How To Recognize and Treat Dog Ear Mites
Table of Contents
If your dog is scratching his or her ears, and shaking their head,
then dog ear mites (otodectic dog mange or otitis externa) might be the
with ear mites scratch their ears a lot, removing some of the hair in
the process. It's a canine parasite skin infection that can
strike year round.
While this parasite affects the ears, the other type of mange,
sarcoptic dog mange or dog scabies, can also effect the ear tips as
other parts of the body.
The problem starts when mites enter irritate the ear and ear canal
while feeding on skin debris. The
cause the ear to fill with remains causing the ears to appear dirty,
containing wax or
filled with coffee grounds. If the waxy exudate caused by mites builds
us, it can become a breeding ground for fungi and bacterial
Mites can spread from dog to dog and unlike other types, do not
burrow into the skin. The mites take 3 weeks to mature from egg to
adult can survive in a dog ear for several weeks. While the dog ear
mites primarily inhabit the ears, they can also be found at the head of
the tail, on the neck, face and feet.
Dog Ear Mite (Otodectes cynotis) Under A Microscope. It is a non burrowing mite.
By:Dr. Chris Adolph, Southpark Veterinary Hospital
Symptoms of dog ear mites include:
- Mild Cases:
- head shaking
- reddish ear irritation
- crust formation in the ears
- Severe Cases:
- smelly discharge (purulent)
- bleeding in the ear
- a perforation of the tympanic membrane
- inflammation of the middle ear (Otitis media)
- vomiting and vertigo (otitis interna)
- movement problems in the neck (jerking of the neck)
A veterinarian will look at dog ear wax under the microscope and will be able to identify the presence of mites.
For canine ear mites your veterinarian will first clean the ears
with a product like EpiOtic
Medications are then applied in one to two treatments applied to the
canal. Ear drops contain a miticide with popular brands called Acarexx
(an invermectin .01% based mitcide) or MilbeMite
OTIC (.1% solution of milbemycin oxime). The drops
may need to be used 1x to 2x. Revolution (Selamectin) is then applied
twice at 30 day intervals to protect against any mites (Revolution is
is a spot-on for
dogs older than 6 weeks of age only). If there are signs of a bacterial
or fungal infection in the ears, medications will be prescribed to
treat these conditions as well.
There is also a herbal remedy called Ear
Dr. that can help with the symptoms of ear discomfort such as itch
Because mites can be passed between dogs, all pets in the household will need to be treated as a precaution. Treatment is important to avoid long term damage to the ear. If your dog has ear mites, be sure to clean the dogs environment with a disinfectant such as Benzarid, by thoroughly vacuuming the home, and by washing all of a dogs belongings with a liquid detergent.
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