Ear Mites in Dogs

Mites are small parasites that can live on or in a dog’s skin and can cause a range of skin problems, including itching, redness, hair loss and scabbing.

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Ear mites can cause significant discomfort, irritation and unease  for your dog. These minuscule parasites consume wax and oils within your dog's ear canals, which can cause head shaking, scratching, rubbing of the ears, and subsequent ear infections. Read more below to discover about the different symptoms and ear mite prevention for dogs.

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What Do Ear Mites Look Like?

In New Zealand, it is important to note that identifying ear mites in dogs may not be possible by merely looking at them, as these parasites are incredibly tiny. Even if you examine your dog's ears closely, it is unlikely that you will be able to detect them. To accurately diagnose an ear mite infestation, a veterinarian equipped with specialist equipement is required. If you are noticing the signs of discomfort described above, and are concerned your dog might have ear mites, speak to your vet to get a proper diagnosis.

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What are ear mites?

Ear mites are minuscule parasites that reside in the ear canals and adjacent skin. They are a species of mite that favour living on the skin's surface to obtain their nourishment, as opposed to burrowing deeper into the skin like some other mite species tend to do.

Ear mites in dogs symptoms

Indicators that your dog may have mites can include:

  • skin irritation in the ear region
  • itching around the ears, head, and neck
  • shaking of the head
  • presence of dark and waxy ear discharge
  • unpleasant smell emanating from the ears

These symptoms are the same for puppies and adult dogs.

How do New Zealand dogs get ear mites ?

The primary cause of ear mite transmission in dogs is contact with other dogs or cats carrying the mites. Puppies tend to experience ear mite infestations more frequently than adult dogs.

When a puppy or dog has ear mites, these parasites can easily spread to other dogs through communal bedding or direct contact during play and social interactions. Given that dogs enjoy playing together, ear mites have lots of opportunities to find new hosts. It is crucial for dog owners in New Zealand to be vigilant and watch for any signs of ear mite infestation in their pets.



    How to prevent ear mites in dogs ?

    When dealing with parasites like ear mites, taking preventative measures is more effective than trying to treat an infestation. Administering monthly doses of NEXGARD® or NEXGARD SPECTRA® can help maintain your dog's health by treating and managing ear mite issues.

    In addition to providing your dog with preventative care against parasites, consider these smart practices:

    1. Keep your dog separated from animals known to have ear mites
    2. Frequently clean your dog's bedding and toys using hot water
    3. Put clean bedding through a tumble dryer cycle to eliminate any lingering mites