Tikkie (a short-form for tikus, which means mouse, because she’s small, cute and white like a lab-rat!) has a bout of ear mites.
Ear mites are actually quite common and are like fleas and ticks in behaviour. You cannot actually see the ear-mites with the naked eye (they are minute and white in colour) but the symptoms are constantly dirty ears, itching around the ears, an odour emitting from the ears.
A simple home treatment would be to swab the ear with cotton doused in baby oil. The oil actually drowns out the ear-mites. You can also use proprietary ear-cleaners like PPP’s ear cleaner. This is if the ear-mites infection is not serious and has not infected the inner ear.
When you send your cat to a groomer, rudimentary ear cleaning with proprietary products is also part of the cat grooming process.
However, if the inner ear is infected, showing debris build-up deep in the ear canal, you will need to get your cat to the vet. An ear-mite treatment, usually one containing pyrethins (the active ingredient in Hobo Flea Shampoo) will be prescribed and applied.
Tikkie’s ear mite problem is one that needs a pyrethins-based solution. Her large Siamese cat ear flaps are easy to clean but the inner ear has been infected. There is also a large quantity of debris collecting on her ear flap which we have been cleaning with baby oil regularly.
We have to get Tikkie to the vet, also for her ‘flu, but today is a public holiday and the vet will be closed. I have also given her some anti-inflammatory painkillers and fed her rehydration fluid so she can recover asap. Meanwhile, she remains quarantined in our kitchen which I have cleaned to hospital standards – and smell.