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Thread: HELP: My cat's ears are bumpy and crusted and it's not ear mites!

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    Modern Martha janetta's Avatar
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    ** I just typed out a long post and accidentally clicked another link, only to press the back button to find it deleted. I'd like to suggest an auto-save option on Smart Canucks!
    ***Mod's please keep this in the Tea Room, as I need as many replies as possible, ASAP.



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    April 18th, 2012

    Dear Smart Canucks' cat owners/pet owners/animal lovers and any vet/techs out there,

    I need your help. The vet doesn't know whats wrong with Tank's ears, maybe you will. It doesn't hurt to ask, right?
    Maybe your cat has experienced something similar or has had the same problem.
    (Nope, not ear mites.)

    Here's a little background information...
    Tank is about 10 years old, a mainly indoor cat who gets to go out on a leash and harness in the Spring/Summer couple times a year ever since she was a kitten. She has been a healthy cat all her life, until this issue occurred. Her appetite is pretty normal, she's drinking water and get's dry (on a regular basis) and wet food about once a week.

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    Her ears currently look worse than this. Her fur is greasy from the ointment.


    Here's the problem...

    First it was just one ear with little bumps under the skin of her outer ear. They didn't seem to be itchy, but I could feel them and they felt rough. Then slowly over the weekend, it had spread to the point where the whole outside of her ear was bumpy and inflamed. I also noticed that her other ear was looking a bit off as well. By the time we saw the vet, the bumps were crusted up with clear yellow fluid and I could tell that it was incredibly uncomfortable. I should also note that where ever there are bumps/crusties, her fur has fallen out.

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    The vet...
    We had an ear swab test for ear mites, which came out negative. Then we had Tank's cells looked at under the microscope (cytology), nothing. She prescribed an anti inflammatory/anti fungal/antibiotic ointment (Otomax) to be applied twice a day, for three weeks. She also prescribed three doses of Revolution just in case and sent us on our way $300 later with no diagnoses. The vet suggested a biopsy- which would mean having my cat put under. This is my last resort as I really want to avoid having her anesthetized unless it's 110% necessary. She also suggested I get my cat's teeth clean while she was under. I don't know if she was trying to up-sell, but I told her I'd consider it.


    April 18th, 2012

    Nearly four weeks later...
    Tank's ear's got quite a bit better after about 2 weeks, but then started to worsen. Now both her ears are as bad as before and seems to be getting worse (spreading a little deeper into her ear and around the base of her ears). My heart is literally breaking. I have to make her wear her "cone of shame", as I don't want her irritating her ears more and consuming/wiping off the medication. She just lays on my bed or her bed like a sad little lumpy burrito all day long. She's eating- but I have noticed that she's lost a little bit of weight. I've been monitoring her eating and drinking habits as well as her litter box to see if everything is "functioning". I'm currently not working, so I'm at home a lot of the day. Which brings me to another issue- budget. I'm on a tight one and although it'll put me in the poor house, I just want my little one to get better!

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    Tank with healthy ears

    A second opinion...

    I'm thinking about taking Tank to another vet, as I feel the one we're currently seeing is lacking experience. She's pretty fresh out of school and has been with the clinic for about a year. I know that everybody needs to start somewhere, but I don't have the funds for much "trail and error" testing. I feel that a Dr with more experiance might have a clue as to what this problem is and might have even treated it before. Can you recommend a trustworthy vet in the GTA (Markham, North York, Richmond Hill) area? Cost shouldn't be an issue, as I know that in most cases you get what you pay for...but I cannot be spending $300+ each time I see a vet. Are there low cost clinics in the area who actually care about animals? Or am I simply dreaming? I'll be making calls to local clinics all day and booking an appointment for the next day or ASAP. I don't want to be a horrible pet owner, I'm not. It just sucks that it's kind of like...groceries vs. vet bills at the moment.

