Watch the latest Alpha Paw episodes with host Bernie Zilio as she tackles your pet parent questions, along with our board of pet experts. You can watch the video and read the transcript below!
Your dog’s ears are the cutest little thing…but they could be the home to ear mites..what are ear mites and what can you do about them? Let’s get into it.
Welcome back to Alpha Paw, your destination for everything dog. I’m Bernie Zilio and I’m on a mission to answer every doggone question you’ve ever had about your fur babies and today we are talking about ear mites in our pups and how to deal with them.
And fortunately, we have an expert with us here today, Dr. Ross. Dr. Ross is a seasoned veterinary professional and pet care expert. He earned his doctorate degree in veterinary medicine at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and his work has been featured in several industry-leading publications, including the Journal of Veterinary Surgery.
He is our go-to vet for everything we want and needs to know about our fur babies, so welcome back to Alpha Paw Dr. Ross…
Dr. Ross, apparently, ear mites are fairly common in puppies and dogs. Before we get into the signs and treatment options…what even are ear mites?
Ear mites are teeny, tiny parasites that live on or under the skin of the outer ear. Ear mites in dogs are most likely the type called otodectes cynotis. Like all mites, otodectes cynotis is a type of arachnid—in fact, they look like tiny spiders.
Otodectes cynotis feed on ear wax and oil. They do not burrow deeply into the inner ear, which makes them easier to treat, but they do have the ability to make your dog extremely uncomfortable.}
Okay, let me get this straight…our dogs could potentially have spider-like creatures in their ears?! That is terrifying! How do they get them??
Any dog can become infected with parasites, including ear mites. However, ear mites in dogs are most common in puppies, who have not built up some level of natural resistance to them over time.
Dogs that spend time outdoors in wooded or rural areas are also prone, as are dogs that live in animal shelters, or that spend time socializing with other dogs. Ear mites are contagious and can be acquired through dog-to-dog and other animal contacts.
What are the symptoms we should look out for?
Some of the most common symptoms of ear mites in dogs are vigorous head shaking, ear twitching, and scratching. The body hairs on mites irritate your dog’s ears as they move about, and these behaviors are your dog’s way of trying to scratch the itch. Another symptom is a dark, waxy discharge in the ear canal}
And how can we treat this??
Over-the-counter medications or a vet visit for a prescription.
Well…this has been another terrifying tidbit from Dr. Ross but I’m so glad that we have this information and can work to keep our dogs as safe as possible. Do you have more questions for Dr. Ross, ask them in the comments section down below.
Again I’m Bernie Zilio and this is Alpha Paw, be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single doggone episode and we’ll see you next time!