Dog Ear Mites in Pasadena, CA: What They are and How to Protect Your Pet

Ear mites can be very uncomfortable and hard on your pet. They can also be difficult to detect at the start of the infection. This means that your dog might struggle with ear mites for a while before you realize that this is why they have not been feeling well. There are some very clear ear mite related symptoms that you can learn to recognize that are related to ear mites so that you can get your dog treatment when they need it.

There are also some ways to prevent your dog from getting ear mites. You will want to make sure that you avoid this kind of pest for your dog’s well-being and comfort. Knowing more about dog ear mites can be very helpful to any dog owner, and this guide will give you all the information that you need to know about this common health concern for many dogs.

If you are ready to learn some more about dog ear mites and how to protect your canine companion from them, read on!

Dog with Ear Mites in Pasadena, CA

What Are Dog Ear Mites?

Dog ear mites are a parasite that is actually called otodectes cynotis. These tiny little parasites move into the ear canal, and they live in the surrounding skin. They don’t burrow into the skin, but they live on top of it. They are difficult to see, so the symptoms of these mites are usually how they are identified instead of attempting to see the mites themselves when you look into the ear canal.

Ear mites can cause all kinds of symptoms, from head shaking to pain and discomfort. Knowing what to look for can help your dog to get treatment sooner rather than later. Here are the most common symptoms of this condition so that you can learn what to look for if you think your dog might have ear mites:

  • Head shaking
  • Swollen ears
  • Dirty and brown ear discharge
  • Scratching at the ears
  • Wounds around the ears (from scratching and not directly from the mites)
  • Red ears
  • Ears that smell bad
  • Whining and restlessness

Animals that have had a prolonged ear mite infection can have serious wounds around the ears from scratching or might have hematomas on the ears that need to be drained or might even require surgery. As the condition progresses, secondary ear infections can cause hearing loss, fever, and significant pain. It can take some time for the ear mite infestation to progress to this point, but it is possible for your dog to have a host of issues related to the ear mites that they have picked up.

Many of these symptoms are typical of different types of ear infections in dogs as well. It’s important to take your dog in to the vet when something is bothering them in order to get the correct diagnosis.

How Can I Prevent Dog Ear Mites?

Dogs get ear mites from contact with other animals that have them. This is the most common transmission method. However, ear mites can also be contracted from being outdoors. Ear mites are common in places that have lots of trees and grass. The mites will transfer to your pet’s coat and cling to it, then make their way to the ear from the coat.

The best way to prevent this kind of infection is to avoid dog parks or walking locations that bring your dog into contact with tall grasses. If your dog loves to roll around in the grass, you should also discourage this behavior. The best way to keep your dog free of ear mites is to keep them from coming into contact with them.

There are also medications that can be used to prevent ear mites if you live in an area where dogs tend to contract them frequently. You will be able to apply these treatments monthly to prevent ear mite infections. Your vet will have to prescribe this medication, but you will be able to get these products with ease from most vet clinics.

Treatment For Ear Mites

Ear mites are very easy to treat when they are caught early. You will need to take your dog to the vet for the initial treatment. The vet will clean out your dog’s ears and confirm the diagnosis for the type of mite that is present. You will then be given ear drops to help prevent infection and to continue to kill ear mites that might still be present in the ears. You can also clean out any additional gunk that shows up in your dog’s ears as they are healing to prevent irritation.

If your dog has damaged its skin or gotten hematomas on the ears due to ear mites, it might need some further treatment and care to resolve these issues as well. Your vet can advise you about any ongoing treatment for outer ear and skin issues that your dog is experiencing related to their ear mite infection. Most ear mite issues are resolved in a couple of weeks unless there are lots of complications.

Ear Mites Are Easy to Treat and Prevent

Overall, ear mites are one of the easier parasites to treat and to prevent. Your dog will thank you for learning the signs of this common infection so that you can get them to the vet for the right medication and supportive care to clear up the infection promptly. Prevention of this condition is also very easy when compared to other parasites, and you can make sure that your dog does not get ear mites just by avoiding tall grass or other dogs that might have this condition.

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for ear mites in dogs with floppy ears like beagles because ear mites tend to be much more common in these breeds. Removing the ear mite infection that your dog has gotten is critical to their well-being as these little invaders can cause a lot of secondary problems if you neglect to get your dog treatment. You and your dog will both feel much better once you have gone to the vet and gotten the right medications to help alleviate the itchy discomfort of this ear problem.

To talk with your Altadena Pet Hospital veterinarian about dog ear mites call (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online!