Ear Mites In Dogs – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Ear Mite Facts:

Ear mites are microscopic insects which live inside your inner ears. They cause itching, pain and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

You may have heard of them before when they were called “wormies”. Nowadays it’s not so common to hear about these tiny creatures anymore but their presence still exists. There are many different types of ear mites including fleas, ticks, roundworms and even tapeworms. Some types of ear mites are harmless while others can lead to health problems such as deafness or hearing loss.

Dogs and Ear Mites:

The main reason why most people don’t want to deal with ear mites is because they’re usually found in large numbers in the house where there are lots of other animals living together. However, if you keep your pets indoors and keep all the animals away from each other then ear mites will probably stay out of sight.

There are two kinds of ear mites: bloodsuckers and sweat bees. Bloodsuckers feed off dead skin cells while sweat bee type mites need warm moist environments to lay eggs.

These are the main types of ear mites found in dogs today.

The National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) recommends that dogs that are prone to ear mites should have regular routine checkups at a veterinarian. During these visits, an otoscope can be used to look into the ear canals for signs of parasites.

Ear mites are not believed to be contagious between humans so if you’re in contact with an infected pet, you don’t need to worry too much about getting them yourself.

The symptoms of ear mites in dogs are:

● Itching

● Black or brown Excess wax

Ear Mites In Dogs – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment - Image

● Head shaking

● Scratching in general (especially the area near the ears)

How to tell if your dog has ear mites:

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether your dog does have ear mites due to the itching. The most obvious sign is if your dog shakes it’s head a lot, especially after being in contact with other pets.

There may also be excessive black or brown wax, which is solidified earwax that has been attacked by the mites. The most effective way of knowing if your dog has ear mites for sure is by visiting a veterinarian who can check with an otoscope.

How much does it cost to get rid of the ear mites?

The short answer: It depends on whether you’re talking over-the-counter or professional treatment. If you’re treating your dog yourself then a bottle of Ivermectin can cost anywhere from $8 to $30, however larger dogs will need a stronger dose. Be sure to follow the instructions on the side of the box closely as there are some factors which determine how much medication your dog needs.

Sources & references used in this article:

Lesions caused by canine ear mites by RP Herwick – Archives of dermatology, 1978 – jamanetwork.com

Comparison of three treatments for control of ear mites in ferrets by MM Patterson, SM Kirchain – Comparative Medicine, 1999 – ingentaconnect.com

Diagnosis and medical treatment of otitis externa in the dog and cat by LS Jacobson – Journal of the South African Veterinary …, 2002 – ingentaconnect.com

Efficacy of sarolaner, a novel oral isoxazoline, against two common mite infestations in dogs: Demodex spp. and Otodectes cynotis by RH Six, C Becskei, MM Mazaleski, JJ Fourie… – Veterinary …, 2016 – Elsevier

Clinical evaluation of the safety and efficacy of 10% imidacloprid+ 2.5% moxidectin topical solution for the treatment of ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) infestations in dogs by RG Arther, WL Davis, JA Jacobsen, VA Lewis… – Veterinary …, 2015 – Elsevier