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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Are Ear Mites Bugging Your Pet Know The Signs

Are Ear Mites Bugging Your Pet? Know the Signs

PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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Ear mites are microscopic parasites that live in the ear canals of infected dogs and cats. These mites are highly contagious and can be found in whole litters of kittens or, less frequently, in puppies. Adult pets can also be infected.

Signs of ear mites include:

·         A dark, crusty material is usually found in the ear canal of infected pets

·         Head shaking

·         Scratching at the ears

·         Often, a secondary bacterial infection is present

Untreated infections can lead to ear canal or eardrum damage.


Diagnosis is based on symptoms and laboratory tests. It is often necessary to examine ear discharge microscopically to confirm the presence of mites.


Treatment consists of one of several topical ear medications and/or injections to kill the parasites. With some medications, routine ear cleanings may be needed.

Important points:

·         Use all prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian

·         Depending on which treatment is used, the ears may need to be cleaned prior to and during treatment - ask your pet's veterinarian

·         With some medications, it may be necessary to treat the ears for at least three weeks to kill mites as they hatch - ask your pet's veterinarian

·         It is important for us to check your pet's progress in 10 to 14 days.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your vet or Banfield hospital today. 

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28 Apr 2011 2:42 am

Marcyt8 said:

my hamster has just recently lost like half her fur, and now looking at her skin its flaky and white like its dried skin...according to the internet that is most likely mites, but I can't find a home treatment for her, i can't afford the vet again..

18 Sep 2010 8:22 pm

kfaries said:

I have a rat terrier and he is licking everything in the house all day.Furniture, sheets,floors,etc. He will not stop. Is this a vitamin deficiency or lack of salt??He eats and plays normal, and is eating now allergy dry food and wet food

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