Dogs are very important animals to humans and because of this, in every way, humans like to care for them and make sure they are healthy and well. Many diseases and issues can plague dogs and this can be detrimental to their wellbeing. One very popular example of these is ear mites.
Ear mites are small insects that look like ticks. They usually reside in the ear canal of dogs feeding on the wax and oil there. They may also be found on their skin. These insects are so tiny that they are barely visible. They only survive a short while without a host and this makes them very contagious as they must find a dog to attach to or die.
They do not readily bite the skin but their presence causes secondary damage and makes their host uncomfortable due to the constant itching which results in injuries from abrasion. Because of this, treating it as soon as it is discovered is essential. You can read up about it .
Animals get infected by these mites from areas of poor hygiene and outside environments like pet stores and animal shelters. They can also get it from other infected animals when they come in contact with them.
Some of the symptoms that can indicate the presence of these mites include the following:
Itching: This is the first sign you will notice when your pet is infected. It will scratch at its ears with its legs more often than usual. This will be accompanied by the constant shaking its head.
Dark Discharges: Due to the heavy scratching, injuries will occur and dark brown congealed blood will form around the ear. When dried, these will discharge from the ear.
Wounds and Inflammation: Constant scratching also results in cuts and wounds which can also cause inflammation and infections. You might then notice a scab on the ear.
Hair loss: Part of the resultant effect of the itching and scratching is hair loss. If there is a lot of them, they might also begin to infect other parts of the body.
As always, the best form of treatment is always prevention. Ensure the environment around your pet is clean always and keep an eye on it when it has to go outdoors by monitoring where it goes or putting it on a leash.
Avoid contact with other dogs especially public ones that you are not sure how they are taken care of. Also, when your canine gets into messy situations, endeavour to bath and wipe it. Part of preventing is topically applying anti-parasites to your dog’s ears and ensuring they are clean. You can see various ways of prevention here .
Some ways to treat this are discussed below.
Visiting the Vet
To treat this condition, if it is in the advanced stages, you may need to see a vet who will examine the ear
canal for these mites using an otoscope. The vet will clean the ear and apply approved products for the treatment of this condition.
Applying Sprays and Spot-on Treatments
Another easy way to treat this is through the use of spot-on flea treatment and over-the-counter sprays and ear drops. This might require up to 3 weeks of application for the treatment to be complete. This is because the applications do not kill the eggs of the mites. You will, therefore, have to keep applying it for about 21 days so that as new mites hatch from the eggs already laid within your dog’s ears, they will be killed.
Another option may be to go for topical treatments that are stronger and can kill both the pests and their eggs. This will then require a shorter time for treatment.
There are some home remedies such as olive oil that can be used for treating this infection. Apply some drops into your dog’s ears to help with alleviating the itching, getting rid of debris, and reducing the irritation.
Another homemade remedy that can be used is antiseptic tea such as green tea and chamomile tea. They help in cleaning as well as fighting itch and infections. Boil the tea leaves, strain them out, and use it to rinse your pet’s ears.
Mites are dangerous to your dog’s well-being and if left untreated will make it irritated and uncomfortable. The good news is that it can be treated and there are several options available to do this. When using homemade remedies, be careful not to harm your pet and if you are not sure, ask for help from those who know better.