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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Does My Pet Have Mites?

Mites in dog fur.

It’s typical to see your cat or dog scratch their ears and shake their heads. Bugs, dust, and even gusts of wind can cause a tickle. If your pet does this more than usual, however, it might mean there’s a bigger issue at play, like ear mites. Not all mite infestations are a cause for concern, but some might result in skin irritation and more serious skin diseases

Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic wants to help you know the signs of an ear mite infestation. Keep reading to figure out how to tell that your pet has some unwanted visitors: 

Signs of Mites in Cats and Dogs

Ear mites are unbelievably microscopic and creepy crawlies under the skin, making them hard to spot. But with a gentle cleaning of the ear canal using a soft cloth, you may spot teensy-weensy white dots. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Every pet is different, but there are general signs that could indicate that your pet has an ear mite infection. They include:

  • Strong stench from their ears
  • Waxy, smelly discharge from the ears that could be black or brown
  • Swelling, redness, and hotness of the ears
  • Spots that look like coffee grounds in the ear canal that may cause clogging
  • Intense itching expressed in the scrubbing of ears, scratching, biting, licking, and rubbing on furniture
  • Hair loss 
  • Continuous shaking of the head due to excess irritation 
  • Skin conditions such as skin inflammation and crusts around the ears
  • Lesions on the elbow and ankles 
  • Severe unrelenting itch can be a sign of mange

Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats 

You can treat ear mites by gently flushing the build-up with an ear cleaning solution from your nearest pet store. Once the residue is clear, you can apply an effective ear medication. 

This can be risky, however, as you can easily damage your pet’s eardrum or even push the mites further inside the canal. If you suspect your pet has ear mites, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with our highly trained vets who can diagnose the underlying condition and prescribe topical treatment to destroy all the ear mites. 

Some of the topical medications include ear drops, creams, and ointments. Use them exactly as prescribed by your veterinarian. If your cat or dog has injuries around her ears caused by intense scratching, she may need further treatment, which could include oral antibiotics or a pet lamp-shade, also called a cone or an e-collar, to prevent them from further scratching. 

Is It Possible to Prevent Ear Mites from Affecting My Pet? 

Yes, there are topical medications that can protect your pet against mite infestation. Mites can only thrive if given a host to feed off. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ear mite prevention for your pet. 

If you think your furry friend has any of the above signs, the team at Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic wants to help. Please request an appointment or reach out for a prompt physical examination. We can take the edge off your pet’s distress and prevent further ramifications from ear and other types of mites.