Q: My cat Fluffy is a 7-year-old Maine Coon who has a little bleeding in her right ear. I have been using Q-tips and eardrops that I get from a health food store for animals. Her ears are a little hot; when I clean them and put a drop in them, they cool down after awhile. It is only one ear. Should I take her to the vet?
A: Yes, you need to take her to the vet right away. Ear problems can cause great discomfort to a cat. Your vet needs to look down into the ear and find out the source of the bleeding. It could be something simple, like an ear infection. Or it could be something more serious, like some kind of bleeding tumor.
If your cat’s ear is uncomfortable, your vet may need to sedate or anesthetize Fluffy in order to get a proper look. If a tumor or polyp is seen, a small biopsy specimen can be taken to determine what type of tumor it is. An ear culture should also be obtained, to see if there’s an infection in the ear, and if so, to see what organism is causing it and what antibiotics would be most effective. The ear drops that you’re using may be soothing, but they are not addressing Fluffy’s primary problem.