Frequency, diagnosis and clinical signs of otocariasis in cats

  • Clarissa Pimentel de Souza
  • Vanessa Gerpe Perez
  • Flavia Borges Tavares
  • Margareth Balbi
Keywords: Ear mange, cats, diagnostic techniques, clinical signs


ABSTRACT. Souza C.P., Perez V.G., Tavares F.B. & Balbi M. [Frequency, diagnosis and clinical signs of otocariasis in cats.] Frequência, diagnostico e sinais clinicos da otocariase em gatos. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 35(Sup.2):57-60, 2013. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Instituto de Veterinária, Anexo 1, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Campus Seropédica, BR 465 Km 7 Seropédica, RJ 23897-000, Brasil. E-mail: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the frequency of Otodectes cynotis in domestic cats and its association with the clinical signs of the infestation. The validity and reprodutibility of the naked eye observation of cerumem and pinnal-pedal reflex were also evaluated, considering the microscope observation of cerumem as the gold standard technique. Two hundred cats from residencies and shelters in the Municipalities of Rio de Janeiro and São João de Meriti were checked, independent of otitis clinical signs. The infestation was observed in 98 (49%) animals by microscopy. The naked eye observation of cerumem, wich was collected from each ear canal with swabs, and the pinnal-pedal reflex, detected the mite in 66 (33%) and 87 (43.5%) positive cats, respectively. Among the feline with otodectic mange, 65 (66.33%) were male and 33 (33.67%) female; 27 (27,55%) were up to 6 months old, 40 (40.81%) were between 7 and 24 months old and 31 (31,63%) were over than 25 months old. Every cat presented with one or more clinical signs of the otoacariasis. In 88 (89,79%) an excessive black ceruminous exudate was observed, in 35 (35.71%) periaural hipotrichosis and in 22 (22.45%) pinna and ear canal erythema. The mite O. cynotis had a high frequency among the assessed cats, and developed clinical signs of the otodectic mange in all affected animals. Although the reprodutibility of naked eye cerumem observation and pinnal-pedal reflex were good when compared to parasitological microscope exam, the sensibility shows they are not good techniques.

How to Cite
de Souza, C. P., Perez, V. G., Tavares, F. B., & Balbi, M. (2014). Frequency, diagnosis and clinical signs of otocariasis in cats. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 35(Supl.2), 57-60. Retrieved from

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