Ear Mites and the Damage They Can Do
- Posted on: Jan 15 2020
Many people are aware that cats and dogs can get ear mites, but did you know that these little mites can also live on your pet’s skin? In fact, ear mites are the most common skin parasites in small animals. Your pet could start off with a little itch in its ear and wind up with an issue that leaves it scratching all over. You may notice that your pet is shaking its head or scratching at its ears. A more specific symptom of ear mites is brown or black debris in the ear resembling coffee grounds. If you see any of these symptoms it’s important to have a veterinarian examine your pet to determine the cause of your pet’s discomfort.
What Happens if Ear Mites Go Untreated?
Ear mites are usually very simple to treat, but they are highly contagious. This means if one of your pets has ear mites, then your other cats or dogs likely do, too. For this reason they are particularly common among pets that have been in a community background such as a shelter or a rescue.
Sometimes an ear mite infestation can progress before symptoms are noted, causing further irritation and inflammation as the problem worsens. Not only does this prolong discomfort, but severe inflammation can actually cause mites to leave the ear canal, causing the problem to spread to your pet’s skin. Your pet may develop a rash or other similar skin disorder, meaning your pet will be itchy not in its ears but on its body as well.
If you do not get mites treated right away then your pet’s scratching will increase in intensity and frequency. As your pet continues to scratch, he or she can cause open wounds in the skin. Bacteria can then enter the wound, leading to infection. An infection can worsen the existing problem, and instead of easily treating the ear mites a course of antibiotics may then be needed to fight a secondary infection.
Heart of Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital Can Help
While humans do not need to worry about ear mites themselves, it is important that we watch for signs of problems with our pets. Dogs and cats are very susceptible to ear mite problems, especially pets with flopped ears that hang down. Give us a call here at Heart of Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital if you notice your pet shaking its head back and forth, a foul smell coming from its ears, or dark discharge that looks similar to coffee grounds. We will schedule a time to get your pet in here for a checkup, and prescribe medication if the problem is ear mites.