Pet Scratching Ears and Shaking Head? Your Vets In Carmel Explain Ear Mites In Dogs & Cats


Is your dog or cat scratching their ears and shaking their head constantly?  You should call me right away to determine if you pet has an ear infection.  As one of your vets in Carmel, I see a lot of ear infections in dog and cats.  Ear infections in pets hurt just like with us.  Your pet can be especially itchy when the ear infection is caused by ear mites.

Ear mites, or Otodectes cynotis, are tiny insects that live inside the ear canal.  They are too small to be seen with the naked eye.  Their presence creates a lot of inflammation so pets with ear mites are very itchy and have red inflammed ears.  Dog and cats with ear mites often have a large amount of thick dark wax buildup in the ear canals.  Manipulation of an ear full of mites usually causes an back leg itching reflex.  Ear mites are easily treated by cleaning the ear canal followed by treatment from our vets in Carmel.  There are topical and systemic treatments available which are inexpensive.

Ear mites are contagious!  So if your cat has ear mites, do not let it snuggle up to your other pets in the house.  They are transmitted when your pet shakes its head from the ear infection, causing the dark waxy debris to fly out of the ear and lands on the adjacent pet.  The ear mites then crawl into the ear and start feeding and breeding laying several eggs.  Ear mites can live in a human ear, however, they are not considered to be a problem for humans and I have never heard of a pet infecting its owner.

Other types of ear infections can cause these symptoms so schedule an appointment with our vets in Carmel to determine if ear mites are the cause or not.  This is usually determined by getting an ear swab and looking at the debris under the microscope for presence of the mites.

To see more information on our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts, click on this link to Your Vets In Carmel.


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