    Thanks for reading <3<3

    P.S. Has anybody had any experience ordering veterinary prescriptions online? I was looking up medications and their prices and the markup price at the vet's is nearly 100% compared to online stores.
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    Last edited by janetta; Tue, May 8th, 2012 at 03:59 AM.
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    Smart Canuck glowworm2k's Avatar
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    Oh, Janetta! I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through with your cat I know what it's like to have a sick lil' kitty... as mine are now getting up in years (they are both 11 this year) I can completely identify. I don't have any experience with ear disorders, but the crusties might respond to a mild steroid ointment... this is what my vet does when she's not sure about a skin disorder as it's cheap and often effective.

    I haven't done the vet meds online, but I get my cat meds at costco... My kitty Sprinkles is on a daily dose of tapazole, a thyroid drug. At the vet's, 100 pills cost me $68; Costco price is $29 for 200 pills! The price is a lot better, but a warning: some vets - many in fact - will charge you a prescription writing fee - sometimes as much as $20 - if you want to go elsewhere for meds that they stock My vet waived the fee for me (she's one of three vets at the clinic) because she knows that I'm not well off and that I could really use the savings. The only thing I have heard about the internet pet meds is to make sure that there is a quick turnaround time if it's for a drug that you need immediately... many are geared to folks who are ordering meds on an ongoing basis and it might take a few days to get the meds, or there may be a premium shipping cost to get it faster.

    Good luck and *hugs* to you and Tank!!

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    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    I just googled "crusty yellow ears cats" and clicked on images. A bunch of pictures came up and one of them looked like what your cats ears looked liked. The pic said scabies. So I googled Scabies and there were a few pics on there that looked similar as well, one was on a rabbit, a couple on cats....dogs seem to get it the worst. Start looking there.

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    Cat Trainer (Trainee??) Andit's Avatar
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    It might well be scabies. My friend's dogs were dealing with this - the vet thought it was a food allergy that suddenly developed (in 2 dogs, almost overnight?). The vet put the dogs on a strict diet & also prescribed Revolution. Things improved right away, and my friend kept up the routine for 3ish months.

    Is Tank still on the Revolution or was it only one treatment? Maybe try another dose of that?

    Hope your girl feels better soon. Nothing worse than having a sick kitty (especially when they look at you with those glaring accusatory eyes ).

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    Mastermind Lynn49's Avatar
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    Oh, poor kitty...and poor you..we do suffer with them, don't we? I hope you find a cure soon!



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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    I can't help out, as we have only dealt with earmites in the past - but I am hoping Tank gets better soon!

    If it is scabies/mange - then you should know that it's transferable to humans...

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    The ONLY Diva of SC! saveadollardiva's Avatar
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    OMG Poor you and poor Tank! I don't know what she might have? I have had cats before and I have never come across it. To me it of course is an infection, but what kind I don't know. I would go to a different vet and get a second look at it. Tank might have to be on a different type of medication and maybe for a longer period of time. If it was me I would of course clean it as much as you can and I would keep putting on the cream maybe a few times more than what they say. I hope Tank gets better.

    Also, be honest with the vet, say your on on budget, i find when you do this they might give you a sample of some of the medication that you can use. I don't know about ordering medication online I have never done it before for animals? I always just go by what my vet says and gives me.
    Last edited by saveadollardiva; Tue, May 8th, 2012 at 11:16 AM.


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    The ONLY Diva of SC! saveadollardiva's Avatar
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    Arnold Crescent Veterinary Hospital
    26 Arnold Cres Richmond Hill, Ontario L4C 3R5
    http://www.arnoldcrescentanimalhospital.com/



    In richmond hill, I have taking all my animals there and they are great!
    Last edited by saveadollardiva; Tue, May 8th, 2012 at 11:16 AM.


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    Canadian Genius DiamondLil's Avatar
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    Wishing Tank and you all the best. I hope you find out what is troubling him soon - its heartbreaking watching your beloved kitty hurt and not being able to do anything about it.
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    Modern Martha janetta's Avatar
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    Thanks to everybody's responses and well wishes.
    I've been calling different vets around the area and am considering going to the Seneca Animal Clinic in North York for a second opinion.
    The Dr. there has over 30 years experience, here's hoping he's come across and resolved a case similar to Tank's!
    Has anyone been there before?

