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some might remember i had to take the cats to the vet a while back to be treated for a respiratory infection. while the vet was examining woody, he noticed some dark gunk in one of her ears. i'm a bad mommy...i never noticed it :evil: anyway, he said i should keep an eye on it and bring her back if it persists.

he didn't seem to think it was ear mites, but i wouldn't know the difference. she doesn't scratch at it, it doesn't seem to bother her much at all. its just dark gunky looking stuff, her other ear is pristine.

so, my question is, what the heck do ear mites look like? kitty ear bogies? ear infection? i'm clueless. she's going to the vet regardless, but in the meantime, i'm curious :)
 

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Both ear mites and ear infections can cause the black/dark ear gunk/goo. Sometimes these problems can cause the cat to paw or scratch at the ear, and/or shake it's head. The ear may appear red and/or swollen, and could have an offensive odor.

The best way to determine whether it is or isn't ear mites is for your vet to swab some of the ear debris and view it under a microscope (this is also called a cytology). The doctor should be able to see ear mites and/or their eggs, if that is the problem you are dealing with. Otherwise, the doctor may only see yeast and/or bacteria present. Both require a different form of medication, but can be easily treated. My vet always flushed out the ear while I was at the clinic. She said it wasn't necessary based on the medication label, but that it was her experience, if she got all the debris out first, the medication could get to the problem area better and faster and the kitty would feel better sooner. I'm sure your vet will know what to do and walk you through it based on his findings.

Ear mites can be spread easily between cats. So, if I were you, I would ask the vet to check a sample just to make sure your other cats aren't at risk. Good luck.
 
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