EAR MITES IN DOGS
Ear infections are very common in dogs and they have many different causes and treatment. Diagnosing the cause is just as important as treatment and since they occur in all breeds, ages and regardless of the cause the can be very painful and if untreated can cause serious complications.
Dogs are usually contaminated by other canine companions or outdoor cats. Shared beds or play spaces are usually the most common transmission grounds for mites. In general, humans are immune to Otodectes Cynotis, even though it is highly contagious between dogs and cats. There are no specific age or breed that can be more affected by mites. They can all be affected the same way, even though young animals are especially susceptible to mites.
What is ear mites in dogs?
One of the most common type of ear disease in dogs is mites, also described as Otodectes Cynotis (Gk. Oto = ear, dectes = biter, cynotis = of the dog) and despite of the name it is also responsible of 90% of mites infections in cats. This is often found in young pets. Otodectes Cynotis is a tiny eight-legged parasite that feed on the wax in a dog's ear. One parasite lives for three weeks in a dog's ears and can cause terrible irritation and inflammation.
Symptoms and diagnosis of ear mites in dogs
The symptoms noticed may vary, especially on its progress. The first symptom that should be noticed is an ear that is constantly filled with a dark waxy secretion. Other frequent symptoms are: Inflammation, frequent head shaking, disagreeable odor, scratching the ear, neck and head.
It is very important to promptly bring your dog to a veterinarian in case you identify one or more of these symptoms in your dog.
An accurate diagnosis is strongly advised in order to identify the cause of the ear infection. (whether it is bacterial or not) and it may be necessary to take a sample of the ear wax and evaluate it microscopically to confirm the presence of the parasite.
In some cases the infestation may be on a very advanced level and the pet may not allow the vet to perform a conscious examination due to the pain that the exam may cause. In this case, sedation may be required in order for the diagnosis to be made and treatment to be performed.
Treatment for ear mites
The first and most important step of the treatment of ear mites in dogs is a thorough cleaning of the ear, and it is highly recommended that it is kept clean to fight the infection. This action will allow the medication to reach part of the channel where the mites live. A relief will be felt right after the start of the treatment. The treatment should take one week and for this period the discipline of cleaning should be kept. Since the contamination usually occurs among pets, it is very important that all the animals in the household are treated to ensure full eradication of the parasite.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotic drugs may also be taken to support the treatment.
It is important to mention that mites do not live exclusively on the ears. Special attention should also be given to the tip of your pet's tail (they usually sleep with their tail close to their head) and to the part in between your pet's toes, these are areas where mites put their eggs. These areas should be treated with flea spray or flea mousse from the beginning until the end of the treatment period. After one week of pause, the treatment should be repeated and one week after the examination we can certify that the infection has been extinguished.
In general ear infections do not get better without some medical intervention and the lack of assistance might cause the eardrum to rupture causing a middle ear infection and loss of balance. This will also cause loss of hearing. Many other complications may occur due to the continual shaking of the head, and even rarely the infection could travel up to the brain and cause brain infection, which could be fatal. Ear infections are serious and should never be left without medical assistance.
A cleaning routine is usually helpful, along with a routine of keeping it dry after the shower and make sure that other pets in the house are not infected. It is also very effective to prevent water to get inside the ear of your pet by putting a cotton ball before getting your pet to the shower.
Change your pet's bed in case your pet has recently recovered from mites ear infection.
Pet allergies should be treated as soon as identified as itching are primary causes of bacterial infections. Preventing allergies is also very effective as a way to prevent all types of ears infections.
Mites is similar to mange in dogs
Ear mites, or Otodectes Cynotis are located internally in the ears and manges, or Sarcoptes Scabei, are common external parasites located on dog's skins that cause severe skin infections. Some of the skin mites are normal companions of your dogs, but some of them are not and should be immediately treated. Also known as canine scabies, sarcoptic mange usually transmitted from mother to puppy during the very first days and most of the dogs live in complete harmony with their mites for life, never suffering any consequence, unlikely ear mites.
It is very easy to keep your best friend safe from ear mites. The secret lies on keeping their ears clean and dry after shower or whenever you guys are out for a walk on the rain. Also make sure that whenever in contact with other pets your dog has not been condemned.
Also, pay attention to the very first signs of the infection since this is going to be a success key o the treatment.
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