Ear mites are tiny microscopic parasites that live and feed inside the ear canal of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other animals. To the naked eye, the mite itself may be undetectable, but what is most noticeable is the dark, crumbly black discharge found inside your pet’s ear. This discharge often resembles coffee grounds and is made up of ear wax, blood, and digestive materials left behind by the mites themselves.
Pet owners usually notice their pet excessively scratching their ears before they even notice the debris inside the ear itself. Ear mites are contagious from one pet in the house to another which can complicate matters if, for example, you have a cat that goes outdoors and likes to roam the neighbourhood.
How do I get rid of them?
If you suspect your pet has ear mites bring them into your veterinarian for an examination– do not buy over the counter parasite pet products as often these products can be toxic to your pet or other pets in the house. Home remedies can also be quite irritating to your pet and can further complicate treatment. Your veterinary will determine whether or not your pet has ear mites by examining the ear and obtaining an ear swab to confirm the presence of ear mites under a microscope. Following a definitive diagnosis of ear mites, your veterinarian will prescribe an anti-parasitic product specifically designed for your pet ensuring a safe and timely elimination of the ear mites.
If you have any questions about treating your pet for ear mites, please contact Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital.
Written by Amanda, RVT