Ear Mites - not getting good help from vet

Primula

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Our cat Zimmie is suffering horribly from ear mites and nothing we have tried yet has worked. She has also scratched her outer ears completely raw from the mites. When we took her to the vet, she gave Zimmie MilbeMite, which didn't work at all. Revolution has not worked either. The vet recommended we try the OTC stuff called Ear Rite. We are trying this, but, so far, I can't see any change.

We have to find another vet, but I am wondering if anyone has any good advice for us. Zimmie struggles, but we eventually get the Ear Rite in her ears, but she will not let me clean them.

I am wondering whether to buy her one of the soft E collars that are available. This would, at least, stop her scratching her outer ears raw and she could even sleep in it.

If anyone could tell me what medication would really help Zimmie, I would be so grateful.
 

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I'm wondering if it's something other than ear mites since the "normal" meds used aren't working.  It could be a yeast infection or other type of infection.  The excessive scratching could even be allergy related.  I'd definitely find a new vet, or at least look for a vet for a second opinion.  I don't know of anything OTC that you could use as usually Revolution works very well.  You could try a drop of olive oil in each ear possibly.  I would go ahead and get the soft ecollar like you're thinking just to help save her ears from more scratching.  You might need to ask your vet to sedate her and do a deep cleaning of her ears to get out whatever is down in there and to treat anything.
 
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Primula

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^Thank you so much for good advice. I have been wondering the same thing too about her ears as regards an infection or an allergy (though her ears are full of black crud, which looks like mites). Having her sedated for a deep clean is an excellent idea, which I would not have thought of. She also needs ointment (or something) on the outer ears, which are so scabby and raw. I think the situation would definitely improve (and she would feel better) if her inner ears were at least clean.

Today they look slightly better and we will continue a few days with what we are doing. I will re-evaluate on Monday and arrange to see a new vet, if necessary.

Thanks again. I appreciate you taking the time.
 
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Primula

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I'm wondering if it's something other than ear mites since the "normal" meds used aren't working.  It could be a yeast infection or other type of infection. 
You're right on the money. We went to a new vet yesterday and Zimmie has a yeast problem. She does not have any ear mites. The first vet completely misdiagnosed her and we have made her suffer for two weeks with ear mite medicine she does not need (I have a call in to the vet to register a complaint). All the scabs and other crud in her outer ears is caused by the yeast infection, not by her scratching.

The vet gave her a shot of steroids and antibiotics and we have to give her Tresaderm for ten days. The vet did not want to clean out her ears at this stage because she said it would be too painful. We return in 3 weeks for a re-evaluation.

Here is the thing though: the vet is thinking Zimmie has a food allergy. So now she cannot eat any of her regular food, but, for the next 3 months, she must eat only her prescribed food. This stuff is expensive, not to mention the $200+ vet fees yesterday.

Any advice for us would be greatly appreciated as I know you have experience with this.
 

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I'm not sure how much help this will be......our Tabby had a very nasty case of ear mites for quite a while. And because we had to constantly clean out her ears, twice a day for several months, followed by once a day for several months, then down to every other day, once a week, etc., she developed a nasty yeast infection.....largely because her poor ears were constantly damp from all the cleaning. She even had her ears deep-cleaned, not once, but three times I think.

Our vet recommended Mometamax, which is a gel-type medication, for her yeasty ears. Mometamax wasn't that expensive, as I recall. It wasn't real cheap, but it certainly wasn't cost-prohibitive either.

As for the e-collar, yes, if it will stop her from constantly scratching her ears. Anything to help with that.

We dealt with Tabby's ear mites infestation and her yeast infection in her ears for months. Months. She is now a little over two years old and we are still cleaning that girl's ears once a month (the first weekend of every month we clean her ears and clip her front claws). From the infections that she endured, she has terribly waxy ears even now and they need to be kept clean.

Other than that, though, she's fine. She tilts her head because her balance is off, due to the infections when she was a kitten.

Good luck with your Zimmie.
 
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Primula

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^Thank you so much for replying. So what do you clean your cat's ears with at the beginning of each month?
 

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Right now, it's just a regular ear cleansing solution we get from our vet (when I get home, I will post the name). I want to say Nova-something?

We use large cotton balls and q-tips. I hold Tabby and Rick squirts the solution right in her ear. He fills her ear, which is the way the vet does it, too. Then he (gently!) squishes the ear, taking the front and back of the ear in his finger and thumb, to circulate the solution inside. He uses a cotton ball to completely clean out the ear. Q-tips to get into those little creases (that's where a lot of her wax is....in those little creases). Then we do the other ear. Same thing, same way. (Warning: Tabby will really shake her head and we end up wearing quite a bit of the cleaning solution, no matter how careful we are.
)

When I put her down, I have to be really careful with her because of having all that liquid in her ear. She's actually off-balance a little bit when she first hits the floor. But she very quickly recovers and scampers off with no ill effects.

I know it's not much consolation when you're having problems with your cat. And yeast infections are no fun for the poor cat; they itch and they hurt. I do know what you're going through and it's really difficult. I'm sorry Zimmie is so uncomfortable.
 
