Is your furry friend constantly scratching their ears? They might be dealing with ear mites, pesky parasites that can infest your dog’s ears and feed off their blood. Ear mites are highly contagious and can be transmitted from one pet to another. To help you identify if your dog has ear mites, here are five common signs to look out for.
What Exactly Are Dog Ear Mites?
Ear mites are tiny, highly contagious parasites that reside in your dog’s ears. While they are mostly invisible, you may be able to spot them as small white dots. These arachnids feed off your dog’s blood and can cause discomfort. However, compared to ticks or heartworms, they are not as threatening to your pet.
What Are the Signs of Ear Mites?
Itching and Scratching
One of the most evident signs of ear mites in dogs is constant itching and scratching at the ears. Your dog may scratch until their ears become red and inflamed, which requires proper treatment. Excessive scratching can even lead to secondary infections like yeast or bacterial infections.
Shaking of the Head
If your dog has ear mites, you’ll often see them vigorously shaking their head in an attempt to dislodge these annoying creatures. While it may not provide immediate relief, your pup will continue to shake their head to get rid of the mites. Keep an eye out for ear debris and tiny mite eggs.
Inflammation or Redness
Ear mites feed on skin debris, triggering inflammation in your dog’s ears. This can lead to ear inflammation, also known as otitis, and can cause redness, scabs, scratches, dark discharge, hair loss, and a dry, flaky ear.
Feasting on your dog’s ears, ear mites can create a foul-smelling odor due to the accumulation of dead skin cells, blood, and other fluids. If you notice a strong smell coming from your dog’s ears, it might be a sign of ear mites or other related conditions like ear wax buildup, yeast infections, or bacterial infections.
Ear mites feed on wax and skin cells in the ear, potentially leading to ear infections. This condition is especially common in puppies with developing immune systems.
What is the Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs?
If you suspect your dog has ear mites, it is essential to seek proper treatment. Typically, the treatment for ear mites involves thorough ear cleaning and the application of anti-parasite medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed to reduce any discomfort.
It is crucial to administer the medication consistently for 7 to 10 days, even if your dog shows signs of improvement. Additionally, if you have multiple pets, you should quarantine the affected dog until the mites are completely eliminated, as they are highly contagious.
In some cases, if the infection spreads or there are injuries to the ear, your dog may require a specially formulated shampoo or additional treatments. To prevent further scratching while healing, you may consider using an Elizabethan collar, which can be improvised or purchased online.
Don’t forget to wash your dog’s bedding in hot water and run it through a hot dryer to eliminate any remaining pests and eggs.
If you suspect your dog has ear mites, consult your veterinarian for the most suitable treatment for your furry friend. Don’t let these pesky parasites cause discomfort to your beloved pet any longer.