Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs
Help your Dog to Get rid of Ear Mites
Ear Mites In Dogs
There are a number of mites that may reside in your pet’s ear, with the commonly occurring ones being otodectes cynotis—microscopic, 8-legged parasites feeding on the oils and wax in a dog’s ear canal. The life cycle of each ear mite is 3-weeks and they can cause considerable amount of itching.
Ear mites cause intense infection and inflammation of the inner and outer ear canal, and if not treated, can result in more severe skin/ear infections. Ear mite infection produces a typical dark discharge; in certain instances, the ear canal of a dog can become totally blocked by dark, crusty debris.
Ear Mite Causes
Extremely contagious, ear mites commonly occur in outdoor cats, which then infect canines. They are usually transmitted from one pet to the other through minimal contact inside or outside the home.
Ear Mite Symptoms
· Excessive scratching & rubbing of ears , neck and head
· Constant head shaking
- Thick black or red-brown waxy secretion
- Bad odor
- Intense Inflammation
- Scratches and abrasions behind the ears
- Crusting on the rump, tail and neck
- Blockage of ear canal with a waxy, coffee ground-like secretion
Ear Mite Complications
Apart from causing skin infections, parasitic ear mites can lead to rupture of blood vessels inside your dog’s ear flap brought on by its intense scratching & violent shaking of its head. This will lead to a swollen and painful ear flap or hematoma, requiring surgery.
If you suspect your dog of having ear mite infection, it’s important to take it to a veterinarian for correct diagnosis.
Your dog will undergo a complete physical examination, including routine lab tests like complete blood count, chemical blood profile, urinalysis & an electrolyte panel to rule out the possibility of your dog having other diseases.
The vet will perform a comprehensive dermatologic exam. Skin scrapings will be taken for lab analysis. The vet will microscopically study an ear discharge sample to confirm it’s ear mite infection.
Ear Mite Treatment:
- The vet may prescribe medications to be directly applied in the dog’s ear or on its skin.
- Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to cure infections.
- After cleaning, use a vet-prescribed miticide ear preparation to medicate the dog’s ear. Most preparations have thiabendazole and pyrethrins. Nolvamite, Mitox, Cerumite, Tresaderm and Acarex are commonly used ones.
- In the course of treatment, mites leave the ear canals and take up temporary residence elsewhere on your dog’s body, resulting in itching and scratching. Your dog should be treated every week for 4 weeks with a shampoo/flea powder that’s pyrethrin-based.
- Revolution is a product that controls fleas and works equally well against ear mites & is recommended for treating and preventing them. For severe ear mite infections, Ivermectin could be used.
- If the dog’s ears are infected or there is an accumulation of cellular debris, gentle cleaning using cotton & a dog ear cleaner is needed. Sedation may be required based on the temperament of the dog and the degree of accumulation.
- As soon as treatments commence, your dog will begin to get relief but remember to complete the whole treatment cycle. If treatment is abruptly stopped, your dog will be prone to fresh mite reinfestation.
Ear Mite Prevention
Regular ear cleaning monthly once to minimize wax build-up can control ear mite presence. During cleaning, check for any kind of indications of ear mite infection.
Ensure your pet’s bedding is thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas where your pet spends a good deal of time if it has just recovered from ear mite infection.
Ensure your dog stays away from other animals that reveal ear mite symptoms.
Thoroughly dry your pet's ears using a towel or cotton ball after swimming/bathing or let it dry itself out in the sun. However, refrain from using a cotton swab to clean its year if you detect signs of discharge/infection because this will only push the infection further into its ear canal.
Examine your other household pets for ear mite infection.