What are Dog Ear Mites in Tulsa, OK?
Dogs can get a variety of different kinds of parasites, but the most common that you might have to deal with when you own a dog is ear mites. These pesky little invaders can affect any breed of dog, but dogs with floppy ears are more prone to getting these parasites. Your dog might also be more likely to get ear mites if they have been boarded or go to a dog daycare where they are around a lot of other dogs. Camping and time spent hiking outside can also lead to ear mite infestations.
You might be wondering what ear mites are. After all, you might have cared for a dog that had them, but maybe you never actually thought about what they even are. Dog ear mites are a parasite, and they look like spiders or ticks, depending on the variety. There are more common kinds and more unique kinds out there that your pet can contract.
What Should I Know About Ear Mites?
As mentioned above, these little parasites look like spiders or ticks. The most common kind is otodectes cynotis. These mites like to take up residence in the external ear canal in dogs.
When mites move into your dog’s ears, they will bite through the skin and burrow into the ear to get to your dog’s blood and ear wax. They can stay inside the ear but might also migrate to other parts of your dog’s body. Mites reproduce very fast, and their eggs hatch within four days. Adults can also live for about two months.
You can see why it can be so hard to get right of mites without intervention. They reproduce so fast that your dog will not be able to fight them off successfully. They can also cause a lot of distress to dogs and make them scratch at their ears enough to cause hematomas and infections. Treating mites promptly is important for an array of reasons.
Signs of Ear Mites
There are a few different signs to watch for if you suspect your dog could have ear mites.
Scratching Their Ears
One of the primary signs that your dog has ear mites is that they will scratch at their ears all the time. This can lead to red, raw skin around the ears and on the face, and it can lead to ear infections or swollen ears. Some dogs will also get ear hematomas, which often require surgery to repair. You will want to be sure that you do not ignore signs that your dog’s ears are itchy, as this can be the warning symptom of a growing mite problem.
Bad Smelling Ears with Discharge
Some dogs do not scratch, but their ears will smell bad and show foul, dark discharge. This is more common in dogs that do not have floppy ears, but any dog might experience these added symptoms. Your dog might only have one ear that looks gunky and irritated, but that does not mean that they do not have ear mites.
Call Your Veterinarian
Ear mites can make a big mess out of your dog’s ears rapidly, so you should be sure that you look for these symptoms if you think that your dog might have been picking at their ears recently. You can usually tell right away that your dog’s ears have been infected with ear mites, and then you can get your pet to the veterinarian for treatment right away.
How Do Dogs Get Ear Mites?
Dogs get ear mites from other infected animals, and they can also get them from exposure to tall grass or forested areas where mites might be hanging out. Your dog can also get ear mites at dog daycare or at the dog park. You need to be sure that you pay attention to your dog’s behavior if you know that a dog with ear mites has been around them.
These mites will not bother people, but your dogs and cats can share most mite varieties as well. This means that when you have one pet with ear mites, you could end up with all the pets in the house having ear mites. The more proactive you are when you see signs of mites, the less likely it will be that your pets will have to suffer from ear mites and secondary problems for long.
Ear mites can also impact rabbits and ferrets. So, if you have any animals like this living in your home, they are also at risk of getting ear mites from your dog. Be sure that you keep the pet with ear mites away from the other animals until they have been treated for a few days, and make sure that you wash your hands after every treatment so that you do not bring mites to the other pets on your hands. You might also want to change your clothes and wash them after each time you treat your infected pet.
Ear Mites Are Quite Common in Dogs
Dogs are prone to ear mites, and they can get them in a variety of ways. Always make sure that you are careful about where you let your dog play and that you keep an eye on any kind of scratching behavior or discharge in your dog’s ears. These can be early warning signs of a mite problem, and your dog will need to see the vet before their infestation gets worse. Always assume that all your pets might become infected if a single pet has ear mites in the home. You should be proactive to try and keep your infected pet away from the other pets until their symptoms have subsided.
Ear mites can be treated easily, and the sooner that you catch this problem, the better for your dog’s comfort. While mites can be impossible to eradicate without a trip to the vet, once your vet has gotten involved and given you the right treatment plan for your pet’s needs, your dog will recover and feel great again in no time.