ear mites in dogs

How to Treat Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites are quite common in dogs, and even though they are generally not life threatening, they cause a lot of irritation, both physical and mental. Here is a more in – depth guide on how to deal with them.

First off, although they are not as deadly as, let’s say ticks or heartworms, they can still make life really uncomfortable for your doggy pal. In general, ear mites cause a great deal of ear irritation and general discomfort. They feed on the wax and oils that preside in your dog’s ear canals and that can result in head shaking or scratching, overall rubbing of the ears and even secondary ear infections.

Every pet owner wants their companion to be happy and healthy, so continue reading to learn more about ear mites in dogs and their removal.

What does an ear mite look like?

Many may think it is necessary to know what ear mites look like so they can get rid of them, but ear mites are extremely small so unless you have a microscope in hand you won’t be able to spot them with the naked eye. If you feel as though your dog might have mites, take them to a vet so they can look at its ear through an otoscope or a microscope.

Rather than looking for ear mites, you would want to look for signs and symptoms of mites that your dog might be exhibiting.

Here are some of the symptoms of ear mites in dogs

Firstly, if you suspect your dog may have ear mites look out for signs of irritation around or in the ears.

Some symptoms include:

How do dogs get an ear mite infestation?

The usual situation in which they could get an infestation is through contact with a dog or cat that already has ear mites. Younger dogs are also more likely to develop an ear mite infestation than older dogs.

It is like a chain reaction, if one puppy is infested, the mites can transfer directly from dog to dog through simple socialization or play. Since the dogs during play get into close contact, that makes it easy for the mites to just hop on to a new host.

Tips on ear mite infestation prevention

Such is the case with all parasites, prevention is better than a cure, and it’s no different with ear mites. There do exist some topical treatments on prescription that can actually prevent ear mites, as well some protection against fleas. The best way of preventing and keeping these pesky parasites, according to vets, is to clean your pet’s ears frequently using a soft and damp cloth.

Along with the usual dog preventative parasite protection, you should also:

  • Keep your dog away from other animals that may have ear mites
  • Regularly wash its bedding and toys in hot water
  • Give the pre-washed bedding a turn in a tumble dryer to get rid of any mites that might be on it

How to treat ear mites in dogs

Firstly, before anything else, you should visit a vet if you have a suspicion that your dog may have ear mites, since they will need to examine your dog’s ears and look at a sample under a microscope to confirm whether it has an infestation or not. Then they will confirm the diagnosis and determine whether or not a second infestation is present. There are many different types of ear mite medication, or even drops that your vet may prescribe and the treatment is usually the same for puppies and adult dogs.

Can you get ear mites from your dog ?

No wonder that many would have this concern, the good news is though, that the likelihood of ear mites transferring from dogs to humans is pretty low.

The difference between ear mites and an ear infection

Pesky parasites like the ear mites are not the only reason why your dog may be experiencing discomfort in or around their ears, but how can you deduce whether your dog has an ear mite infestation or a simple ear infection?

Ear infection are actually quite the common occurrence in dogs and can have various causes, such as a yeast infection, a bacterial infection or even a secondary reaction to an allergic skin disease. Like will all ailments, it is for the best that you consult with your vet, then they can examine your dog’s ear wax under a microscope

 

Additionally, here are some frequently asked questions – answered

  • If your dog has been scratching its ears non stop, does that mean it may have ear mites?

Although common in young and old dogs, there are many other causes aside from ear mites that may cause itchy ears. Consult with your vet first to confirm any diagnosis.

  • What should you do if your dog has ear mites?

Go to your vet, so they can examine your dog, confirm a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

  • Is it possible for dogs to get ear mites from other dogs?

The answer is yes, ear mites can definitely be transmitted from one dog to another while playing or socializing

  • Likewise, can dogs get ear mites from cats?

It is completely possible for ear mites to be transmitted from cats to dogs and vice versa.

  • Are they painful for dogs?

Will not inherently painful, ear mites cause an irritation of the ear and secondary ear infections, which the dog will often scratch at leaving the area red and painful.

  • Can a dog have ear mites in only one of its ears?

Generally, ear mites infest both of the dog’s ears, however one may be affected more than the other.

  • Can puppies get ear mites?

Yes they can, and they are way more common in puppies than in older dogs.

  • Do ear mites produce a smell?

They themselves do not smell like anything, but they can cause a smelly discharge to from in your dog’s ears.

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