If there is pus oozing from your cat’s ear, take it as a clear sign of an infection. If left untreated, it can spread to the brain and lead to the death of the pet. Complete loss of hearing is another complication that can be a consequence of an ear infection left untreated.
Purulent discharge from animal’s ears may be due to these possible causes:
- Ear Mite. In and of itself it cannot cause purulent effusions, but frequent scratching that leaves open wounds leads to a certain infection. And eventually cat has pus in its ear.
- Ear Injuries. Bacteria, fungi and viruses can also get through cuts, scratches, wounds and insect bites. This leads to suppuration and unpleasantly smelling discharge.
- Acute otitis. Inflammation can affect the outer, middle or inner ear. In the first case, the ear canal that leads to the eardrum is affected, in the second case, it is the area behind the membrane, in the third case, the cochlea and the auditory nerve are inflamed.
Underlying etiologic are parasites, a foreign body stuck in the ear channel, reduced immunity, hypothermia, activation of bacterial and fungal microflora, urticaria in the auricle. The likelihood of developing otitis is especially high if the cat suffers from pharyngitis, rhinitis, furunculosis or skin inflammation. At the first stage, the outer ear gets inflamed, then the infection spreads to the deeper parts of the organ and eventually purulent otitis develops.
Symptoms and Signs
Pus inside cat’s ears is not the only symptom of a disease. Depending on the cause, you may observe such concomitant symptoms as:
- Severe itching that drives the cat to scratching and rubbing mercilessly the sore spot or tilting its head oddly.
- Pain, that makes it difficult for the animal to open its mouth properly or eat food, therefore the pet avoids touching the ear and mews piteously.
- The skin inside the auricle is swollen, reddened and inflamed, may be rather hot to the touch.
- Near the ear a putrid or sickeningly sweet smell can be felt.
- Wool in the affected area begins to shed.
- The general condition of the pet worsens: it may have fever, low appetite, unquenchable thirst, lethargic appearance.
Pus consists of bacteria, white blood cells and protein antibodies, the appearance of which contributes to the generation of the pathogenic microflora. Purulent discharge may be of black, brown, greenish, yellowish colors. When oozing it dries, forming crusts on the cat’s coat. If the inflammation is complicated by parasitic invasion, the discharge becomes darker, sometimes almost black. If a cat has yellowish-green pus oozing from its ear, it most certainly indicates the fungal nature of the disease.
With otitis, concomitant symptoms are fever, earache, general loss in strength, redness and swelling of the affected area. If there is a deformation of the eardrum, the animal’ hearing worsens instantly. Spreading of the infection deeper in the organ can result in total hearing loss, coordination disorder, and facial nerve paralysis. The latter is manifested in in the sudden asymmetry of the cat’s muzzle, sagging of an ear and/or the corner of the mouth.
Treatment measures will depend on the stage of the inflammatory process as well as its causes. Both can only be determined by a veterinarian after conducting laboratory tests. The causative agent is usually identified by taking a smear.
Note!Before the beginning of medical treatment, the cat’s ear has to be cleaned from purulent crusts. Use cotton swabs with utmost care so that you would not further damage the organ of hearing.
If the inflammation is of a parasitic nature, the veterinarian will prescribe Bars, Amitrazin, Dekta, Rolfklub. Fungal otitis media is treated with drugs like Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, Nitrofungin. When bacterial type that brought on inflammation is determined, Otibiovin, Anandin, Fugenthin, Sofradeks will be prescribed. For the swift recovery of a weakened pet’s body, immunostimulative drugs and vitamin complexes are usually prescribed. The duration of such treatment for ear infections can be up to three weeks. In the case of otitis media, antibiotics are administered for no more than 1 week, and if no positive change is observed, the drug has to be switched to another.
In order to prevent such unpleasant conditions in which pus develops in cat’s ears, just stick to the common items of care. To strengthen the immunity of the cat choose a healthy diet, rich in proteins and vitamins. Since the accumulated moisture in the auricles can lead to inflammation, it is recommended to cover them with cotton wool when bathing the animal. It is important not to allow the cat to stay in places with strong drafts, develop serious hypothermia, or contact with sick animals. It is necessary to treat parasitic invasions timely and monitor the cleanliness of the pet’s ears.