Dear Dr. Kay: I am finding it harder to afford taking my cat Snuggles to the vet, and I'm seeking advice on how to care for a problem with her ears. She is 22 years old and has black stuff that forms inside her ears that make them itch. Her ears always feel very warm to hot. From research I've done, it looks like she may have a yeast infection. I was wondering if there is some home remedy I can use to take care of this problem, or a medication you could recommend I purchase online that would help her?— Sandi
DEAR SANDI: Wow! Twenty-two years of age — how remarkable your Snuggles is! Unfortunately, without knowing the cause of the discharge it would be impossible to make a strong recommendation about an over-the-counter treatment. Ideally another trip to the vet is in order so he or she can examine some of the ear discharge under the microscope so as to determine if the culprit is yeast, bacteria or ear mites. The underlying cause dictates the appropriate treatment. Since Snuggles happens to be a “repeat offender,” ask your vet for a product to clean her ears on a regular basis with hopes of preventing recurrence. Please know that you are not alone these days in terms of having concerns about paying for veterinary care.