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Ear Mite FAQs

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Ear Care 
Ear Odor: A Sign of Infection 
Cleaning Your Dog's Ears 
FAQs: Ear Mites in Dogs

Dog Ear Mite FAQs Ear mites, or Otodectes, are from the Arachnid family, like spiders. One hallmark of ear mite infestation is an abundant dark brown or black, waxy discharge. Also, ear mites cause intense itching, which leads to constant shaking of the head and/or scratching at ears. The amount of scratching and shaking depends on the severity of the infestation.

How are ear mites transmitted to my pet?
If a pet already infected with ear mites shakes his head incessantly, he will most likely sprinkle his environment with the mites. An animal following the path of the infested pet picks up the mites quite easily. A mother cat or dog may also pass ear mites on to her puppies or kittens.
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What happens if I don't treat my pet's ear mites?
Unwavering and intense itching, if left untreated, often leads to more problematic conditions, like secondary bacterial infections, abscesses, or hematomas (painful blister-like formations containing blood) of the earflap. Untreated ear mite infestations may even cause permanent damage to the ear canal, such as hearing loss.
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What can I do if my pet has ear mites?
Fortunately, an ear mite infestation has an easy and effective treatment. Begin by cleaning the ear of debris, then follow by treatment with an agent designed to kill the mites. Drying the ear canal to make the environment less friendly to bacteria may also be effective. In many cases, the tail needs treatment as well, since while sleeping, the animal may curl up with the tail coming into contact with the ear. We believe that our Ear Clens® Kit is the key to fighting ear mite problems. This kit includes solution to clean and ear powder to dry the canals. See also, our Ear Care section for a complete listing of ear care products. Regular cleaning of the ears after the infestation is cleared up will lower the likelihood that your pet will be reinfested.
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