Otoacariasis, most commonly called ear mites, is a skin ailment that affects animals. A parasitic mite belonging to the Epidermoptidae family called Otodectes cynotis is the most common cause of the disease in both cats and dogs. This parasite lives on the skin surface and survives on epidermal waste and cerumen. It is most commonly found in the ear canal, as its name suggests. Ear mites in rabbits are caused by Psoroptes cuniculi, a separate but closely related species.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS EAR MITES?
The most common sign you can see is your pet scratching their ears or shaking their head. Scratching near the ears might result in scrapes.
Ear discharge. It is mostly dark in colour, waxy or dry in texture, and resembles coffee grounds. Inflammation is also a possibility. Scratching can result in damage around the ear, causing inflammation and rashes.
A veterinarian examination is usually recommended for a more specific diagnosis because a lot of allergies and other infections can cause the same symptoms.
HOW DO DOGS AND CATS CATCH EAR MITES?
In most cases, pets are afflicted with otoacariasis when coming into physical contact with other affected animals or their surroundings. This is why in multi-pet households all pets must be treated at the same time. It’s important to remember that ear mites aren’t exclusive to a single species; both cats and dogs can transmit these parasites between them.
WHAT IS THE EAR MITE’S LIFE CYCLE?
When an adult mite produces eggs, it takes 4 days for them to hatch and three weeks for them to reach maturity. Adult ear mites survive for roughly two months and will multiply ceaselessly during that time.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF EAR MITES? WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Prescription medications are available from veterinarians and are particularly effective in the treatment of otoacariasis. If you want your pet to get better quickly, it’s always best to strictly adhere to your vets’ treatment recommendations. Your vet may also suggest ear cleaning to get rid of some of the discharge, this can help alleviate your pet’s discomfort.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR HUMANS TO GET INFECTED BY EAR MITES?
Humans are very unlikely to be infected by ear mites, thankfully. However, some people might be hypersensitive and develop rashes if their pet is infected.
This article provides a summary view of some aspects you need to know about ear mites in pets and how to help them. We recommend you take the time to talk in detail with one of our licensed veterinarians. They will provide the best suggestions and strategies for your pet. For an appointment please contact us at (416) 351-1212.