How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?


How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?

Seeing dogs shaking their head and scratching their ears is not an unusual sight. Some even consider it to be a normal canine habit. However, there are times when this can indicate a problem. If your dog is scratching their ears more than usual, it could indicate that they are suffering from mite infestation. 

The parasitic infestation can cause extreme discomfort. But ear mites do not get deep into the inner ear, making it much easier to treat them. There are ways to know if your dog has ear mites.


What Causes Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that look like small spiders. They live in the dog’s ear, surviving by feeding on blood and tissue from the ear canal. When the mites reach adulthood, they reproduce. Mites can infect just one ear, but in most cases, they infect both ears. 

Your environment or the locations that your pet visits will determine if they get ear mites. The mites attach themselves to the dogs as they move through wooded or grassy areas. The mites pass easily from one dog to another. 


Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites are extremely small, making it difficult to spot them. If you use a soft cloth to wipe the dog’s ears, you may be able to spot the mites in the residue. They appear as tiny white dots. Some symptoms to look out for are brown or black waxy ear secretions and a strong odor from the ears. 

Other symptoms are ear inflammation, debris in the ear canal, hair loss, and excessive scratching, rubbing, or itching of the ears. Skin issues
like scabs or dermatitis around the ears and persistent shaking of the head can also signify mite infestation. 


Treating Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites are easy to treat, and the process is usually simple. After confirming the diagnosis, the vet will prescribe topical medication that helps get rid of the mites. There are several topical medications available for destroying ear mites. The treatments include eardrops, creams, and ointments. 

To ensure effectiveness, use the products exactly as prescribed. You can complete the treatment course easily at home. If the skin around the ears has been damaged by excessive scratching, additional treatment will be required.


Preventing Ear Mites in Dogs

There are things that you can do to prevent ear mites from affecting your pet. There are topical treatments that can help prevent mites. Some of these prescription treatments can also help keep away fleas. 

Veterinarians recommend cleaning the dog’s ears regularly using a damp cloth to keep the parasites away. This will help spot the mites quickly and stop them from multiplying and becoming a problem. 


Ear Infection or Ear Mites

Symptoms of ear mites can be like those of ear infections. It is vital to know how to distinguish between the two conditions. One of the easiest ways to know the difference is by examining the debris or discharge from the ears. 

If you suspect that your dog may have mites, you should schedule an appointment with the vet. Prompt treatment will help keep your pet from suffering and developing further complications.

To know more about dogs and ear mites, visit Brekke Veterinary Clinic at our office in Castle Rock, Colorado. You can call 303-474-4260 today to schedule an appointment.