What are ear mites?
Ear mites are Otodectes Cynotis mites and cause parasitic infections in your dog’s ear. Common signs and symptoms include scratching around the ear, head and neck. Shaking their head excessively. Discharge from the ear that may be dark and waxy in nature and a foul odor from the ear. If your dog keeps scratching or rubbing their head against the wall or the carpet, get their ears checked for mites by the vet. You may also find crusting and scales on the neck, rump and tail.
They are most commonly contracted from the environment. It could be the park, woodland, your backyard or another dog that your dog regularly plays with. Ear mites are especially common in stray animals. The only good part about them is that they cannot spread to humans.
How to treat Ear Mites?
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from ear mites, book your vet for an appointment and get their ears checked. There are over the counter ear mite treatment which comes in form of an ointment, topical gel or cream which you can apply to your dog’s ear once a day for ten to thirty days. Make sure you don’t miss the dose since the mites might still persist even after finishing the treatment if you’ve missed a dose.
Newer ear mite medications are more potent and can kill mites just by one time application to the dog’s skin. Regardless of the kind of treatment you use, it is extremely important to clean out debris from your dog’s ears, once the treatment is completed. Your vet will direct you to flush out your dog’s ear to remove all the dead mites and medication.
Make sure you follow up with your vet to confirm that all ear mites have been eradicated.
After treatment, your dog will become rather calm and relaxed. Since they are highly contagious from other dogs, make sure your dog doesn’t play with every random dog they come across. The place where your dog sleeps should also be cleaned in order to prevent recurrence of mites. Ideally, wash the bedding and blanket using hot water and run a heat dryer after to completely dry the sleeping and sitting area. You can also vacuum areas where you dog loves to sit and spend since these are the places from where they can contract ear mites again very easily.