Scratching At Ears? Could be Ear Mites!

Has your pet been frequently itching at their ear? This might be a sign that you pet has ear mites.

What are Ear Mites?

Ear mites can affect both cats and dogs. One of the most common species that could affect your pet is Octodectes cynotis. Ear mites go through a life cycle that lasts approximately one month. The mites hatch from an egg into the larval stage. The mite then goes through the first and second nymphal stages where the female can be paired with a male mite. Fertilization then occurs when the female mite turns into an adult. They can be found living in the ear canal of your pet. Both the eggs and mites can be seen under the microscope from an ear swab. The mites can also be seen with an otoscope.

Why Should I be Worried?

Ear mites can irritate your pet a great deal. The uncomfort of mites will cause them to scratch at their ears and shake their heads. With the constant scratching, lesions may appear in the skin on the head around the ears. There may also be a build up of dark, waxy substance in the ears. Furthermore, the ears can become inflamed with visual redness. In severe cases, the infestation of ear mites can lead to other parts of the body becoming infested as well.

It is especially important to note that ear mites can be transferred between dogs or cats with direct contact. If you have multiple pets in the home, it is key to treat all of them. Click below to see a video of live ear mites.

What can I do?

Take a look inside your pet’s ear to check for dirt-like material. If the brown substance is present, book an appointment to bring your pet in to see the veterinarian who will be able to diagnose if it is in fact caused by ear mites or another underlying issue. Ear mites can be easily treated with topical ointments at the clinic. In addition, ears should be cleaned with ear cleansing solution. It is best to detect and treat ear mites early so if you suspect your pet has ear mites, call 905-567-4677 to book an appointment today!

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