How do I resolve my cat’s ear infection?

Original Question: My cat has an ear infection and it doesn't seem to be responding to Canaural medication, what should I do? - Lexa

How do I resolve my cat’s ear infection? Mar 5, 2018

Hi Lexa,

Thanks for your question. There’s not a lot of information here but I think I can provide some assistance.

I often see infections that don’t and a very common reason why a treatment will fail is because it’s simply not the right treatment. The product you mentioned has certain ingredients one of which is an antibiotic that can kill bacteria but not all bacteria. It’s possible that a bacteria is resistant to that particular antibiotic in the medication. Whenever an infection does not resolve I always recommend the culture and sensitivity test. This is a test where you take a swab of the material from the ear and send it to the lab. They will grow the bacteria and expose it to many different antibiotics. They will report back what type of bacteria it is and what antibiotic will kill it. Based on this information, your veterinarian will able to choose the right medication that will clear up the infection.

Another reason is that it may not be a bacteria at all. It might be a yeast infection or parasitic infection. This may require a different protocol or medication to resolve the problem. You can have your veterinarian take a swab of the year and analyze it under the microscope. This will allow them to look for any mites or yeast.

There are other factors to consider as well. Do you want to have your veterinarian perform a thorough your exam to make sure there isn’t a lesion down there preventing the condition from resolving. For example, I’ve seen ear polyps that become inflamed and allow an infection to persist. Checking to see if this exists will allow your veterinarian to correct it with the surgical technique to help resolve the problem.

Another reason for treatment failure is that there could be an underlying condition. By performing routine diagnostics such as blood work and a urinalysis, you may find the underlying conditions that contributed to the problem. If they are found, they too can be treated and may respond to the corresponding treatment.

Lastly, I cannot overstate the importance of performing a thorough ear cleaning. There are many owners that cannot handle their pets very well due to their behaviour or because they have not been properly shown how to perform a thorough ear clean. I suggest you watch our video ‘How to Properly Clean a Dog’s Ear’ and learn how to do this. Also, I encourage you to check out the article ‘7 Key Strategies to Treat Ear Infections’ to learn about the steps for diagnosis and treatment. Good ear cleaning may resolve the infection even without medication. If there’s always debris and puss left down in the ear, treatment failure becomes more likely. Utilize the registered veterinary technicians at your practice and have them show you how to do a proper ear cleaning. This alone in conjunction with the medication you have, may resolve the infection finally.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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