Background: Feline otitis externa is a dermatological disorder with a multifactorial complex etiology. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of different etiological agents, particularly the parasitic and bacterial, responsible for the cases of feline otitis externa in Tripoli, Libya, and to assess the antimicrobial susceptibility of the bacterial isolates from those cases. Methods: Cerumen and otic discharges of suspected cats were collected for parasite detection and bacterial culture. Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method was used for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Results: The results showed that otodectic mite and bacterial causes were equally the most prevalent in those cases, with a prevalence of 47.1% each. Otodectes cynotis infestation was more frequently bilateral and severe. Staphylococcus spp. were the most prevalent among bacterial causes (75%), followed by Proteus spp. (16.6%) and Pseudomonas spp. (8.4%). Norfloxacin and gentamicin were the most effective antimicrobials against bacterial isolates, as they were effective against 83.3% and 70.8% of isolates, respectively. Conclusion: The Otodectes cynotis infestation and staphylococcal infection were the most common etiology of feline otitis externa in Tripoli, Libya, and norfloxacin represents a cogent antibacterial for the treatment of otitis externa.
Key words: cats, otitis externa, ear mite, bacteria, antimicrobial susceptibility