Ear mites, or Otodectes cynotis, are small parasites that live inside the ear canal of your dog or cat. Ear mite infestation is a common pet health problem, and it can cause intense itching of your pet's ears. They are very contagious and are most common in young pets.
How Ear Mites Affects Your Pet
Ear mites feed off of skin debris found in the ear canal. If your pet is infested with these tiny parasites, inflammation and/or ear infections can result. There can also be serious complications if your dog or cat has an immune hypersensitivity reaction to the mites. Since ear mites in dogs and cats cause severe itching, your pet will constantly scratch at its ears and shake its head. This itching and shaking can result in such pet health concerns as open lesions, hematomas, and damage to the ear canal or drum. Furthermore, while not common, the mite can spread to other parts of your pet's body.
Common Symptoms of Ear Mites
It only takes a few mites to produce symptoms in your pet. However, the exact symptoms that your dog or cat will experience depends on how advanced its infestation is. Typically, a more advanced case of infestation will lead to more intense symptoms that may include some of the following behaviors: Shaking of the Head, Scratching at the Ears, Head and/or Neck, Dark Waxy Discharge in the Ears, Itching at Other Parts of the Body, Scratches or Abrasions on the Ears, Head and/or Neck, Tiny, Black Particles in the Ear Canal, Crusting of the Ears, Head and/or Neck, Crusting on Other Areas of the Body, Inflammation of the Ear Flaps and Foul Odor in the Ears.
Treatments for Ear Mites
There are several different treatments for ear mites, and your veterinarian will discuss each of them with you. There are some over-the-counter medications for ear mites in cats and dogs; however, they are not as effective as prescriptions. Before your vet can treat your pet's ears though, a thorough cleaning will be necessary. After the veterinarian has cleaned your dog or cat's ears, various medications will be recommended such as Acarexx, Milbemite, Advantage Multi, Revolution, Tresaderm and/or Ivermectin. While some of these medications are applied to the ears, others are applied to your pet's skin. It is essential to note that if you have multiple pets, you must treat them all even if they do not have any symptoms.
While ear mites can infest both cats and dogs, they are more commonly seen in felines. They typically spread by direct contact with an infected animal. With that said, animals that match any of the following conditions are more vulnerable to ear mites than other pets. Animals most vulnerable to Ear Mites: animals that spend a lot of time outdoors, kept in kennels or close quarters, animals that spend a lot of time with other pets, hunting dogs, felines and young cats or dogs.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.