ASK THE VET: "My cat has a smelly, light brown discharge from her ears. What could this be?"

Q&A with Dr Pauline Taylor, BVM&S MACVSc

DR. PAULINE SAYS:  Smelly ear discharge should be checked out by your vet. It indicates irritation in the external ear canals. Cats normally produce ear wax similar to our own. If the wax is discolored it means something is wrong. The color change is due to the normal wax containing biological debris or broken down blood cells the result of trauma caused by your cat scratching the ears, head shaking or both. Common causes that contribute to light brown discharges include parasites, bacterial and/or yeast ear infections, and occasionally other irritants or a foreign body but that would be rare in both ears at the same time.

2 Comments on “ASK THE VET: "My cat has a smelly, light brown discharge from her ears. What could this be?"”

  1. Winnie

    My dog’s right ear always has deep brown ear-wax…it seems itchy and painful sometimes when I touch the ear…..so it is also similar to what said on cats?!

    1. Pets Central

      Yes Winnie, it usually applies to dogs too. Thank you for reading! You may bring your dog to one of our clinics at your convenience. Our Northpoint clinic is even open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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