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Primula

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^I would appreciate the name of the cleaner when you have time. Something to ask the vet about in 3 weeks when we re-evaluate.
 

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During the time we were fighting the ear mites, we were using DermaPet Ear/Skin Cleanser (prescription says "Use as needed to clean ears"). It was in a 4 fluid oz. bottle. It contains 2% acetic acid and % boric acid with surfactants.

Directions:  Apply liberally to ear. Gently, but firmly massage the base of the ear. Apply cotton ball to remove excess solution. Repeat as necessary.

(This solution really seemed to bother Tabby. She kept scratching at her ears when we were done.) It also says it's good for skin lesions, wounds, etc.)

Now, the Nolva-Cleanse is what we're using right now. It's an ear-cleaning solution for dogs and cats. I can't really give you much more info than this as the prescription sticker has been placed over the pertinent information. Sorry. It's a blue liquid. And Tabby doesn't seem to mind it like she did with the DermaPet cleanser. It's made by Fort Dodge Animal Health in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Says it is not to be used in the eyes. Can be used 2-3 times daily or as directed by vet. It's to be used in ears for removing excess wax and dirt to prepare the ears for further treatment; in Tabby's case, it was to clean them out before using the Mom[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]etamax[/color].

I hope this helps you. Hang in there. We doctored Tabby's ears for (literally) months and months before we got the best of the mites and the yeast infection. I was taking that girl to the vet every week for I don't know how long....thankfully, they started charging us a reduced rate and, even for a while, her vet visits were free because she and I were there so often. You can ask people here; I was a basket case for quite a while. 
 
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Primula

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^Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I have made a note of the Mometamax and Nolva-Cleanse and, depending on how Zimmie is in 3 weeks' time, will ask my vet about them. I think, inevitably, we are going to have to do a monthly clean like you do.

I spoke to the original vet this afternoon. She said it looked like ear mites to her and she didn't want to swab Zimmie because she didn't want to hurt her. This was her reasoning behind not putting a swab under the microscope. However, my husband told me she used at least 7 swabs in Zimmie's ears. I asked her to apologize for the misdiagnosis and the suffering she caused Zimmie, but she refused and said she had nothing to apologize for. End of conversation.
 

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I don't blame you for being upset with your vet. She mis-diagnosed the problem. Although that happened with our vet, too. Tabby did have mites, a bad case of mites. But treating the mites led to the yeast infection and nobody caught that right away. It wasn't until we had yet another vet appt with a different vet at the same hospital, that she said, "You know, I'm wondering if she might have a yeast infection because of the ears being damp all the time." So she swabbed Tabby's ears and, sure enough, that's when they realized that it wasn't just mites, but also the yeast. Plus both inner ears were badly infected simply from the mites and from everything we were doing. So her poor ears were in terrible shape the whole way around. She walked around with bright red ears for months. Terrible for such a wee little girl.

There for awhile, we thought she was deaf in her one ear. The vet said that the mites had perforated the ear drum (her mites were terrible). But the perforation closed and, judging from the way her ears move when there's a noise, she can hear just fine now. It certainly doesn't stop her! She tilts her head and probably will for the rest of her life. Her balance was so messed up from the inner ear infection, that tilting her head is normal to her. I will say that she looks darn cute, too; she has a very inquisitive look to her with that tilt.

Once you get to the monthly cleaning, it's really not a problem; it's the process of getting to that point. I hold her and Rick clips her claws. Then we do the ear thing. Takes about ten minutes, if even that. And that includes the claws. We don't have to wrap her in a towel or anything. She's so used to us messing around with her ears that she just lays in my arms. If it takes too long, though, she gets antsy and will begin to struggle. But overall, she's really good about everything. And it's just become a maintenance thing at this point. First weekend of the month, Tabby gets her claws clipped and her ears cleaned out. And we clip Mollipop's claws at the same time (although Mollipop is not as agreeable as Tabby is!)

She is a little over two years old now and Tabby goes to the vet twice a year for her physical check-ups. They always say that her ears are fine now, although sometimes they'll take a swab to a crease. Those creases are where most of her ear wax ends up, so we're pretty careful about cleaning them out.
 
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Primula

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^Thank you so much for sharing. Zimmie is doing better every day. Most of the dark crud has disappeared from both ears and the outer ear scabs are drying up too. She still shakes one ear a little bit, but we are only halfway through the Tresaderm medicine so we have 5 more days to go with treatment. When we go back to the vet to re-evaluate, we will have to discuss keeping her on the rabbit diet and not giving her regular food. They said to keep her on it for 3 months, but I think we will have to talk about that.
 

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Have you tried Derma-vet ointment?  It's an oil-based yellow ointment my vet gave me to use on my cat's ear infection.  It worked really well.  She told me that clear water-based ear cleaners will make the infection worse.  She's right!
 

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my cat had ear mites and in ear infection. the vet gave her Oticetic Ear Flush and Tresaderm Solution. they took a while to work because i didnt do it everyday like i should. cats do not make the easiest patients. i also tried rubbing the inside of the ear with my finger so that the medication really gets in there. it seemed to help too. 
 
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