How do pets get ear mites?
Ear mites are spread from pet to pet through close contact with an infected pet, or through contact with contaminated premises where an infected pet has been. The ear mite life cycle consists of the egg stage, nymph stage, and adult; the eggs, nymphs, and adults are present in high numbers in the heavy black discharge so prominent in the ear canals of infected pets. In addition, adult ear mites commonly wander all over the body of infected pets, and not only can cause itchy dermatitis, but can be spread via direct contact with that pet, its bedding, and its grooming utensils.
Ear mites are related to chiggers, the little critters that causes so much misery for unsuspecting humans. Like chiggers, ear mites chew/suck/burrow their way into the ear canal lining, causing intense itching of the ears, a heavy black ear wax accumulation, and a lot of pet misery. Secondary bacterial and yeast ear infections are very common, because the ear mites cause extensive damage to the lining of the ear canals. Dogs and cats with ear mites continually shake their heads and scratch at their ears, frequently causing traumatic injuries to their ears and faces.
Ear mites are easily treated, once an accurate diagnosis has been reached. Treatment of the secondary problems caused by ear mites is essential to fully relieve the pet's discomfort.
Happily, prevention of ear mites is extraordinarily easy. The heartworm prevention recommended by the doctors of Windmill Animal Hospital for our feline patients, Revolution, effectively prevents ear mites as well as heartworms, intestinal worms, and fleas. The canine heartworm preventatives we recommend: Interceptor, Sentinel, and ProHeart, also are effective at preventing ear mites in dogs.
If you suspect your pet has ear mites, or any other ear infection, you should schedule an appointment with one of the Windmill doctors as soon as possible.