Otodectes cynotics, or commonly known as the ear mites, are tiny spider-like parasites that live in the ears of dogs because of their warm and moist environment. These microscopic parasites are more common in younger dogs but can occur in dogs at any age. Common signs of ear mite infestation include itching and presence of black exudate discharges in the ear. Some dogs, such as those with long floppy ears, are more prone to ear mites.
Dogs with ear mites frequently shake their heads and scratch their ears. The amount of shaking and scratching greatly depends on how severe the ear mite infestation is. In severe cases, the scratching can cause the ear canals to bleed. If left untreated, ear mites can cause ear canal damage and permanent hearing loss.
Where do ear mites come from?
Ear mites are contagious. They can easily be transmitted from one dog to another. Dogs can also get ear mites from other animals that they have been socializing. Also, it can be transmitted from a mother dog to her offspring.
How to get rid of ear mites
Before putting any medication in your dog’s ear, make sure they are indeed dog mites. If you are in doubt, you can confirm it with your vet. Before getting rid of the mites, make sure that your dog’s ears are clean. You can use a natural antiseptic such as green tea to remove the debris from the ear. After doing this, you can then proceed to applying the medication.
One of the most commonly used remedies for ear mites is mineral oil. Mineral oil, when applied to your dog’s ear, can kill the ear mites and help in dissolving exudates and ear wax that are plugging the ears. After applying mineral oil, you need to spread it by massaging your dog’s ear. The massaging can also help loosen the ear wax and ear mites. After massaging your dog’s ear, gently wipe off the ear mite deposits and the ear wax using a cotton ball. If mineral oil is not available, you can use almond oil or olive oil. Never use tree oil as it can only damage the ear.
To strengthen the effect your mineral oil preparation, soak garlic cloves (crushed) in the mineral oil and leave it overnight. Garlic is an antibacterial which can help kill the bacteria in the ear and prevent ear infection.
There are over the counter ear preparations that can kill ear mites. Ear preparations usually contain pyrethrin, an insecticide, which is the main component used in killing mites. Commonly used products include selamectin (Revolution), fipronil (Frontline), and Ivermectin. The dosage and duration of the treatment depends on the manufacturer of the product. So it is important to read the labels. If you are in doubt, consult a vet.
Once you have removed your dog’s ear mites, make sure they don’t come back. You have to check your dog’s ear regularly. Also, you should keep your dog from other animals that have dog mites.
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