Ear mites in dogs
The most common type of ear mites in dogs is Otodectes cynotis mites, a tiny eight-legged parasite that feeds on the wax and oils of a dog’s ear. Ear mites in dogs have a three-week life cycle and are hardly detectable by the naked eye.
It starts with an irritation and inflammation, and, if left untreated, they cause infection in the dog’s ear. A typical sign of infection is a dark discharge and in some cases, this ground-like debris obstructs the entire ear-canal.
How does a dog get them?
It is actually pretty easy for a dog to get these parasites. They are most common in stray cats which pass them to their canine companions. Passing them on from animal to animal is fairly easy. Humans are generally immune to the ear mite.
What are the symptoms of ear mites in dogs?
- Itching on the ears, head, and neck;
- Generalized itching sometimes as the mites can migrate to other parts of the body;
- Shaking the head frequently;
- Black or thick-red crusts outside the ear;
- Coffee-ground bumps in the ear canal;
- Scratches and abrasions on the back part of the ear;
- Strong odor
How to get rid of ear mites in dogs
There are several ways to treat ear mites in dogs:
- Your veterinarian will prescribe products to directly apply to the ear. Since this dog disease is highly contagious, you should treat all the animals in the household with it;
- If there is a build-up of debris, cotton and a canine ear cleaner might be required. The dog will need to be sedated, depending on how well-behaved he gets;
- To resolve infections, your veterinarian might prescribe an antibiotic or other anti-inflammatory drugs;
- Remember that the mites have a three-week life cycle. It is imperative not to stop the treatment until the veterinarian prescribes, even if your dog is already feeling well.
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