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View Full Version : Re: Beware - Pfizers Revolution For Ear Mites Bites - Phil P


---MIKE---
October 15th 05, 01:28 PM
Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat owners
I know, none of them have an otoscope.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44=B0 15' N - Elevation 1580')

Phil P.
October 15th 05, 02:18 PM
"---MIKE---" > wrote in message
...
>Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat owners
>I know, none of them have an otoscope.

Perhaps you need to get out more, Mike. ;-)

Seriously, Mike, you can pick up a good otoscope/ophthalmoscope on eBay for
>$100. Your vet can show you in <10 mins. how to check your cat's ears.
Its great for between-vet visits exams at home.

Phil

5cats
October 15th 05, 03:23 PM
---MIKE--- wrote:

> Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat owners
> I know, none of them have an otoscope.
>
>

Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I panic
before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...

Phil P.
October 15th 05, 03:44 PM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> ---MIKE--- wrote:
>
> > Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat owners
> > I know, none of them have an otoscope.
> >
> >
>
> Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
> excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I
panic
> before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...

There are a few very good units on eBay for <$50. Some also have
interchangeable Otoscope & Ophthalmoscope heads.

http://tinyurl.com/dwjwu

5cats
October 15th 05, 05:02 PM
Phil P. wrote:

>
>> Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
>> excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I
> panic
>> before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...
>
> There are a few very good units on eBay for <$50. Some also have
> interchangeable Otoscope & Ophthalmoscope heads.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/dwjwu
>
>

Is a human model OK, or is a veterinary one required?

Phil P.
October 15th 05, 05:34 PM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> Phil P. wrote:
>
> >
> >> Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
> >> excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I
> > panic
> >> before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...
> >
> > There are a few very good units on eBay for <$50. Some also have
> > interchangeable Otoscope & Ophthalmoscope heads.
> >
> > http://tinyurl.com/dwjwu
> >
> >
>
> Is a human model OK, or is a veterinary one required?


They're the same unit. The only difference is the
interchangeable/disposable little black plastic specula sizes (4 and 5mm),
but most units come with an assortment of sizes. You can also buy assortment
or one size
packs of speculas for about $8-$10 or even less.

Try to get a unit that has interchangeable otoscope & ophthalmoscope heads.

Phil

Wendy
October 16th 05, 12:57 AM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> ---MIKE--- wrote:
>
>> Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat owners
>> I know, none of them have an otoscope.
>>
>>
>
> Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
> excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I
> panic
> before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...
>

I'd go to the pet store and pick up some ear wash. Make sure you have some
cotton balls and q-tips. Squirt some ear wash into one ear and rub gently
for a few at the base of the ear (you may have to burrito the cat to do
this). Then take cotton balls and wipe out the majority of the gunk and ear
wash. You can use the q-tip to get gunk out of the folds in the ear but
don't go digging anywhere in there that you can't see. Get the ear clean and
then keep an eye on it to see if the gunk returns. Some cats just seem to
have waxier ears than others. OTOH if what you clean out of there resembles
coffee grounds it could be mites. My observation with fosters has been the
lighter brown stuff is usually just ear wax.

W

5cats
October 16th 05, 02:57 AM
Wendy wrote:

>
> "5cats" > wrote in message
> ...
>> ---MIKE--- wrote:
>>
>>> Phil, You are by no means an "average" cat owner. Of all the cat
>>> owners I know, none of them have an otoscope.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Right this very moment I'm wishing I had one, as I'm looking at an
>> excessive buildup of brown gunk in one ear. Is it nothing or should I
>> panic
>> before it spreads to 10 ears? The question of the day...
>>
>
> I'd go to the pet store and pick up some ear wash. Make sure you have
> some cotton balls and q-tips. Squirt some ear wash into one ear and
> rub gently for a few at the base of the ear (you may have to burrito
> the cat to do this). Then take cotton balls and wipe out the majority
> of the gunk and ear wash. You can use the q-tip to get gunk out of the
> folds in the ear but don't go digging anywhere in there that you can't
> see. Get the ear clean and then keep an eye on it to see if the gunk
> returns. Some cats just seem to have waxier ears than others. OTOH if
> what you clean out of there resembles coffee grounds it could be
> mites. My observation with fosters has been the lighter brown stuff is
> usually just ear wax.
>
> W
>
>
>

Yeah, I've been through this many times before, especially years ago when
the cats still were outside fairly often. Right now, I don't think this
is mites, but there were a some flecks of crusty stuff. And there's a lot
more wax than the last time I looked at her ears, which was, I think, at
most 2 or 3 weeks ago. I will keep very close watch to see if it worsens
or starts to spread to the other cats.

