Otodectes cynotis mites, most commonly called ear mites, are a common and relatively mild external parasite infection. Complications may arise when an animal has an immune hypersensitivity reaction that results in intense irritation of the external ear.
Cats that are afflicted with ear mites will typically scratch at the ears excessively and shake their heads, even pulling out their own hair and drawing blood as they scratch. Some cats will shake their heads so much that an hematoma of the ear will form (with blood pooling in the ear due to breakage of a blood vessel). Also of concern is when cats scratch at their ears to the point that injury is done to the ear canals or ear drums.
This type of mange is common in young cats, although it may occur at any age. It is known for being highly contagious, frequently passing from parent to newborn, and between animals of different species (this mite does not affect humans). The mite also commonly spreads out to other parts of the body.
You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat's health and onset of symptoms, as well as whether your cat has regular contact with other animals or spends time outdoors. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including standard lab tests, such as a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel, to be sure that your cat does not have any other diseases.
A thorough dermatologic exam will be performed, with skin scrapings taken for laboratory analysis. Ear swabs may be placed in mineral oil to identify the mites, and your veterinarian can use an otoscope to look into the ear canals, where ear mites can be visually discovered directly in the ear. If your cat is hypersensitive as a result of the infestation, making a deep examination of the ears difficult, a diagnosis may be made by your cat's response to medical treatment.
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
The rear end of an animal
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A type of instrument used to look inside the ear
Any type of arachnid excluding ticks
A reaction to a certain pathogen that is out of the ordinary
The term for a disease of the skin caused by certain mites
The accumulation of blood in bodily tissues