Ear mites...what is it?

There are several types of mites that can invade the ear canals of your pet (cats, kittens, dogs and puppies). The same mite can affect both cats and dogs. In the kitten and puppy, the most common ear mite is Otodectes cynotis. It is not important in the diagnosis and treatment of ear mites to identify the exact scientific type of mites. Regardless of the exact mite species involved, we usually refer to mites of the ear canal simply as ear mites. Contrary to popular believe, however, is the fact that ear mites can live anywhere on the animal’s body.

How are the mites transmitted?

Ear mites are extremely contagious. Vertical transmission is possible from dam to offspring. Additionally, ear mites are easily spread to other pets within the household including cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, ferrets, etc. Humans are not affected.

What are the symptoms?

Kittens and puppies with ear mites will scratch around their eyes and/or shake their heads. The amount of scratching and shaking depends on the severity of the mite infestation. With more advanced infestations, the ear canals will bleed and either fresh or dried blood will appear inside the canal. Dried blood resembles coffee grounds. If you peer into your pet’s ears and notice a built up of a material that looks like ‘coffee grounds’, then your pet probably has ear mites, although a bacterial and/or yeast infection is also a possible.

Ear mites are very common, but still serious. Left untreated, they severely damage the ear canals and ear drum and can cause permanent hearing loss.
If mites spread out of the ears to other areas of the body, the animal may or may not scratch the area.

What is the management?

Ear products without an insecticide will not kill the mites. Commercially available ear mites treatment only treat ear mites in the ear canal and left ear mites that found other part of the body untreated. Only product like Frontline Spot On® will be effective to threat ear mites in the ear canal and other parts of the body. Be sure to use Frontline Spot On® monthly to break the mite’s lifecycle.

Since mites are easily transferred between pets, it is best if all pets in the household received simultaneous treatment. Most types of mites do not survive long off the pets, so the treatment of the house and the yard is usually not necessary. As mentioned earlier, heavy and chronic ear mites infestation will cause secondary bacterial infection and otitis externa.

Tresaderm® had proven efficacy to treat ear mites on top of the treatment for secondary infection and otitis externa cause by ear mites. Use Tresaderm® as primary treatment of chronic ear mite infestation together with the treatment of secondary bacterial infection and otitis externa. Instill 5 to 15 drops of Tresaderm® into the ear canal twice a day for 7 days. After that, use Frontline Spot On® monthly as a follow up and preventive measures for ear mites and other ectoparasites.


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