Ear Mites in Dogs
There are several types of mites that can live in your dog's ear, but the most common are otodectes cynotis-tiny, eight-legged parasites that feed on the wax and oils in a dog's ear canal. An individual mite has a three-week life cycle, and is barely detectable by the naked eye. Causing irritation and inflammation, ear mites can infect the external and internal canal, and lead to more serious skin or ear infections if left untreated. Infection usually produces a characteristic dark discharge; in some cases, the ear canal can become entirely obstructed by this coffee ground-like debris.
What Causes Ear Mites in Dogs?
Highly contagious, ear mites are most common in outdoor cats, who can infect their canine companions. They are most often passed from pet to pet in casual contact at home or outside. Humans are generally immune to ear mites.
What Are the General Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs?
What Are Some Complications of Ear Mites in Dogs?
In addition to the development of skin infections, ear mites can cause blood vessels inside a dog's ear flap to rupture as result of his intense scratching and head shaking. This will cause the ear flap to appear swollen and is painful to the pet. An ear-flap hematoma, as it's known, often requires surgery to correct.
Are Certain Dogs Prone to Ear Mites?
Ear mites can affect dogs of all ages.
What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Ear Mites?
It is important to bring your dog to a veterinarian for accurate diagnosis. Your veterinarian will take a sample of ear discharge and evaluate it microscopically to confirm the presence of ear mites. Avoid self-diagnosis, since certain types of bacterial infections can mimic the symptoms of ear mites.
How Are Ear Mites Treated?