    Quote Originally Posted by i_forget View Post
    I just googled "crusty yellow ears cats" and clicked on images. A bunch of pictures came up and one of them looked like what your cats ears looked liked. The pic said scabies. So I googled Scabies and there were a few pics on there that looked similar as well, one was on a rabbit, a couple on cats....dogs seem to get it the worst. Start looking there.
    Thanks i_forget for taking the time to Google. I searched as well and saw some pretty scary pictures. I'm going to have the vet do a "skin scraping" to check if it's scabies. After reading about it though, scabies are supposed to be itchy? And visible on black cats, as the mites are white... aka: "walking dandruff". I'll have the test done just to rule it out though!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andit View Post
    It might well be scabies. My friend's dogs were dealing with this - the vet thought it was a food allergy that suddenly developed (in 2 dogs, almost overnight?). The vet put the dogs on a strict diet & also prescribed Revolution. Things improved right away, and my friend kept up the routine for 3ish months.

    Is Tank still on the Revolution or was it only one treatment? Maybe try another dose of that?

    Hope your girl feels better soon. Nothing worse than having a sick kitty (especially when they look at you with those glaring accusatory eyes ).
    Thanks Andit-
    Tank is on her second dose of Revolution and has one more to go in a few weeks. Her food (Kirkland chicken and brown rice) has recently been recalled, but the bag she has been eating isn't part of it. (Her bag expires October 2012 and the recall is for food expiring December 2012 and on.) But it still makes me wonder if it could be the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by saveadollardiva View Post
    OMG Poor you and poor Tank! I don't know what she might have? I have had cats before and I have never come across it. To me it of course is an infection, but what kind I don't know. I would go to a different vet and get a second look at it. Tank might have to be on a different type of medication and maybe for a longer period of time. If it was me I would of course clean it as much as you can and I would keep putting on the cream maybe a few times more than what they say. I hope Tank gets better.

    Also, be honest with the vet, say your on on budget, i find when you do this they might give you a sample of some of the medication that you can use. I don't know about ordering medication online I have never done it before for animals? I always just go by what my vet says and gives me.
    Thanks saveadollardiva- I appreciate you referring your vet!
    There's definately an infection going on here, the ointment just isn't helping anymore though which is concerning. I've told my vet many times that I am on a budget- hopefully she'll understand. I clean her ears with solution, but I don't want to irritate the area even more and dry it out. Oi, I'm at a loss, I'm so stressed and upset. ?#&$(@!!!! :]
    Last edited by janetta; Tue, May 8th, 2012 at 04:23 PM.
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    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    Keep us updated. Good luck!

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    The ONLY Diva of SC! saveadollardiva's Avatar
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    I have never been to that vert before? but hey if he or she has over 30 years of experience they might be able to see what is going on with poor Tank! Keep up posted!


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    The ONLY Diva of SC! saveadollardiva's Avatar
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    I know it can be stressful but I am sure the other vet you go to will figure this out. Just have faith it will work out.


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    Smart Canuck alicia's Avatar
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    I don't have any knowledge with his or vet recommendations since I am 1700 km away from ou, but, just wanted to let you know I feel for you. It is so terrible to watch them in these sorts of situation and you seemingly cannot do anything about it. Hang in there.
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    Smart Canuck anastasia1009's Avatar
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    Last January Bootsie went to the vet out here on Hamilton Mountain because she was suffering with itchy and just bad looking ears. Bill was $120 for everything. Negative for ear mites and vet said bacteria infection and was prescribed Surolan http://www.drugs.com/vet/surolan-drops-can.html Took about 9 days for it to go away but every so often it does come back and we use the drops. If you don't mind driving its better to go to the country cause vets are cheaper or even Guelph for the vet school.
    Good Luck

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