An ear infection in Luna or ear mites? This post is about our little Luna, who at seven months is actually still almost a baby. She also behaves exactly as small cats should. She plays and romps with her sister Josie and seems to be doing well in other ways too.
But what we noticed from the beginning is that she always shakes her head and presses her ears against her hand when being petted and also scratches her ears quite often. We had already told her that at her first visit to the vet, where she also got her first vaccination. When you have itchy ears, the first thing you think of is ear mites or maybe an allergy. But the vet could not find anything like that in the ears. There was only a very small slight redness in the left ear, but that could be anything. With the findings the vet did not want to give any medication yet and wait and see how the whole thing develops.
After four weeks, the symptoms worsened.
Unfortunately the problems with Luna’s ears and the ear infection got even worse. She shakes her head very often and now a dark earwax has formed in her ears as well. It also seems to be very itchy. The little one also comes frequently now and wants to have her ears “kneaded” so that the itching subsides somewhat.
So back to the vet. This time the vet also noticed redness in the ears, worst in the left ear where it started. We then got Mitex ear drops, with an antibiotic and cortisone. We should drip the drops into Luna’s ears once a day.
Six weeks later, still no improvement.
After we started giving Luna the ear drops regularly, the symptoms improved relatively quickly. We gave her the drops for two weeks and then stopped the treatment. Since the symptoms were as good as gone, we assumed that the treatment was successful.
Unfortunately this was not the case, after only three days she started shaking her head and scratching her ears again. Apparently this ear infection is more persistent than expected. So we had no choice but to go back to the vet.
Since the ear infection did not improve with the ear drops, the vet took a swab to determine in the laboratory which pathogens are responsible for the problems.
The laboratory result
After five days we got a call from our vet that the findings are in and she can now order the appropriate medication for treatment.
Staphylococcus felis strongly positive +++
Malassezia pachydermatis strongly positive +++
As I’ve read in various forums, staph infections are relatively common in cats. The second finding is yeast fungi, which are not normally a problem and are also found on the skin of healthy animals.
We only got Otomax ear drops from our vet to treat Luna, which she gets twice a day. We hope this will finally get her ear infection under control.
Treatment is currently ongoing and it seems to be getting better as well. I can’t see into her ears, of course, but Luna is already shaking her head less. I will add to the post later when hopefully the therapy has been successful.
However, I have also read on the forums that some staph species have developed antibiotic resistance and it is not so easy to find an effective drug. It is also possible that local therapy is not sufficient and that systemically effective medication in the form of tablets or injections must be administered.
All we can do for now is go through with the treatment and hope for the best.
By the way, so far we have had veterinary costs of a good 120€. Since we had taken out pet health insurance with Agila for Josie and also for Luna, all costs were reimbursed by the insurance company. From there at least something positive.