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Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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My cat has been scratching her head and shaking it a lot for

Customer Question

my cat has been scratching her head and shaking it a lot for the last few weeks. Her ears do not look or smell bad inside
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, I am sorry to hear about your cats discomfort.

Ear mite infections do not smell like bacterial and yeast infections and the discharge associated with an ear mite infestation may be minimal or it can look like normal ear discharge. It may also be deep in the external ear canal and not able to be seen without an otoscopic exam.

Ear mites are certainly a possibility given that she goes outside and may have picked up ear mites from another cat, and treating of them is a good idea to make sure that you are treating all of the possibilities. However, there are other conditions that may be present the can cause your cat to be shaking her head and scratching at her ears. Among these, a middle or inner ear infection are possible. It may also be an ear infection as there is not always a smelly discharge or red ears. Sometimes the infection is deeper than we can see with out using an otoscope. In order to rule these out, an exam by a veterinarian is necessary as sticking a scope into the ear canal is the only way to visualize the inside of the external ear canal and ear drum. The middle ear and internal ear can only be visualized by imaging modalities such as CT or MRI.

If the external canal looks good then imaging the middle or inner ears is recommended.

Does this help to answer your question today? Please let me know if you need clarification or additional information as I strive for 100% positive customer service.

Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 11 months ago.
Hi Bee,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Skidmark. How is everything going?

Dr. Ellie