Is your four-legged friend suffering from dog ear mites?
You know, I try to be a positive pup, but I really don’t have a nice bone in my body for most insects.
Well, I do love to watch some bugs fly like butterflies and fireflies. Wait, are those pretty creatures even considered bugs?
Anyway, I don’t have much fondness for other insects. Why? Well, insects and dogs don’t always seem to get along. Ticks infect us canines – and humans – with Lyme disease. Oh, and fleas and dog ear mites make us scratch like maniacs. Plus, these buggies are often minuscule and hard to get rid of. Take mites for example. They could live on your furry friend for a very long time without you knowing anything about it – gross.
What are ear mites, and how do dogs get them?
Ear mites are a parasite that take up residence in your dog’s ears. They try to act fancy with a name like Otodectes cynotis, but really, we just think of them as the jerks that invade our ears.
There are a few different ways dogs can get eat mites. New parents can pass mites on to their newborn puppies. Dogs can pass them to other dogs. In fact, many animals – even of different species – can pass mites between each other. Just the thought of cross contamination makes me shudder.
Dog ear mites only live for about a three-week life cycle, but they’ll keep producing and causing your dog irritation and harm if they go untreated.
What are some symptoms of dog ear mites?
The most common sign you’ll notice that may lead you to believe your dog has mites in his ears is frequent scratching. You might not think your dog scratching his ear is a big deal, but it really is! Too much scratching will make hair fall out around your dog’s ears, leaving the skin sensitive to damage. Also, scratching could cause serious damage to the ear drums and canals.
Ear scratching isn’t the only symptom of dog ear mites. Here are other things you might notice if your dog is suffering.
- Itching of the head and neck
- Brown or black rusting near the outer ear
- Abrasions on the ear and surrounding areas
- Excessive shaking of the head
Don’t expect to be able to see mites in your dog’s ears. In fact, most are microscopic. The only way they’ll be detected is if your dog’s veterinarian views them on a slide under a microscope. Another way the veterinarian may diagnose your dog with ear mites is if he notices the dark coffee-life discharge which is produced if your dog gets an infection in his ears.
Are mites only found in the ear?
Nope! Unfortunately, mites can be found in different areas of your dog’s body. You might notice him doing something called reversed sneezing. When this happens, one of the causes could be mites in your dogs nasal passages. Again – gross. I think I might go barf up my lunch now.
Has your dog ever been diagnosed with ear mites? How did you know to bring him to the veterinarian? Let me know in the comments section.
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