if the family dog has become obsessed with his ears and you might be wondering if you need to learn how to treat ear mites in dogs? Ear mites are the highly contagious little parasites that survive by feeding on the waxy buildup inside the ear. While the parasites do not affect humans, dogs, cats and even pocket pets such as rabbits are susceptible to a bout with ear mites. Luckily ear mites are easily treated either by a veterinarian or with over the counter medications. How should you properly treat ear mites in your dog?
To treat ear mites in dogs you will need:
- Warm water
- mild hand soap
- Bulb syringe
- Soft cloth
- Ear mite medication
- Visit the veterinarian to have the ear mites officially diagnosed. While there are some tell tale symptoms of ear mites in dogs, similar symptoms may be present with bacterial infections that would require veterinarian treatment. Even if you opt to clean and treat the ear mites at home, ensuring that you are treating the correct condition promotes healing and prevents future complications. Depending on the severity, the veterinarian may also suggest a prescription strength medication instead of one readily available on the pet store shelves to speed recovery.
- Clean the pet’s ears thoroughly before applying medication. Cleaning your dog’s ears removes some of the mite food sources, helps prevent infection, and gives the medication a better chance to kill the mites without getting caught up in wax and dirt along the way instead. As in humans, a cotton swab can be used on the external portions of the dog’s ear—but should not be poked inside the ear as it can push dirt and wax deeper into the dog’s ear canal. Your vet may wash the dog’s ears for you if you choose—or you may do it at home with a bulb syringe full of lukewarm water and a mild soap. Simply fill the bulb with the warm soapy water and squeeze into your pet’s ear, allowing the water to drain out. Continue this gentle ear cleaning followed by rinsing with additional clean warm water until the ear is clean—or you no longer see the black mite waste in the draining water. Use the soft cloth to gently wipe away remaining water from the external portions of your pet's ears.
- Apply the ear mite medication to pet’s ears. Follow the package directions or the prescription directions and apply the medication exactly as directed. Generally the medication must be administered deeply into the ear canal with a special medicine dropper or syringe and the ear must be massaged at the base to help the medicine move about the area. Giving the medication incorrectly will only increase the amount of time involved in your pet’s treatment.
- Treat all animals in the house at once. Ear mites are highly contagious and spread easily between animal housemates. In order to completely rid the home of the little parasites, every animal must receive a full ear mite treatment.
- Repeat the ear cleaning and ear mite medication application process weekly for three to four weeks. You should expect to continue to offer ear mite treatment for several weeks. The ear mite lives its entire lifecycle in the ear. One application will not kill the ear mites in every stage of development and must be repeated. Repeat the treatment cycle, complete with the initial washing and medication application, once a week for three to four weeks to completely end the mite infestation. This can be time consuming in a house with lots of pets—but, is necessary to avoid re-infestation.
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