid treatment. Draining the fluid is of no value as it simply fills back up very quickly. Here is a link with more information about hematomas in dogs and cats. LINK HERE If you do nothing more than what you have been doing, the ear flap will eventually scar down into a gnarly deformed flap and it may trap debris and infection in the canals. I would advise that your best course of action would be to find a way to have a vet get involved and treat the hematoma in some way and see what is in the ear canals so they can prescribe the appropriate treatment. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.Dr Z
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I thought some sort of blood or fluid was involved. We live on a dairy and have access to penicillin and dexamethazone which is a steriod of sorts, is it not? If I give him a shot of either these drugs, what size of dose for a cat weighing about 8 to 10 lbs? As I indicated, I have just opened a new business off farm and simply have no additional money to pay a vet. I must drive some 50 miles tomorrow to get a female cat spayed which showed up here last month and very soon after that got herself. There goes whatever money I have. Please let me know the dosage you would give for an antibiotic and/or a steriod.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry. This is not enough info, just to see a vet! I can do a great deal here on the farm, if you would just let me know dosages. We will treat the cat with penicillin and dex. At least that is something. Your suggestion of seeing a vet is not helpful. That is why I sought this site.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry I cannot recommend medications for a pet that I have not performed an exam or reviewed the medical history on as it is cause for revocation of veterinary license, especially when dealing something that is a non innocuous drug like a steroid and has the potential to cause life threatening side effects, like diabetes. On top of that, systemic medications are not going to resolve the ear infection and topical ear medications need to be used. Without the benefit of an ear cytology, we do not know if mites, bacteria or yeast are present (or some combination of the the 3). Penicillin in particular has no benefit in this case and should not be administered. As far as the hematoma, if a surgical procedure or cannula placement is not within your budget, the best course of action is to let the clot formation occur and resolve the hematoma on it's own. It generally will not produce a cosmetically appearing ear, but it will fibrose and heal over time. I am sorry that you are not satisfied with the site, but it is really for educational purposes only and functions to tell you if a veterinarian's involvement is necessary. It is not meant to replace a hands on evaluation by a doctor when vet services are needed as they are in this case for a diagnosis and prescription of medications. I can also understand your financial limitations, but that does not allow me to offer substandard care or recommendations that could be harmful to him. I will opt out to allow another expert to offer other suggestions if they feel they can help.