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Earwax? And a Vet Rant!

#1
Xumi has always produced a LOT of earwax. At first, I was concerned about mites, but I had my vet check her out when she was about 4mos old, and he said there weren't any. So I just clean her ears once I notice buildup, maybe once or twice a week. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed she was scratching in and around her ears, more so than normal. There are no other symptoms, no excessive head shaking, no odor, no tenderness or visible inflammation. I took her to the vet yesterday to have her looked at. Again, they tested for mites and didn't find any. He put her on a regimen of ear cleanser once a day, and Posatex 3 times a week. I'm supposed to do this for 2 weeks and then he wants to sedate her and scope her ears.

This is a new vet at the facility, and I must say I'm not thrilled about him. He was scared of Xumi and I had to take her out of the carrier and hold her for him. All she was doing was hissing softly, because she was apprehensive. You'd think I was asking him to handle a Jaguar or something. He actually suggested medicating her prior to future vet visits! Later I checked out his personal website, and he claims to be a "specialist with fearful & fractious cats". LOL! I am going to ask for my regular vet to do the scope - I don't trust the new guy. I'm sure he's perfectly competent and maybe I caught him on a bad day, but I got a bad vibe from my first impression. He also wasn't listening to me, and was making assumptions, not traits I like to see in any health care professional.

Anyway, this is a long way around asking - Is excessive earwax a Savannah trait? I've never had a cat with this issue.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
When my 18yr old DSH was a kitten she had thick black wax all the time with negative tests for mites. Turned out to be an allergy to grain in the Science Diet I was feeding her (years ago before I became "enlightened"). Maybe think about either food or environmental allergies as a potential cause or an immune system issue.​
 
B

Breheart

Guest
#3
Keljin has excessive brown ear wax as well. I clean it once a week and it never seems to be enough, no other symptoms and no mites either :( I hope its not diet related, his food is finally giving him consistent stools and I'd hate to change anything else.

Let us know how it goes with Xumi! I am curious to what the cause is too.
 

NikkiA

Site Supporter
#4
I am afraid that I do not know anything helpful about ear wax issues. . . But I can speak (a bit) re: vets. I take my boys to a local animal hospital with a vet on staff who routinely deals with Savannahs and other "exotic" cats. On his first visit, Jarvis bit him. Not a little nip. . . Full on intentional I-am-scared and I am going to hurt you biting.
Did our vet get mad? Nope. He apologized to me for not allowing the kitten to relax and not being aware of the kittens body language.
He has since been very careful to pet and talk to Jarvis before doing anything. Has he ever suggested. That I sedate Jarvis? Nope.
 
#5
I am afraid that I do not know anything helpful about ear wax issues. . . But I can speak (a bit) re: vets. I take my boys to a local animal hospital with a vet on staff who routinely deals with Savannahs and other "exotic" cats. On his first visit, Jarvis bit him. Not a little nip. . . Full on intentional I-am-scared and I am going to hurt you biting.
Did our vet get mad? Nope. He apologized to me for not allowing the kitten to relax and not being aware of the kittens body language.
He has since been very careful to pet and talk to Jarvis before doing anything. Has he ever suggested. That I sedate Jarvis? Nope.
Exactly! You've got a good vet there. This guy did not make an effort to make me feel comfortable with him, and even more importantly, he didn't do anything to ease Xumi's fears, thereby increasing them. He kind of peered into her carrier for 2 seconds, stood up, and said "What's going to happen if I stick my hand in there?" I said "I have no idea, let's find out." He started to go for it, and she hissed. Once. He whipped his hand back out and started looking around the room... for what, I don't know. A dart gun? I reached in and pulled her out, with him standing behind me, saying "Be careful! Be careful!" Sheesh. I held her for a few minutes to try and calm her down, and she just looked at me like, "Can we please get out of here now?" After the ear exam I asked if he could trim her nails. He scruffed her and held her down on her BACK on the table. He wasn't able to hold her there (what a surprise) and said he'd only trim them if he could sedate her. OMG. I told him never mind, my husband and I could manage it at home.

