Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites are parasites that spread quickly in and around the ear canal. The dog ear mite is in the family Psoroptidae, which consists of parasitic mites that live on the skin’s surface instead of burrowing into it as some other mites do.

The name for them in science is Otodectes cynotis. They are usually less than half a millimeter long, and a microscope is the best way to see them. Mites can be a problem for dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and sometimes livestock.

Causes of Ear Mites

Ear mites are passed on to dogs by other animals that have them.

To understand how dogs get ear mites, you need to know how mites live and grow. Adult mites lay eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larvae then go through two stages of nymphs before turning into adults. A full-grown ear mite hatches from an egg after about three weeks. Mites can live for about two months as adults.

Mites eat the dead skin and ear wax on your dog’s skin and ears, which makes the skin red and swollen. The mite gets from one animal to another when they touch each other.

How Vets Diagnose Ear Mites

An ear infection can have the same signs as a dog with ear mites, like scratching and ear discharge. That’s why it’s essential to see your vet for help figuring out what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Getting a diagnosis lets the right medicine be used to treat the problem. Using the wrong treatment for your pet can be dangerous and make them feel bad. It’s also a waste of your time and money. And if your dog’s eardrum is broken, only certain medicines can help. This is why taking your dog to the vet is so important.

For an official diagnosis, your vet will usually look in your dog’s ears with an otoscope and take an ear swab to look for mite eggs and adult mites under a microscope. Your vet may also do ear cytology to ensure there aren’t any other bacterial or yeast infections at the same time. A skin scrape can also sometimes show the mite.

Ear Mite Treatment

To get rid of ear mites in a dog, you must clean its ears and give it medicine.

Cleaning your dog’s ear canal removes debris and buildup, improves the medicine, and helps the ear canal return to healthy, normal tissue. Your vet will clean your dog’s ears and, if necessary, show you how to do it at home.

Recovery and Management

Most dogs get over-ear mites quickly and easily, but some dogs may have to fight the bothersome mites for a long time. Veterinarians may suggest a follow-up exam to ensure that a dog’s ears are normal. If they aren’t, the veterinarian will give them more treatments.

Your dog’s ear canal must be flushed when the dirt is still in it. And if there is a bacterial or yeast infection, your vet may need to give you more or a different medicine to treat the disease.

Read More: Rabies in Dogs