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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16736
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat is keeping his ears down. He's an inside cat so I don

Customer Question

My cat is keeping his ears down. He's an inside cat so I don't think it's ear mites. What could be causing him to do this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about your fellow holding his ears differently.Ear mites in healthy, nonstressed adult cats are pretty rare, and if he doesn't go outside and come in contact with other cats he couldn't pick them up.But he can have an ear infection. They normally have low levels of bacteria and yeast in their ears and if things get out of balance those can cause an infection. Those kitties often have waxy debris (can be tan, or brown or black) in their ears. Their ears may be red and they may be very itchy or painful.Cats can also get polyps in their ears and that will change their balance and may change the way that they hold their ears.Of course the ideal situation is to see his veterinarian and have his ears checked and any debris tested to see what sort of infection he may have to get him on the right medication, but I understand that may not be possible tonight or right away. In the meantime there are some things that we can do to help him feel more comfortable.Since most ear infections are secondary to allergies and the inflammation they cause you can use a combination of antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to help with those. In combination fatty acids and antihistamines work synergistically, much better than either one alone.You can try:1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one half of a 25mg capsule per 7-15 pounds of body weight orally every 8-12 hours.OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at half of a 5mg per 10 to 12.5 pounds of body weight once or twice daily.OR 3) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg per kitty once or twice daily.OR 5) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at 1/2 mg per pound of body weight orally every 24 hours. That would be one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 pounds of body weight. Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because cats cannot tolerate decongestants. Some cats do better on one antihistamine rather than another.Give the one you pick a week trial and if it isn't working try another. Be aware that antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some kitties. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight. I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound cat could take 160mg of EPA per day. If you can see wax I also recommend using a gentle ear cleaner like Oticlens daily now to remove as much of the waxy debris as possible. This removes excess wax and keeps the ear pH at levels that discourage infections. When the ear is sore many cats won't let you squirt things in their ear but if you soak a cotton ball with the cleaner, then place it at the top of the ear canal and massage the ear from the outside, putting pressure on the soaked cotton ball, the cleaner will be instilled easily. Wipe out excess cleaner and waxy debris with dry cotton balls. Once you have his infection treated and cleared use the cleaner twice a week as that helps prevent infections and also allows you to know what a normal ear looks like and catch ear infections very early. Sometimes with an early infection simply cleaning the ear daily is enough to stop it in its tracks.If his ear skin surface is very red after cleaning you can apply a light coat of cortisone cream (like cortaid) to the ear skin with a cotton ball.Do not clean his ears the day of her veterinary appointment so they can gather a sample of the wax for testing.Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****