I've already talked the owner, my regular vet, and requested that she only gets to see him from now on. I don't like talking trash about someone behind their back, but he needed to hear my feedback on his new hire.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I think you are right to avoid this vet in future... wow!

The only Savannah I have here that has any kind of wax issue with his ears is my first one, an F2 Bobo. He's also 75% Bengal so realistically I don't know how much is a individual issue or a Bengal issue as I only have Savannahs with less Bengal heritage (and a Brit) and they don't have any issues. I clean them or the beagle cleans them by licking them (which they both seem to enjoy weirdly) and he has had a few yeast infections of the ear.

I would be very upset if a vet wanted my cat sedated for every exam for just hissing and struggling. Seems to me they are reacting to the perceived "wild" factor and not reading kitty behavior at all!
 
M

MK Anderson

Guest
#7
I've heard green tea works well;
Green Tea

  • Green tea, like mineral oils and garlic oil, will clean and disinfect your cat's ear. It is also an effective antiseptic. It will effectively break up any loose ear wax and debris, like the other treatments, and is effective as a weekly cleaner or as a treatment against bacteria and parasites.
    You can create these treatments by making a cup of green tea according to the package directions. Once the tea has cooled completely, apply a few drops of the tea to your cat's ear and massage it in like the oil treatments. Then wipe away anything that comes out using a clean cotton ball.
 

ambiente18

Site Supporter
#8
I think you are right to avoid this vet in future... wow!

The only Savannah I have here that has any kind of wax issue with his ears is my first one, an F2 Bobo. He's also 75% Bengal so realistically I don't know how much is a individual issue or a Bengal issue as I only have Savannahs with less Bengal heritage (and a Brit) and they don't have any issues. I clean them or the beagle cleans them by licking them (which they both seem to enjoy weirdly) and he has had a few yeast infections of the ear.

I would be very upset if a vet wanted my cat sedated for every exam for just hissing and struggling. Seems to me they are reacting to the perceived "wild" factor and not reading kitty behavior at all!
I had this problem (ear wax) with the Diamond (F2), when she had just arrived in Moscow from USA. It lasted a month - she was nervous, had not the stool and other...After a month it's all over. Now Diamond has clean ears! It's like an nervous Allergy , it seems to me...But Diamond has not a lot of Bengal ( the Diamond's mother was Serengeti/ serval)
 
#9
Update:

Xumi had her ears scoped about three weeks ago, and the vet said they were the cleanest ears he's ever seen. He didn't find any abnormalities, either. I have not seen ANY wax since, so have not had to clean her ears. So, I guess the Posatex and ear rinse regimen took care of whatever the problem was.

I had my regular vet do the procedure, and I will never let that new guy near her again.
 

jungle boy

Savannah Super Cat
#10
Exactly! You've got a good vet there. This guy did not make an effort to make me feel comfortable with him, and even more importantly, he didn't do anything to ease Xumi's fears, thereby increasing them. He kind of peered into her carrier for 2 seconds, stood up, and said "What's going to happen if I stick my hand in there?" I said "I have no idea, let's find out." He started to go for it, and she hissed. Once. He whipped his hand back out and started looking around the room... for what, I don't know. A dart gun? I reached in and pulled her out, with him standing behind me, saying "Be careful! Be careful!" Sheesh. I held her for a few minutes to try and calm her down, and she just looked at me like, "Can we please get out of here now?" After the ear exam I asked if he could trim her nails. He scruffed her and held her down on her BACK on the table. He wasn't able to hold her there (what a surprise) and said he'd only trim them if he could sedate her. OMG. I told him never mind, my husband and I could manage it at home.

I've already talked the owner, my regular vet, and requested that she only gets to see him from now on. I don't like talking trash about someone behind their back, but he needed to hear my feedback on his new hire.
Susan, sorry for laughin' but that dart gun comment just cracked me up lol! :)