I don't really trust the ear mite stuff from the pet store, I've always
gotten the stuff (tressaderm??) from the vet.

Phil P.
October 16th 05, 07:28 AM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
>
> Yeah, I've been through this many times before, especially years ago when
> the cats still were outside fairly often. Right now, I don't think this
> is mites, but there were a some flecks of crusty stuff.

Crusts or scabs usually form when an infection is healing in the ear. Your
cat might have scratched her ear while playing or scratched herself while
scratching her ear (you know what I mean). A simple scratch can easily cause
an ear infection because it allows the resident bacteria in the ear to
invade the thin skin. Wax (cerumen) can form even if the ear is only
irritated. Too much or too vigorous cleaning can also irritate the lining of
the ear cause wax production.

However, tiny white flecks could be ear mites:
http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/earmite.jpg
http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/Otodectes_cynotis_ear_mites.jpg

Did you find a otoscope, yet? These are the ones I have:

http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth.jpg

The CompacSet is nice- Its a pocketsize, folding otoscope and
ophthalmoscope:

http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth-compact.jpg


And there's a lot
> more wax than the last time I looked at her ears, which was, I think, at
> most 2 or 3 weeks ago. I will keep very close watch to see if it worsens


If there's a lot more wax now than 2-3 weeks ago, it has worsened. I think
you should have it looked at.


> or starts to spread to the other cats.


If your cat does have mites, with 5 cats, I don't think I'd want to wait to
see if they spread. I wouldn't want to put my other cats through the
discomfort if I could prevent it. I'm also lazy, I'd rather treat one now
than 5 later.


>
> I don't really trust the ear mite stuff from the pet store, I've always
> gotten the stuff (tressaderm??) from the vet.

Tresaderm is pretty good stuff- it contains an antibiotic for infections, a
corticosteroid for inflammation, and an antifungal that kills mites- it
covers all the bases. I like Acarexx- especially for ferals because it
usually takes only one dose to kill the mites and the ears don't have to be
cleaned first- not a pleasant job with ferals- although I prefer to clean
the ears first if I can. If you clean your cats' ears yourself, its
important to dry the ears thoroughly- damp ears can irritate the lining of
the ear which leads to inflammation and even more wax production.

Another precaution- before putting any cleaners in your cats' ear, put a
little warm normal saline in the ear first. If she swallows, gags, or
coughs, that's a pretty good sign that the eardrum (tympanic membrane) is
ruptured. It means the saline has flowed through the ruptured eardrum to
the middle ear, and through the eustachian tube (connects the middle ear
with the nasopharynx) and into the pharynx. So if she coughs or swallows,
take her to vet right away.

Good luck,

Phil

5cats
October 16th 05, 04:55 PM
Phil P. wrote:

> "5cats" > wrote in message
> ...
>>
>> Yeah, I've been through this many times before, especially years ago
>> when the cats still were outside fairly often. Right now, I don't
>> think this is mites, but there were a some flecks of crusty stuff.
>
> Crusts or scabs usually form when an infection is healing in the ear.
> Your cat might have scratched her ear while playing or scratched
> herself while scratching her ear (you know what I mean). A simple
> scratch can easily cause an ear infection because it allows the
> resident bacteria in the ear to invade the thin skin. Wax (cerumen)
> can form even if the ear is only irritated. Too much or too vigorous
> cleaning can also irritate the lining of the ear cause wax production.

Irritation and excessive wax is a very possible scenario, she's been
rough-housing with the boys quite a bit lately.

I used a moist cotton ball to clean the top part of her ear, the stuff
does not turn red when in contact with water, so I think it's more likely
to be clumps of wax than a scab.


> However, tiny white flecks could be ear mites:
> http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/earmite.jpg
> http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/Otodectes_cynotis_ear_mites.jpg
>
> Did you find a otoscope, yet? These are the ones I have:
>
> http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth.jpg
>
> The CompacSet is nice- Its a pocketsize, folding otoscope and
> ophthalmoscope:
>
> http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth-compact.jpg

A good set would be a stretch right now so I will probably have to settle
for an otoscope alone.

