Ear Mites

permanentruby

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I brought my newly adopted cat to her first vet visit last week. The vet assistant examined her first, and thought she might have ear mites. The vet came in, took a deep swab, and said "nope, no mites". But, now I am noticing her scratching at her ears a lot, and after looking up information about ear mites, it said a vet usually looks at a sample from her ears under a microscope to determine whether or not a cat has them.

Did he not do a proper exam? Should I be worried now that my cat actually DOES have ear mites?
 

Mamanyt1953

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I would be concerned that there was no microscopic exam.  You might consider calling the vet and asking why s/he was so certain there were no mites without one.  The gunk left by ear mites generally looks like coffee grounds.

Meantime, I'm linking some threads here about the same issue.  You may find just what you need.  Goodness knows, we've discussed every possible topic regarding cats  ad infinitum!

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/306238/ear-mites-and-diatomaceous-earth-de

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/262407/ear-mites-not-getting-good-help-from-vet

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/130547/***-ear-mites
 
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permanentruby

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I would be concerned that there was no microscopic exam.  You might consider calling the vet and asking why s/he was so certain there were no mites without one.  The gunk left by ear mites generally looks like coffee grounds.

Meantime, I'm linking some threads here about the same issue.  You may find just what you need.  Goodness knows, we've discussed every possible topic regarding cats  ad infinitum!

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/306238/ear-mites-and-diatomaceous-earth-de

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/262407/ear-mites-not-getting-good-help-from-vet

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/130547/***-ear-mites
Thanks! Yeah, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for another vet visit because he didn't take the time to look. I'll probably call tonight and ask if one was done since there was concern about her maybe having it and she's scratching her ears a lot.
 

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Does your kitty have coffee ground gunk like looking stuff in it's ears? if not, look for fleas & flea eggs, flea comb will find those buggers no matter the color of your cats coat. I went thru this when I first got my rescue and fleas was his problem, not ear mites, he was just digging at his ears. Further examination of his skin and I found flea bite dermatitis all over his hind quarters.
 
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permanentruby

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Does your kitty have coffee ground gunk like looking stuff in it's ears? if not, look for fleas & flea eggs, flea comb will find those buggers no matter the color of your cats coat. I went thru this when I first got my rescue and fleas was his problem, not ear mites, he was just digging at his ears. Further examination of his skin and I found flea bite dermatitis all over his hind quarters.
They thought she might have fleas too, because she had tapeworm. But a flea comb came up with nothing and they gave her a flea treatment. I did notice a little white thing on the hairs in front of her ears this morning, and then she shook her head and it flew out. I've just been doing some reading, and it seems like that small white thing could have been a mite itself? I can't see into her ears very well, but I will try to get a light and take a look tonight when I call the vet.

My poor kitty just can't catch a break :(
 

Mamanyt1953

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If your vet doesn't have an answer that you consider reasonable, FIND ANOTHER VET!  It is crucial to build a rapport with a vet who really takes the necessary time to examine your cat and who also communicates with you, not talks at you.  We've been going through horrors in another thread with a member whose vet had a loftier than thou attitude.  Thankfully, that has been resolved, but the member and the cat are a bit worse for it.  Best to do this early on, rather than if (God forbid) a real emergency or long-term issue comes up.  This is one of those few issues we don't actually have an article on, oddly enough.  Hmmmmmmm...must suggest!
 
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permanentruby

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If your vet doesn't have an answer that you consider reasonable, FIND ANOTHER VET!  It is crucial to build a rapport with a vet who really takes the necessary time to examine your cat and who also communicates with you, not talks at you.  We've been going through horrors in another thread with a member whose vet had a loftier than thou attitude.  Thankfully, that has been resolved, but the member and the cat are a bit worse for it.  Best to do this early on, rather than if (God forbid) a real emergency or long-term issue comes up.  This is one of those few issues we don't actually have an article on, oddly enough.  Hmmmmmmm...must suggest!
Thank you! Yeah, I liked the vet assistant a lot, but the vet spent less than three minutes with us...he came in to look her over very briefly and give her a booster, but that was it! I'm definitely going to look elsewhere moving forward. This was my local VCA, and he was the vet that was most highly recommended there from the reviews I saw of the place. I'm actually planning to go to a local pet supply store tonight and I'll ask them for their recommendations...I was left feeling a little uneasy, because he didn't watch her walk, ask about her behaviors, or really feel her skin at all. I find her to be very skinny (she's super furry, but her hip bones and shoulders definitely jut out) and he didn't mention anything about that at all. 
 

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Yeah, I'd do some vet shopping.  There are so many really really good ones out there that you shouldn't have to put up with not feeling as if your cat's issues were addressed.  A tech tip...get a small spiral-binder just for your cat and her vet.  Write down your concerns, and leave a space for notes on what the vet said, treatments and how effective they were.  I do this for Hekitty AND for me!  Keeps me from missing anything
 

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Your cat may not have ear mites, but she could very well have a yeast infection. One of my cats was badly misdiagnosed with ear mites that never got better. Took her to another vet who in 5 seconds made the correct diagnosis, which was treated accordingly. My cat had a lot of dark gunk in her ears that was bacteria from the infection.
 
