What could be wrong with my cat?
February 15, 2010 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Why does my cat keep getting ear infections?

We have a cat who will be 2 years old this summer. He has gotten several infections (both yeast and bacterial, sometimes simultaneously) in his left ear. Not long after we've treated one according to the vet's instructions, he'll come down with another.

He finished the medicine (mixed anti-fungal and antibiotic) for his last infection about 2-3 weeks ago, and now I can tell he has another infection. I'll call the vet today, but I wondered if anyone else has had a cat with recurring ear infections and if a vet was able to determine an underlying cause.

Our vet previously suggested seeing a veterinary allergist (or maybe she said dermatologist?), but we wanted to see if the problem continued. If she recommends it this time, we'll probably we'll do it -- thank god we have pet insurance...

Why does our cat have this chronic problem, and why is it only in one ear? Any similar experiences? Google hasn't turned up much useful information, except a page where a vet talks about the underlying cause being a polyp. Should we ask our vet to anesthetize our cat to thoroughly check out his ear?
posted by trillian to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Is it possible he's allergic to his food? One of my cats gets recurrent yeast infections in her ears from, we think, corn in the food. We had to switch her to a high-protein prescription brand. Things aren't perfect but they're better.

We did take her to a dermatologist, too. Food allergies are the first things they check for. After that, they search for things like allergies to dust mites, etc.
posted by sugarfish at 1:21 PM on February 15, 2010

I would have the Vet take a closer look. Do you use an ear rinse? We have a daschund who always seems to have an irritated/infected ear, and rinsing every other day keeps it in check. (Hint) I warm it up before putting it in...that way, he doesn't freak out so much.
posted by lobstah at 2:09 PM on February 15, 2010

sort of off topic, but relevant - can a vet not see something inside a cat's ear using the usual scope tool...that they could see with some other tool that would require knocking out kitty? I mean, I know my cats hate having their ears messed with more than pretty much anything (I think they hate that more than having a stool sample taken).

I wonder if just that ear canal in that one ear is just sucky...
posted by bitterkitten at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2010

You can pretty much rule out a food allergy by switching to a grain free, low carb diet, which cats should be on anyway. It has the added bonus of being much higher in antioxidants which will enable your cat's immune system to fight off much of this stuff on his own.
posted by vito90 at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, as for food, he's currently eating canned Wellness chicken flavor. Looks like no grains/corn in there at least.
posted by trillian at 3:45 PM on February 15, 2010

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