> And there's a lot
>> more wax than the last time I looked at her ears, which was, I think,
>> at most 2 or 3 weeks ago. I will keep very close watch to see if it
>> worsens
>
>
> If there's a lot more wax now than 2-3 weeks ago, it has worsened. I
> think you should have it looked at.

Last time I looked, she had wax, but it was a clean and smooth layer, so
any build up is "worse" but it's still a minor amount.

>
>> or starts to spread to the other cats.
>
>
> If your cat does have mites, with 5 cats, I don't think I'd want to
> wait to see if they spread. I wouldn't want to put my other cats
> through the discomfort if I could prevent it. I'm also lazy, I'd
> rather treat one now than 5 later.

Right, treating all 5 at once is not a fun experience.
These cats are always playing, grooming or sleeping together. I'd think
that if one has mites it's already had a good chance to spread and I'd be
seeing some signs. The others are all clean and pink eared right now. In
theory, they shouldn't have a chance to pick up mites indoors, but it has
happened before.


>> I don't really trust the ear mite stuff from the pet store, I've
>> always gotten the stuff (tressaderm??) from the vet.
>
> Tresaderm is pretty good stuff- it contains an antibiotic for
> infections, a corticosteroid for inflammation, and an antifungal that
> kills mites- it covers all the bases. I like Acarexx- especially for
> ferals because it usually takes only one dose to kill the mites and
> the ears don't have to be cleaned first- not a pleasant job with
> ferals- although I prefer to clean the ears first if I can. If you
> clean your cats' ears yourself, its important to dry the ears
> thoroughly- damp ears can irritate the lining of the ear which leads
> to inflammation and even more wax production.
>
> Another precaution- before putting any cleaners in your cats' ear, put
> a little warm normal saline in the ear first. If she swallows, gags,
> or coughs, that's a pretty good sign that the eardrum (tympanic
> membrane) is ruptured. It means the saline has flowed through the
> ruptured eardrum to the middle ear, and through the eustachian tube
> (connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx) and into the pharynx.
> So if she coughs or swallows, take her to vet right away.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Phil

Thanks!

Phil P.
October 17th 05, 01:58 AM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> Phil P. wrote:
..
>
> Irritation and excessive wax is a very possible scenario, she's been
> rough-housing with the boys quite a bit lately.
>
> I used a moist cotton ball to clean the top part of her ear, the stuff
> does not turn red when in contact with water, so I think it's more likely
> to be clumps of wax than a scab.

Sounds reasonable.


>
>
> > However, tiny white flecks could be ear mites:
> > http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/earmite.jpg
> > http://www.maxshouse.com/Parasitology/Otodectes_cynotis_ear_mites.jpg
> >
> > Did you find a otoscope, yet? These are the ones I have:
> >
> > http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth.jpg
> >
> > The CompacSet is nice- Its a pocketsize, folding otoscope and
> > ophthalmoscope:
> >
> > http://www.maxshouse.com/instruments+equipment/oto-opth-compact.jpg
>
> A good set would be a stretch right now so I will probably have to settle
> for an otoscope alone.


For occasional home use, you can probably find a decent unit for <$50. Don't
get one of those cheap, $15 drug store models- they're a waste of money. If
you can, get an "operating" otoscope because the speculum arm swings out of
the way- makes its easier to see and get a wax sample if you have to.


>
> > And there's a lot
> >> more wax than the last time I looked at her ears, which was, I think,
> >> at most 2 or 3 weeks ago. I will keep very close watch to see if it
> >> worsens
> >
> >
> > If there's a lot more wax now than 2-3 weeks ago, it has worsened. I
> > think you should have it looked at.
>
> Last time I looked, she had wax, but it was a clean and smooth layer, so
> any build up is "worse" but it's still a minor amount.


Cats' ears should be pretty clean naturally. As funny as it sounds- cats
ears are actually 'self-cleaning'. So, if the cat has a wax build up-
something is going on.



>
> >
> >> or starts to spread to the other cats.
> >
> >
> > If your cat does have mites, with 5 cats, I don't think I'd want to
> > wait to see if they spread. I wouldn't want to put my other cats
> > through the discomfort if I could prevent it. I'm also lazy, I'd
> > rather treat one now than 5 later.
>
> Right, treating all 5 at once is not a fun experience.
> These cats are always playing, grooming or sleeping together. I'd think
> that if one has mites it's already had a good chance to spread and I'd be
> seeing some signs.


