Veterinarians often diagnose an ear tick in a cat. This is a parasitic lesion of the skin. In medicine, this disease is indicated by the term otodectosis, or ear scabies. The disease is accompanied by characteristic manifestations and leads to dangerous complications. Infection occurs in different ways. Pests injure the sensitive ear epidermis. In especially severe cases, a tick in the ear causes the death of an adult animal or kitten.
Veterinarians often diagnose an ear tick in a cat
Both cats living on the street and pets are susceptible to infection. To protect the animal from the effects of otodectosis, you need to recognize the symptoms of pathology in time and seek professional medical help from a veterinarian. The doctor will conduct a laboratory study, make a diagnosis and prescribe a therapeutic course.
The disease is accompanied by characteristic manifestations and leads to dangerous complications.
Description of ear scabies in cats
Ticks live in the external auditory canal. They feed on particles of the epidermis. This causes irritation, redness, and severe itching in the animal. Wastes from the parasites enter the inner ear and poison the body with toxins. A bacterial infection joins otodectosis. The animal feels very uncomfortable and becomes restless.
Ear scabies can also appear in dogs, but most often cats are affected by this disease. For humans, feline parasites are not dangerous. But a person can be a carrier of infection and infect a pet with a tick. Therefore, it is important to monitor the hygiene and cleanliness of the house. If cats live in the room, you need to regularly vacuum and wash the floors with disinfectants.
Cats can infect other pets with otodectosis: hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, ferrets and rabbits. If ear scabies is found in one of the pets, everyone needs to be examined. Otherwise, infection with parasites will occur frequently.
According to statistics, kittens and young individuals under 1 year of age suffer from otodectosis mainly. This is due to the fact that at this age the animal is very active, and the immune system was not fully formed. Adults are less likely to suffer from scabies. A tick affects both ears. Even if signs of pathology are found in only one organ, both must be treated.
Ticks live in the external auditory canal
Ear mite (video)
The development of a parasitic disease
The disease goes through several stages, each of which is characterized by its own characteristics. Otodectosis progresses slowly. Ultimately, ear scabies leads to inflammation of the meninges and the painful death of the animal.
First, the parasite enters the cat’s auricle. A tick injures the skin mechanically. The nerve endings of the ear canal are irritated by the parasite's vital products. This causes pain in the beast. Hyperemia develops - swelling of the subcutaneous vessels. There is swelling of the epidermis. Exudate begins to separate from the ear, which dries and turns into brown scabs.
According to statistics, kittens and young individuals under 1 year old suffer from otodectosis mainly
The auditory meatus is covered with dark crusts forming corks. This worsens the cat’s hearing and negatively affects the well-being of the animal. In the absence of therapy, the eardrum bursts under the pressure of the plugs. Parasites penetrate the inner ear. Extensive inflammation and labyrinthitis develop.
See also: Why a cat looks into the void: scientific explanation and myths
Further, the disease covers the brain. This is an irreversible stage. Cats convuls, scream, refuse food, and soon die. In order to prevent a fatal outcome, it is necessary to pay attention to the symptoms of otodectosis in time. They appear brightly and are difficult to miss.
The clinical picture of otodectosis in cats
Tick-borne infections always have specific manifestations. Ear parasites are easily infected, especially if the animal lives on the street. Cat owners should be alert. It is important to monitor the condition of the auricle. In modern veterinary medicine, there are such signs of an ear tick in cats:
- unpleasant odor from the ears;
- the presence of husks;
- the formation of dark brown plugs and growths;
- redness of the external auditory canal;
- bleeding wounds on the surface of the epidermis;
- excretion of exudate.
A cat cannot directly tell a person what specifically bothers her. An attentive owner, after observing a pet, may notice additional symptoms of a tick-borne illness:
- the animal scratches the ear with its paws to the blood;
- anxiety appears;
- deterioration in appetite;
- the cat often screams;
- there is a "crooked head";
- the animal often shakes its head;
- bald patches appear near the auricle.
If you find the first signs of otodectosis in cats, you need to consult a veterinarian. The doctor takes a scraping from the auricle and carefully examines it under a microscope. If ticks are found, the doctor immediately prescribes therapy. Treatment consists of regular thorough ear scrubbing, treatment of the ear canal with an antiparasitic agent and instillation of antibacterial drops.
See also: Why you can not look a cat in the eye: mystical and scientific reasons.
Cat otodectosis (video)
How does infection with otodectosis occur?
A skin-mite tick is a causative agent of ear scabies. You can get it from an already sick animal or through pet care products. The parasite itself or its eggs get on the skin of the cat. During the incubation period, there is no clear symptomatology of the disease. But the cat is a potential carrier of this tick. If there are other animals in the house or apartment, then they may well become infected with otodectosis from it.
People can also infect a cat with an ear tick. The parasite is very small, it is visible only under a microscope. It may be present on the shoes, clothes and skin of a person. At the same time, this does not pose a danger to humans, but cats may well acquire the disease in this way. Veterinarians recommend protecting cats from contact with shoes, outerwear, bags, etc.
The carriers of otodectosis are fleas and flies. Quite often, cats show not only ticks, but also parasites in the coat. In this case, the veterinarian first prescribes drops for fleas, and then proceeds to treat the ears. As a preventive measure, doctors advise protecting pets from contact with stray cats. It is necessary to periodically clean your ears with special lotions and sprays. The appearance of black growths in the ears, unpleasant odors and wounds cannot be ignored. This symptomatology indicates a possible development of otodectosis. In this case, the most correct decision is to consult a veterinarian.