Ear Mites in Dogs

Information on dog ear mites and symptoms like excessive head shaking or ear scratching.

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  1. What are Ear Mites?
  2. What Causes Ear Mites?
  3. Diagnosing Ear Mites
  4. More Information on Ear Mites

What are Ear Mites?

Dog ear mite symptoms usually involves frequent scratching of the ear and shaking of the head it is something that should not be ignored. Ear mites are a common parasite found on dogs, and an infestation of these nasty critters can cause your pet much discomfort.

If left untreated, ear mites can cause serious ear inflammation and infection and can even cause permanent damage to the ear canal or ear drum, resulting in hearing loss.

What Causes Ear Mites?

Ear mites in dogs are very contagious and can be picked up through contact with other animals. In canines, they are frequently passed on from mother to her young and are often picked up at socialization or training classes in dogs.

Because it is so contagious, if one pet has been diagnosed with ear mites, it is important to have all the pets in the household treated at the same time. Unlike the name suggests, ear mites can live anywhere on your dog’s body, and so when treating ear mites, it is important to treat your pet’s entire body, not just the infested ear.

Diagnosing Ear Mites

Many pet owners mistake ear mite infestations for ear infections and embark on a lengthy treatment program using over-the-counter treatments to no avail.

It is therefore important to take your pet to the vet where a proper diagnosis can be made and yeast and bacterial infections can be ruled out. Other symptoms of ear mites include black or dark brown discharge from the ears (this may resemble ground coffee beans), sores or hair loss around the ear.

More Information on Ear Mites

Tips for pets with ear mites
  • Ear mites in dogs can cause ear infections and so do not be surprised if you treat the ear mite problem, and find your pet is still troubled with an uncomfortable and sore ear. Ear infections will need to be treated accordingly.
  • Don’t forget to treat all the pets! While your other pets may show no symptoms, ear mites can quickly re-infect all the pets in the house if one is left untreated!
  • Before treatment can be effective, your pet’s ears will need to be cleaned and all the debris removed from the ear canal. Ask your veterinarian how you can do this yourself, or ask him to do this for you.
  • Never use Q-tips on your pet as it can cause damage to the ear and push the debris or infection further into your pet’s ear canal.
  • One of the most common causes of re-infection is not taking the life-cycle of the ear mite into consideration. Treatment may have to be repeated at intervals for approximately three weeks to completely rid your pet of ear mites.
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