Not necessarily- as cats get older some cats build up an immunity to the
effects of ear mites. I noticed this phenomenon in a litter of kittens with
ear mites. The kittens were scratching their ears and shaking their heads
like crazy- but their mother was acting perfectly normal even though her
ears were infested too. I've also trapped some ferals and strays that were
infested, and I
wouldn't have known if I didn't check. The second infestation doesn't seem
to bother some cats as much as the first.


The others are all clean and pink eared right now. In
> theory, they shouldn't have a chance to pick up mites indoors, but it has
> happened before.

Humans can serve as intermediate carriers (not in the ears, though).

Another tip: when you treat a cat's ears, treat her tail too. Cats curl up
when they sleep, so, mites can migrate back and forth from the tail.

Good luck.

Phil

Phil P.
October 17th 05, 04:00 AM
"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> Phil P. wrote:
>
> > "5cats" > wrote in message
> > ...
> >>
> >> Yeah, I've been through this many times before, especially years ago
> >> when the cats still were outside fairly often. Right now, I don't
> >> think this is mites, but there were a some flecks of crusty stuff.


> I used a moist cotton ball to clean the top part of her ear, the stuff
> does not turn red when in contact with water, so I think it's more likely
> to be clumps of wax than a scab.


I've been thinking about your description of "flecks of crusty stuff". I
remember something about that other than scabs but I couldn't remember
exactly what (Alzheimer's must be setting in). It was really bugging me
(pun intended), so I decided to check my parasitology texts and reference
manuals. I thought you might be interested in what I found:

"When large numbers of mites are present in the canal, the cat's ear tends
to contain a dry, waxy, light-colored, parchment-like material in sheets,
with large numbers of mites present in each layer." (Georgis' Parasitology
for Veterinarians, p 67).

How does that description match the material you found? Wax (cerumen) is
brown, so, the 'crusty stuff" probably isn't wax.

Phil.

5cats
October 17th 05, 04:39 AM
Phil P. wrote:

>
> "5cats" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Phil P. wrote:
>>
>> > "5cats" > wrote in message
>> > ...
>> >>
>> >> Yeah, I've been through this many times before, especially years
>> >> ago when the cats still were outside fairly often. Right now, I
>> >> don't think this is mites, but there were a some flecks of crusty
>> >> stuff.
>
>
>> I used a moist cotton ball to clean the top part of her ear, the
>> stuff does not turn red when in contact with water, so I think it's
>> more likely to be clumps of wax than a scab.
>
>
> I've been thinking about your description of "flecks of crusty stuff".
> I remember something about that other than scabs but I couldn't
> remember exactly what (Alzheimer's must be setting in). It was really
> bugging me (pun intended), so I decided to check my parasitology texts
> and reference manuals. I thought you might be interested in what I
> found:
>
> "When large numbers of mites are present in the canal, the cat's ear
> tends to contain a dry, waxy, light-colored, parchment-like material
> in sheets, with large numbers of mites present in each layer."
> (Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians, p 67).
>
> How does that description match the material you found? Wax (cerumen)
> is brown, so, the 'crusty stuff" probably isn't wax.
>
> Phil.
>

It is dark brown. I guess I picked a bad word for it. Maybe 'clumpy' is
nearer the mark. Definately not parchment-like.

5cats
October 17th 05, 05:21 AM
Phil P. wrote:

>
> Not necessarily- as cats get older some cats build up an immunity to
> the effects of ear mites. I noticed this phenomenon in a litter of
> kittens with ear mites. The kittens were scratching their ears and
> shaking their heads like crazy- but their mother was acting perfectly
> normal even though her ears were infested too. I've also trapped some
> ferals and strays that were infested, and I
> wouldn't have known if I didn't check. The second infestation doesn't
> seem to bother some cats as much as the first.

Well, that's a bit of a concern. Some of them had mites last year and
also three years ago.


> The others are all clean and pink eared right now. In
>> theory, they shouldn't have a chance to pick up mites indoors, but it
>> has happened before.
>
> Humans can serve as intermediate carriers (not in the ears, though).
>

Last year, none of the cats had been outside so my only guesses were that
I'd carried the mites in on my shoes or on catnip plant stems & leaves.