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permanentruby

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Yeah, I'd do some vet shopping.  There are so many really really good ones out there that you shouldn't have to put up with not feeling as if your cat's issues were addressed.  A tech tip...get a small spiral-binder just for your cat and her vet.  Write down your concerns, and leave a space for notes on what the vet said, treatments and how effective they were.  I do this for Hekitty AND for me!  Keeps me from missing anything
I did that before my first visit! I used a little notebook just for her information. I wrote down her habits within her first week at my house to keep track of how she was adjusting, and I've begun writing down what foods she's tried and how she has reacted to them as well!

I wrote down a bunch of questions for the vet in it, too, but didn't get a chance to ask most of them :/ 
 
Seems our mama, Anne, actually did write an article on choosing a vet that didn't come up when I searched for it, for some reason!  Here's the link!   http://www.thecatsite.com/a/how-to-choose-the-best-veterinarian-for-my-cat   
Oh, I'm going to read that now, thanks!

I called my vet tonight and they said I will have to take her back in for an ear swab 


I made an appointment for next week and asked that they send me the cost estimate for the appointment. But, I am going to call around tomorrow and see who else I can get into and what the costs are there. I honestly get the feeling that this vet is just looking for money, especially since I think whatever she had, she had last time, and he purposefully ignored it knowing I would have to come back in. The vet assistant, who was very very nice and good with my cat, seemed visibly uncomfortable when the vet said she didn't have mites. I took a look into her ear tonight with a flashlight and although there isn't a huge build up (they did clean her ears when I was there and he said there was lots of "wax"), there are brown spots in there. 

I am also supposed to be bringing back a stool sample for a fecal test in the next couple of weeks to this vet, but I think I might ask if I can do that elsewhere, as well. I'm not sure what an average cost is, but at this vet it's $60! I already did a microchip with them for $40. I would also like it if she had a full blood panel just to make sure she's all good. 
 

Mamanyt1953

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Microchipping is only $25 with my vet, but then, costs vary rather wildly with location.  North Carolina is a very depressed state, and cost of living HAS to be a good bit lower.  I know things are sky-high in New York City, but am not so sure about the rest of the state.  Be SURE that you get online and register your information for the microchip as well.  I know that sounds real basic, but it is amazing how many animals are chipped, but the owners neglected to follow through.

That swab should have been done at the first appointment.  This really does sound like the vet was angling to get another appointment fee out of you.  I could be wrong, but I'm a tad suspicious about this.  Do that calling.  Don't be surprised if you have to repeat things done the first time with a new vet, tho.  That's not unusual.  And if the first vet really did miss something as obvious as ear mites or an ear infection, you really want to start over from ground zero to get a good baseline.

Keep us posted!
 
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permanentruby

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Microchipping is only $25 with my vet, but then, costs vary rather wildly with location.  North Carolina is a very depressed state, and cost of living HAS to be a good bit lower.  I know things are sky-high in New York City, but am not so sure about the rest of the state.  Be SURE that you get online and register your information for the microchip as well.  I know that sounds real basic, but it is amazing how many animals are chipped, but the owners neglected to follow through.

That swab should have been done at the first appointment.  This really does sound like the vet was angling to get another appointment fee out of you.  I could be wrong, but I'm a tad suspicious about this.  Do that calling.  Don't be surprised if you have to repeat things done the first time with a new vet, tho.  That's not unusual.  And if the first vet really did miss something as obvious as ear mites or an ear infection, you really want to start over from ground zero to get a good baseline.

Keep us posted!
Thanks! Yeah, New York overall is a pretty expensive state, unfortunately. I do think I could have gotten it done a bit cheaper, but oh well. I did register her as soon as I got home from that appointment!

I definitely found it suspicious that my first vet didn't do a swab, too. I actually just got back from an appointment with a new vet, whom I am VERY happy with. I was with her for the entire appointment, and the only time I saw an assistant was when she came in to take Z to the treatment room to clean her ears, and when she came in to help the vet clip Z's nails (she even did that for me!) The vet talked to me about food, told me she was at a perfect weight and after giving her a full check, told me that she was completely healthy, save for the gunk in her ears. She did take a swab, and found that she has an ear infection :( So she's got drops for those for the next 10 days. I'm also going to do the fecal exam with them in a couple of weeks to follow up after her deworming for tapeworms.

'

I'm SO happy I went with a new vet. Hopefully Z's ear infection will clear up soon and all will be well! I feel much better knowing a vet took the time with her, and told me that she did indeed appear to be in very good health. 
 

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WHOOOO HOOOOOO!  
!!!!!  Finding a vet you like and trust is the beginning of the journey!  I'm so glad they did a swab and found the ear infection.  Those can be so very miserable for a cat.  Now you have someone to ask when those things turn up, and we can't give you the really expert advice that is sometimes needed...well...we actually have a bunch of folks who are quite knowledgeable, but a vet who can be hands on is indispensable.       SIGH...for some reason I can't start a new paragraph!  SO, now, don't disappear on us just because that's under control!  You've become part of the family, and we want to see you here!
 
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