Diagnosing Dog Ear Mites

Dog ear mites are parasites that will create a lot of discomfort in canines. Mites are scientifically referred to as otodectes cynotis. Some dog breeds are more exposed to contracting ear mites; however these parasites may infect any dog. The symptoms of ear mites include itchiness in the head and ear area, excessive head shaking and scratching. Diagnosing the mites is essential to be able to start the treatment as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

The symptoms of ear mites resemble the symptoms of an ear infection. The ears will be sensitive and you will also notice:

  • Shaking of head in attempt to get rid of the ear wax and the mites that are located in the ears
  • Red, inflamed ears
  • Extreme scratching
  • Foul odor coming from the ears
  • A black or brown-yellowish discharge from the ears

In addition to these symptoms, there will be an excess of ear wax and some debris containing mites; the debris are brown and about the size of a rice grain and are a mixture of dry blood and ear wax.

Mites thrive in dark and moist environments, so ears are a perfect location. Mites feed on body fluids such as blood and ear wax, so they will cause extreme irritation and may affect the ear canal lining.

Ear mites often lead to a secondary infection, bacterial or fungal.

Diagnosing Ear Mites

If you notice any ear mite symptoms you need to visit the vet; he may confirm the diagnosis by analyzing a sample of ear wax or debris from your pet’s ears.

Mites are microscopic creatures and may be visible with an otoscope.

Treating Ear Mites

The treatment options for ear mites include oral treatment and topical ointments. Ear drops with insecticides will also be prescribed, so you need to make sure you know how to apply ear drops in your dog’s ear canal.

The vet may prescribe a package of antiparasitic compounds such as thiabendazole, pyrenthrins, ivermectin and rotenone.

Homeopatic remedies are also available, including mineral oils that will be applied in the dog’s ears to kill the parasites.

The treatment may be lengthy, as the mites thrive in the ear canals and they reproduce at an alarming rate. Getting rid of mites may take up to 1 month. Make sure you follow the vet’s prescription and don’t skip any medication or ear drop application, as the mites may reoccur.

If left untreated mites may cause inflammation, redness, wounds in the ear canal and even deafness in rare cases.

Preventing Mites

Mites may be transmitted from an infected pet. Ear mites are difficult to treat, so it is better to prevent them.

Dogs with a poor hygiene are more exposed to getting infected with ear mites.

Use ear drops on a regular basis. Alternatively, use some olive oil to clean the dog’s ears.

If you have several dogs and one is infected with mites, keep him in a secluded area and apply preventive treatment to all your dogs.