Ear mites are the contagious pests that puppies commonly catch them from their mom. Well, ear mites are also a big problem for rabbits, cats, ferrets, and other pets. Since ear mites are contagious, of course, any pet that has a contract with the mites should get the right treatment to prevent any reinfestation. If you do not treat your pets, the pests can cause more serious problems like infections in the middle or the inner ear that will damage their hearing capability. Eventually, ear mites can damage their balance.
About Ear Mites
Ear mites are also known as Otodectes Cynotis as the type of arthropod and they resemble ticks. They can make colonies especially in the puppy’s ear. It is their favorite location to feed on the cellular debris and they suck the lymph fluids from the skin. Three or four adult mites in the ear can create discomfort. It is like a tiny mosquito stays in your ear canal to bite and make it itch. Therefore, it is able to create a huge discomfort to your puppy.
The Symptoms of Ear Mites
Commonly, ear mites can cause ear inflammation or otitis. Mites bite and crawl inside your dogs’ ear that can cause intense itching. Even for puppies, typically, they shake their heads and dig their ears. They also rub their heads against furniture or floor. Some of them are possible to cry.
When your puppy does everything just to relieve the itch, they may bruise the pinna, the outer part of the ear flap. Head shaking and scratching in some breeds like basset hounds and beagles can lead to blood blister known as a hematoma, the condition in which the pinna swells.
The dark ear debris and the behavior signs can be the characteristic of ear mites. Nevertheless, it is good to confirm it by visiting your vet so you know the right diagnosis. What your vet does is to find the mite in the sample of the ear debris and your vet will examine it under the microscope. Why so?
The parasite is tiny, white and it is hard or impossible to see it with the naked eye. You should never treat your puppy for the presence of ear mites without having the confirmed diagnosis. Otherwise, you may mask the other problems as the risk or make the proper treatment and diagnosis are more complicated.
Why Ear Mites Happen
Ear mites are passed from one to other animals. The most common is cats passing the mites along to dogs especially if they live in the same home. The life cycle of mites is three weeks. First, the ear canal is the place to lay and cement the eggs. After that, it takes four days to incubate the eggs. The egg hatched into the larvae in other three to ten days.
The larvae later will develop into protonymphs and it will molt into the deutonymph for its stage. In this point, the young deutonymph attaches to the mature male ear mite by using suckers on their rear legs. If the deutonymph is a female adult, fertilization happens and then the female lays the eggs.
Even if they have entered their adult stage, they are still so tiny that it is almost impossible to see. All stages will happen on the puppy’s ears and therefore, it will be three weeks of miserable life for your puppy and the life cycle will start over again and again.
How To Treat Ear Mites
Since the ears of your puppy are so sore and not comfortable, your puppy will show an act that no one should touch the ears, even for the vet. Therefore, the vet is able to sedate the pup before entering the treatment process. Besides, it is recommended to help your puppy with the follow-up treatment.
Furthermore, some puppies are too difficult especially for the owners to continue the treatment process at home. Well, if this happens to you, it means that you need an injectable medication and that is the recommended way to do. For your information, doing monthly flea and heartworm prevention treatment is also effective to prevent the ear mites.
In addition, there are a lot of commercial products available to treat ear mites. Nevertheless, you can see your vet to ask the best product he can recommend. Once your vet has diagnosed the ear mites, you should learn to treat ear mites at home such as cleaning the ears, treating with the liquid for about twice a week for three weeks or more, at least. On the other hands, any ear mite eggs behind the ear canal can hatch and then start the cycle again.
It is awful to know that ear mites can travel outside of the ear or other parts of the body. It can cause sores that lead to a condition known as otodectic mange. If your pet diagnosed your puppy with ear mites, you should not ignore the rest of the body. You can use flea products to kill ear mites but choose the right product and do the whole-body treatments together with ear treatments.
Ear mites can infest the environment in several months and it is helpful to take the premise control, especially in homes with many pets. You should follow the same procedures and products for premise control of fleas at home to remove the ear mites. You should do the treatment at home and yard for about four weeks. Treating the environment two weeks beyond the pet’s cure is recommended.
Preventing Ear Mites
Can you prevent ear mites? Well, it can be challenging because their presence is still around the outdoor environment. Nevertheless, it is still possible to reduce the problem. Two easy techniques to minimize the impact of ear mites are the regular ear cleaning per month for your puppy and a quick trip to the vet if you are finding your puppy do something unusual like discomfort and scratching. If your puppy is recovering from ear mites, you should clean the bedding and other areas that your puppy loves to visit to make sure that you have ended the cycle of ear mites at home.