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What Are Ear Mites And How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Have you noticed that your dog has been scratching his ears a lot lately?  When you took a closer look at his ear to find out what is causing him to develop this new habit, you noticed that his ear has a dark discoloration?  You probably also noticed a foul smelling discharge emanating from the stained ear.  Your dog just might have ear mites.

What exactly are ear mites and how do you get rid of them?  Will ear mites affect your dog’s hearing ability?  If you have other dogs in the house, should you be worried that they might also catch ear mites?  Today's article will answer these questions for you.

Ear mites are speck like parasites that feed on skin particles inside your dog’s ear.  They have tentacles that irritate the ear canal, making your dog vulnerable to bacterial or fungi infection. 

Ear mites are very contagious.  They have the tendency to frequently wander away from the dog’s ear and into the dog’s coat until eventually landing into another dog's ears.  And because they can easily shift their way from one dog to another, they are easily transferred from mother to her puppies.  This makes ear mites the most common offender of ear infection in puppies and young dogs.

Symptoms of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ear, head shaking, constant rubbing of the ear against the wall or any objects, and a waxy, dark-colored discharge.  The ear may also look dark and crusty and usually emits a foul smelling odor.

If you think that your dog has a problem with ear mites, take him to the vet as soon as possible.  Early treatment is crucial to prevent a more serious ear infection.  Once your vet determines the presence of ear mites, treatment includes washing out the debris with an insecticidal preparation that will kill the mites.  Your vet will also instruct you to continue on with the treatment at home on a daily basis.  This daily treatment of ear mites usually goes on for about three full weeks.

In addition to prescribing medication for ear mites, your vet may also direct you to get a flea powder and sprinkle it on the dog’s skin.  This process will kill leftover mites that were able to travel away from your dog’s ear.  Your vet may also suggest that you treat other dogs and cats in your home that may have become infected through direct contact.  Make sure to carry on with the entire time of treatment.  Since mites lay their eggs in the ears, a new crop will again infect your dog if you stop the treatment too soon.

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