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older cat with itchy ears.

Species: Cat
Breed: long hair domestic
Age: 11-15 years
Dear Dr Marie:

For the last 3-4 weeks Emily has had itchy ears. She scratches quite hard. We use Advantage Flea medicine on her and have for a number of years but it has not made a difference. There has been no change in her food or litter. I don't see anything in her ears at all? Could it be mites? She is not scratching beyond the normal anywhere else.

Regards,
Laura


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Emily is having problems.

It is not really common for a cat to have ear mites at this age (unless you had a new kitten in the house who brought mites in). However, mites usually do cause a significant black coffee-ground type of discharge.

It is possible that there is an ear infection present. While most cats will have a waxy discharge with an infection, not all do.

It is also possible that this is a middle ear infection. If this is the case you may not see any changes in her ear canal.

Older cats can sometimes get problems affecting the ear such as a polyp (a little growth) or a more serious tumor.

Some allergies can cause itchy ears but this is not common to have allergies come on at this age.

I really think it would be a good idea to have a vet take a look at Emily. They will have a good look inside of her ear and determine if there is any obvious problem. They will likely be able to give medication to help. There really is no over the counter medication that I would recommend.

I hope she improves soon!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.