Have you examined your pet’s ears lately? Many pet owners fail to pay special attention to the insides of their pet’s ears. Though it’s really great if you get a Q-Tip to clean them, you may be unaware that mites are already thriving in your pet’s ears. If left untreated, these mites will soon bite you! Ear mites don’t just bring discomfort to pets, but also to pet owners. They may be really small, but these jumping parasites have a reputation for causing real damage to pets.
It starts as a simple ear mite infection, perhaps some itchiness that your pet exhibits. Over prolonged periods, these mites crowd into your pet’s middle ear and your pet will lose its sense of balance. Scientists have observed that animals with severe ear mite infections can’t walk in a straight line; they tend to constantly walk in circles.
Ear mite infections are very easy to treat yourself. This means there is really no reason to let the infection get worse. These creepy crawlers are easily transmitted from one pet to another upon physical contact. This makes mite treatment often applicable for almost all household pets. If you treat one dog, you have to treat the other ones, too.
Just like other mites, ear mites have the ability to live for a few months without any host. A pet that is cured from ear mites is not really 100% safe from it. This evolutionary marvel of mites makes it possible for adopted pets to come home already infested with ear mites. It’s always a good idea to shampoo and steam clean your carpets after you finish your pet’s ear mite treatment. You should also wash any fabric your pets lay on or use with soap and hot water.
Below is a step-by-step procedure of how you can get rid of your pet’s ear mite infection.
Check for Ear Mite Existence
The only way you can start treatment is to make sure your pet is really infested with ear mites. To spot them, check your pet’s ears and be on the lookout for black or gray spots that cling inside your pet’s ears. These are not the mites, but are “exudates,” which is blood or puss caused by the mites. Another sign to look out for is your pet’s persistent ear scratching. Observe your pet to see if it shakes its head repeatedly (as if trying to shake away the mites). Other signs may include fever and a lethargic attitude.
Application of Mineral Oil
Buy commercial mineral oil, which comes with an eye-dropper or an ear-irrigation pump. This makes it easy for you to apply mineral oil to your pet’s ears. The application of mineral oil does two things to help cure and relieve ear mite infestation:
- It aids in dissolving ear wax and all the exudates that might be plugging the ears of your pet.
- It can smother and kill the ear mites.
Massage Your Pet’s Ears
Simply applying the mineral oil won’t do the trick. You need to spread the oil by massaging the insides of your pet’s ears. The massaging helps loosen both ear mites and ear wax. The correct way to do this is by grasping the ears with your thumb inside and the rest of your fingers on the furry ear exterior.
This finger positioning will give you enough leverage and makes it easy to apply controlled pressure inside your pet’s ears. Simply rub your thumbs as far as they can go into the ears and spread the oil while doing so. After the massage, let go of your pet and simply allow it to shake the oil by itself.
You don’t need to use Q-tips because the goal is to smother the mites. You also might want to do this outdoors, since you don’t want those exudes and ear mites to land on your furniture or carpet.
Use a cotton ball to wipe away ear wax or ear mite deposits that still cling to your pet’s ears.
Mineral oil treatment is considered the most effective ear mite control a pet owner can do at home. It’s also regarded as the only natural form of ear mite treatment. Never resort to any natural oil alternatives such as olive oil, almond oil or even corn oil. These oils may smother ear mites, but they can also cause a lot of discomfort to your pet. Mineral oil is always the best product when it comes to the removal of ear wax and ear mites. It’s been tried and tested for many years.
Veterinary Ear Mite Treatment
The only reason why vets encourage pet owners to bring the dogs to them is either to confirm a diagnosis or when the pet is already a victim of a severe mite infestation. Otherwise, you only need to grab mineral oil and apply some of it to your pet’s ears.
Only consider taking your pet to the vet when it is still suffering from recurrent ear mite infections after 6-7 days of continuous mineral oil treatments. It’s also wise to bring the pet to the vet when it has a fever or when it’s walking in circles. This means that there may be serious complications that ear mites have caused to your pet.
Dogs are often treated by vets with the use of an oral intravenous drug called ivermectin. Meanwhile, cats are treated with selamectin.
When you’re dealing with a cat, never use any medication containing Permethrins. Though these substances are found in mite killers, cats are known to get uncomfortable when exposed to this substance. Mineral oil is best for your cat.
A pet that’s severely infected with mites can also bring pestilence to humans. Many people, particularly children, develop some allergies because of this. In many studies, people who tested positive for dust mite allergies were also found to be positive for ear mite allergies. Many people who are exposed to ear mite-infested pets also develop a lot of rashes. Considering the multitude of people who have a cat or a dog, it’s important to consider the allergies these mites can cause in people.
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