I've adopted a wonderful, sweet cat from the shelter, but she has come with a serious ear issue. When I took her to be checked by my vet, her ear canal was completely blocked by hardened wax and a serious ear infection, and her eardrum was completely deteriorated. After otoscopic surgery and weeks on prednisolone and Baytril, she has made a wonderful recovery and regained her balance and spirit. But because of nerve damage to the ear, her hearing and vision on the left side are impaired. The problem now is that black earwax continues to build up in the ear. As it works its way toward the surface, I am able to remove it carefully without using cotton swabs, but I cannot get it all. Is this going to be a forever problem? Can you give me any advice for cleaning the ear better without causing her ear canal any harm? This cat is so worth it. Her name is Contessa.
J.D.S., Fargo, ND Jun 26, 2012
Good for you for adopting a sick cat and providing her with appropriate veterinary care. Many kittens develop chronic ear and upper respiratory problems, which, when neglected, can mean a lifelong battle. They may get well, but the chronic health issue returns when the cat is stressed. Good nutrition and supplements such as fish oil and probiotics are very helpful. Often when there is a black, proliferative secretion in one or both ears, and especially when the cat is scratching behind the ears, there is an underlying ear mite infestation. The mites must be treated before secondary bacterial and fungal infections and associated inflammation can be tackled. One effective ear product is an enzyme-based cleaner manufactured by PKB Animal Health called Zymox. First use the product that contains hydrocortisone for three to four days, and then switch to the basic Zymox otic enzymatic solution. Call PKB at 888-752-5487 for more information. You can also request your veterinarian provide the cleaner and clinically evaluate it on your cat.
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