Now hear this! If you own dogs or cats, you will eventually have to deal with ear mites at some time in your pet’s life-cycle.
Ear mites are pesky tiny parasites that feast off the earwax and oils inside your pet’s ear canal. While not life-threatening, ear mites can cause irritation, inflammation, and serious ear infections if allowed to fester. Also, because of the constant head shaking cause by the itching due to ear mites, your dog or cat might develop an aural hematoma which can lead to a costly surgical procedure.
How do dogs or cats get ear mites? These parasites are highly contagious and can be passed from one pet to another just by casual contact. Outdoor cats are especially prone to ear mites and they are the ideal carriers.
What are the signs of ear mites in dogs or cats? The following symptoms are indicative of ear mites in pets: excessive scratching and rubbing of ears, head shaking, black or brown waxy secretion, strong odor, inflammation, and obstruction of the ear canal with a coffee ground-like discharge. In cats, you may notice hair loss or dermatitis.
How do I know for sure if my pet has ear mites? While the previously mentioned symptoms are pretty good indicators that your dog or cat might have ear mites, it could also mean your pet is suffering from a bacterial infection. It is best to leave the diagnoses to an expert: your veterinarian.
How are ear mites in dogs or cats treated?
- Your veterinarian will either prescribe a product that can be applied directly into your pet’s ear, or a parasite medication that your pet can take orally.
- Cleaning of the ear canal may be required in the event of an infected ear or one that has a build-up of debris.
- An anti-inflammatory or antibiotic might be prescribed to eliminate any infections.
- If you have more than one pet, it is a good idea to have them treated for ear mites as well.
In summary, ear mites in dogs and cats are very common especially if your pets spend time outdoors. Cats are more prone to host ear mites and pass them along to other pets. Excessive scratching and rubbing of ears, head shaking, black or brown waxy secretion, strong odor, inflammation, and obstruction of the ear canal are the most common symptoms associated with ear mites in dogs and cats. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if your pet has ear mites or a bacteriological infection. To treat ear mites in dogs or cats, your veterinarian might prescribe a solution to be applied directly into the ear or a parasite medication that can be taken orally. In case of debris build-up in the ears, a cleaning of the ear canals will be prescribed. Your veterinarian might also prescribe an anti-inflammatory, or antibiotic to treat an infected ear. Once your dog or cat is treat for ear mites their recover is fairly quick. However, pet parents need to complete the prescribed treatment to ensure a full recovery.
Have you had experiences with ear mites in your pets?
Let us know how you handled them in the comments section.