Have you noticed some gooey gunk in your dog’s ears? Are they continually tilting their head and scratching their ears?
While the problem could be minor and easy to treat, it could be more serious. If you think your dog has a yeast infection or mites in their ear, read on. In this guide, we’ll provide you with some information to help you identify the problem and treat it accordingly with treatments you can find on trusted online shops such as Pet Life.
What are ear mites?
Ear mites are tiny and pesky little parasitic critters that live under the skin of your pup’s outer ear. Usually, these mites belong to a species called otodectes cynotis. They look like little spiders, and technically, they are a type of arachnid.
The otodectes cynotis feed on ear wax and oils. Luckily, they aren’t burrowers, so they’re easy to treat. That said, they can make your furry friend very uncomfortable.
If the mites aren’t otodectes cynotis, they may be Demodex. These live in the hair follicles and oil glands on your dog’s ear. Typically, dogs that are otherwise healthy are resistant to Demodex.
How do mites end up in your dog’s ears?
Any dog can get infected with parasites like ear mites. Typically, puppies are most vulnerable, because they’ve yet to build up a natural resistance. They’re also common in dogs that are very social, or who spend a lot of time in wooded areas.
Ear mites are contagious and easily transmitted through pup-to-pup contact. If your dog has been spending a lot of time with other animals, it could be the reason that they caught these pesky little mites.
How to tell if gunk is mites or yeast
Yeast infections are very similar in many ways to ear mites. It can be challenging to figure out which problem plagues your dog. In both cases, your dog will be vigorously scratching themselves and twitching around a bit. Luckily, a vet can quickly diagnose the problem.
Ear mites leave a dark and dry discharge, which could look a bit like coffee grounds. If you notice this in your pup’s ears, take them to the vet for confirmation.
Treatment for mites
You don’t want your pup to be in constant discomfort, so it’s essential to treat the problem quickly. Let’s go over a few ways that you can kick the mites to the curb as soon as possible.
While you might be interested in trying a home remedy, it’s best to see your vet. This pet medicine professional will thoroughly clean your dog’s ears to remove any ear mites as possible.
After the cleaning, the vet may prescribe an antiparasitic medication or antibiotics. You’ll also likely receive advice to frequently bathe your pets to remove any mites that might still be hanging on.
You can take your dog to a groomer frequently, though that can get expensive. You can purchase a variety of at-home dog grooming supplies to leave your pup clean and healthy.
If it’s not mites that are affecting your dog’s ears, it may be a yeast infection. Unfortunately, ear infections are prevalent in canines, and they can be very painful.
Yeast is the common cause of ear infections in dogs since their ear canals are deep and moist. The fungus grows, and its build-up can cause odor, itchiness, and discharge. Dogs with floppy ears tend to be more vulnerable because their ears don’t allow for proper airflow.
There are various causes for yeast infections in dogs, including:
- Bacterial infections
- A ruptured eardrum
- A tumor or polyp
- Trapped objects
The infection typically begins in the outer part of the ear, but it can spread. Luckily, this is easy to spot. If you notice that your dog is rubbing its ears and there’s scabbing, this is a sure-fire sign.
A yeast infection can cause your pup severe pain and even lead to deafness. When properly treated, it can take up to six weeks to go away.
The vet will treat the issue with a topical antifungal like miconazole or ketoconazole. These medicines are typically very effective. If the problem gets worse, they may need to address the infection with systemic medications and possibly even surgery.
No dog parent wants to see their fur-baby suffering. Ear mites and yeast infections can be seriously annoying and painful for your pup. If you notice gunk in your dog’s ears and they seem uncomfortable, you should visit your veterinarian right away.